English PEN

Freedom to write, freedom to read. 

English PEN promotes literature and human rights. A registered charity, English PEN’s membership is drawn from all those who work with the written word: Poets, Essayists, Novelists, academics, journalists, playwrights, publishers, booksellers, translators and literary agents.  English PEN was established in 1921 as the founding centre of an international network of PEN centres.  PEN International now has 144 centres in 102 countries.
English PEN defends the rights of persecuted writers abroad, while maintaining a robust defence of free speech in the UK.  Their work promotes literature in translation through a major Arts Council funded programme, and run literacy programmes in refugee centres and prisons.

English PEN at the University of Surrey

English PEN at the University of Surrey is a unique collaboration between English PEN, the Department of English, and the students of the University. We also welcome the involvement of readers and writers from the city of Guildford and surrounding area. Students and staff will be working on projects in each of PEN’s areas of focus, including public events with leading British writers, campaigns for those imprisoned for what they have written, and translating their work for an English speaking audience. Participation in these projects is open to anyone who values freedom of expression and believes that, in the words of the PEN charter, ‘Literature Knows No Frontiers’.

You can read more about the work of English PEN by visiting English PEN’s website or following English PEN on twitter @englishpen.

Alongside our flagship event this year, the School of English & Languages at University of Surrey will be extending our co-operative work with English PEN by collaborating on a new post-graduate Creative Writing journal based in the English Department, and hosting a dedicated translation focussed event later in the year.
We are also pleased to announce that English PEN is also one of our partner organisations in our new TECHNE – London and the South-East Doctoral Research Consortium – AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership

For more information on how you can get involved in PEN at the University of Surrey, please contact s.mooney@surrey.ac.uk.

Dr Stephen Mooney: Academic Liaison (s.mooney@surrey.ac.uk)

Professor Marion Wynne-Davies (m.wynne-davies@surrey.ac.uk)

Past events

In June of 2011 the Surrey English Department launched their collaboration with English PEN with a sold-out evening with best-selling author and English PEN trustee, Monica Ali. Over the course of the evening Ali provided intimate insight into her own work as well as offering an impassioned assessment of the responsibility of writers and enthusiasts to utilise a privileged democratic position in order to defend the artistic voice globally. An informative evening for creative writing and literature students alike, the audience had the opportunity to ask an internationally acclaimed author questions on writing, reading, and what comes next for the defence of free speech.

Contact us

  • Phone: sel@surrey.ac.uk

Find us

School of Literature and Languages
University of Surrey