Irish PEN is an association of Irish Writers.
Irish PEN is affiliated to PEN International and has representatives on the WiPC (Writers in Prisons Committee of PEN International), The PEN International Women Writers Committee (PIWWC) and the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee. PEN is an acronym for Poets, Essayists and Novelists.
The concerns of PEN International and Irish PEN are unchanged since their founding: the promotion of literature and the defense of free-expression.
PEN was founded by novelist Catherine Amy Dawson Scott who envisaged a dinner club where well-known writers could meet socially. The first dinner was held at the prestigious Café Royal in London in October 1921 with 41 writers in attendance, including Joseph Conrad, John Galsworthy and D.H. Lawrence.
Galsworthy became PEN’s first president and persuaded a reluctant George Bernard Shaw to join. Shaw complained about the irritation of the guinea a year fee and told him to take twenty guineas and make him a life member.
Lady Augusta Gregory, the dramatist, folklorist and translator, set up the first branch of Irish PEN. However Irish writers of the time proved solitary and wary of discussing their work and it wasn’t until 1934, under the auspices of Lord Longford, Sean O’Faolain and Bulmer Hobson that it began to thrive. Learn more about Irish PEN and The PEN Charter.
You can find out more about joining Irish PEN here.
Proposal of candidate for membership of Irish PEN.
Membership of Irish PEN is 40 Euros a year for full members, and 30 Euros a year for associate members.
The aims of PEN are to promote literature, defend freedom of expression and promote co-operation among writers. Those areas of interest for Irish PEN members and associates can include: poetry, playwriting, editing ,essay-writing, novel-writing, short-story writing, biography, criticism, translation and others.
Those considering membership should read and and sign the International PEN Charter, which is available on our website. The signed charter form may be sent along with this application for membership of Irish PEN. For full membership, please list titles of published books, plays staged or broadcast, scripts, contributions to periodicals and other relevant details. Associate membership is open to all who have an interest in writing but have not yet been fully published, those attending creative writing classes and members of writing groups etc.
Please Print out the Irish PEN membership form and return to:
(please makes cheques/draft out to Irish PEN).
Prospective Members and Associates of Irish PEN can use your Paypal accounts for renewals, and applications to join Irish PEN.