AI and free speech, creativity and democracy

In the hands of bad actors—whether public or private—generative AI tools can supercharge existing threats to free expression. PEN America’s comprehensive report makes some chilling forecasts.

The PEN Community mourns the passing of Nyi Pu Lay

Writer and former president of PEN Myanmar died on 21 June 2023. Since the coup he has been living in hiding. He was unyielding in his opposition to military dictatorship, serving 10 years in prison in the 1990s.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Bread and Roses documentary gives Afghan women a voice

The film explores the the day-to-day lives of three women in the weeks following the takeover. The producer is the Oscar-winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence. “This documentary was born out of emotion and necessity,” says Lawrence, who describes feeling helpless and frustrated about what she was seeing on the news.

Freedom to write
freedom to read

PEN Sydney has been protecting freedom of expression for more than 90 years. We also defend writers here and around the globe who are at risk of being silenced.

With the support of our members – a community of writers, readers, translators and activists – we celebrate writing in all its forms through our public conversations, publications and activism.

We are an affiliate of PEN International and are inspired by their charter, which states Literature knows no frontiers.

News & Media

The PEN Sydney magazine has compelling articles about freedom of expression, the imprisonment of writers and journalists, the literary world and original fiction and poetry.

It’s published twice a year in print and online and distributed for free to PEN Sydney members and at writers’ festivals and bookshops.


PEN Sydney works to free writers who are at risk of being silenced. Their words and courage give us the motivation to continue.

“We are aware that promoting freedom of expression in a place like Iran has a price to pay. But it does not mean we accept such an unjust verdict voluntarily. We expect all writers around the world to pay attention to this issue and to not allow writers to go to jail very easily.”

Reza Khandan Mahabadi

A prolific author, researcher and leading member of the Iranian Writers Association, he was imprisoned in 2019. Partly through the work of PEN Sydney and PEN America he was released in February 2023.

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We’ve been celebrating the written word and defending freedom of expression for 90 years, and we want to continue to do that for many more to come. But our work can only continue thanks to the generosity of our donors, whose support allows us to keep going.

Every day writers are detained, harassed or even killed for their work.  With your help, we’ll continue to stand up for writers facing persecution around the world, work to ensure that everyone has the right to share their ideas and views and champion Australian and international writing.

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