Liberty, Language and Literature

Approaching its 90th birthday, Scottish PEN celebrates its rich legacy of campaigning for free speech with a plaque in the Writers' Museum.

We did it!

On 8th Dec 2016 we successfully raised £1,108 of £1,000 target with 57 supporters in 35 days

New stretch target

Any additional money raised that exceeds the cost of the plaque and unveiling will go directly to supporting the charitable work carried out by Scottish PEN volunteers in our three key committees: Writers at Risk, Women Writers, and Writers in Exile. Thank you for your support!

Champion of free speech, defender of minority languages, and promoter of Scottish writers, Scottish PEN has been a central part of Scotland's literary heritage for the most part of a century.

The birth of Scottish PEN in 1927 was a radical act, culturally and politically. It made a statement about the distinctive identity of Scottish literature as the first non-national centre within the PEN International family, whilst also promoting freedom of expression for writers.

Since then Scottish PEN has fought tirelessly to defend writers under threat. We have campaigned to liberate imprisoned writers all over the world, published exiled and refugee writers living in Scotland, contributing to a revival of writing in Scots and Gaelic, and helped to raise the profile of Scottish literature in the global writing community.

Now approaching its 90th birthday, Scottish PEN is celebrating its rich legacy by placing a plaque in the Writers' Museum, where our office is based. We need your help funding the plaque, which will represent the hard work of hundreds of notable Scottish writers, including Hugh MacDiarmid, Edwin and Willa Muir, Helen Cruickshank, Naomi Mitchison, Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, and now J.K. Rowling. 

The plaque will read "Liberty, language and literature. Scottish PEN, campaigning for freedom of expression since 1927", marking Scottish PEN's historic commitment to Scotland, freedom, and writing on one of Scotland's eminent national literary monuments. 

Note on Rewards

Part of our this history has included the production of a CD called "Departures and Arrivals", which features work from Scottish writers on the theme of 'departures, arrivals, journeys and homecoming'. Writers reading on the CD include, among others, Ron Butlin, Jo Clifford, Alexander McCall Smith, Iyad Hayatleh, Christine de Luca, Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan and the late Tessa Ransford. If you choose to donate, we'd like to send you a copy of this CD as a physical Thank you.

We'd also like to invite you to join us for the unveiling of the plaque at the Writers' Museum, which is planned for Burns Night in January 2017, where we will also present our birthday poem written by Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca. Space at the Writers' Museum is limited, so make sure you claim your reward early!

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