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International PEN International PEN i(A63701 works by) (Organisation) assertion (a.k.a. International P.E.N.; PEN)
Born: Established: 1921 London,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
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International PEN was founded in London in 1921 in order to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers worldwide. PEN was originally an acronym for for "Poets, Essayists and Novelists." It's rules of association now also includes poets, playwrights, editors, essayists, and novelists, and indeed writers of any form of literature, such as journalists and historians. PEN sees its role as actively encouraging the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; supporting freedom of expression; and providing support and a voice for writers harassed, imprisoned and sometimes killed for their views.

PEN is strictly non-political, a Non Governmental Organization with Category A status at UNESCO. It is composed of Centres, each of which represents its membership and not its country. Membership is open to all qualified writers, regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion, and every member is required to sign the P.E.N. Charter and by so doing to observe its conditions.

Known as PEN International since 2010, PEN has autonomous International centres in more than 100 countries, including Australia.

PEN's first Australian branch was inaugurated by H. G. Wells in Melbourne in 1921. The two committee members were Myra Morris and M. W. Peacock. Sydney PEN was founded in 1931 by Ethel Turner, Mary Gilmore, and Dorothea Mackellar. Later centres have also been established in Canberra, Perth, and Brisbane (as PEN Australia North)

[Sources: Pen International, Sydney PEN, Melbourne Pen (sighted 12/06/2016)]

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Last amended 14 Jun 2016 10:16:56
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