PEN America


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.



PEN America developed our Field Manual to equip writers and journalists, as well as their allies and employers, with practical strategies and comprehensive resources to defend against online abuse. We also offer online harassment self-defense trainings for newsrooms, professional associations, and journalism schools.  The digital toolkit and trainings cover:

  • Information about what online harassment is and the many forms it takes

  • Step-by-step guides for enhancing cyber security

  • Ideas for leveraging supportive online communities to combat online harassment

  • Approaches to counter-speech

  • Information about online harassment and the law

  • Best practices for employers and allies of writers and journalists for providing support

  • Tips for practising wellness and self-care

  • First-hand accounts from writers and journalists who have experienced online harassment

Learn more here:



PEN America leads advocacy efforts for at risk writers and journalists. For each case, we deploy a range of tools, including: protests, petitions and sign-on letters, social media campaigns, articles and op-eds, media appearances, and direct advocacy with officials and organizations. Learn more here:


FREEDOM TO WRITE AWARD Each year, PEN America honors an imprisoned writer with the Freedom to Write Award as part of a wider campaign to generate attention and pressure for their release. Learn more here: 

LITIGATION AND AMICUS BRIEFS Throughout its history, PEN America has filed lawsuits and amicus briefs to defend press freedom and information access. On October 16, 2018, we filed a lawsuit in federal court against President Donald Trump, which seeks to stop the President from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for news coverage he dislikes.


Press Freedom Incentive Fund: We provide small grants, advising, and capacity building to PEN America Members and allies across the country to mobilise their local communities in defence of press freedom. Learn more here:

Writer’s Emergency Fund: We provide modest grants to assist writers and journalists in financial need. Learn more here: