PEN America, founded in 1922 and headquartered in New York City, is a nonprofit organization that works to defend and celebrate free expression in the United States and worldwide through the advancement of literature and human rights. With more than 7,200 members—including novelists, journalists, nonfiction writers, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals—PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 PEN centers worldwide that together compose PEN International. PEN America has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
PEN America's advocacy includes work on press freedom and the safety of journalists, campus free speech, online harassment, artistic freedom, and support to regions of the world with acute free expression challenges, including Eurasia, Myanmar, and China. PEN America also campaigns for individual writers and journalists who have been imprisoned or come under threat for their work, and annually presents the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award.
PEN America hosts public programming and events on literature and human rights, including the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature and the annual PEN America Literary Awards. PEN America also works to amplify underrepresented voices, including emerging authors and writers who are undocumented, incarcerated, or face obstacles in reaching audiences.