January 2014

Distinguished Patron

Distinguished Patron Membership is open to anyone who supports PEN Center USA’s mission and wishes to make an additional donation to our outreach programs. While the rewards of PEN Center USA membership start with the knowledge that you are helping to free imprisoned writers around the world and to defend the First Amendment, you will also receive exclusive benefits and privileges within the literary community.

Bookmark This: Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Using Journalism Tricks

This week’s Bookmark This! features the acclaimed author Gabriel Garcia Marquez in an extended interview with the Paris Review. The Nobel Prize-winning author explains how his career in journalism shaped his fiction and gives interesting tips on how to incorporate journalistic style into the fantastical. 

Writers' Reel: Quick Hit Insights From our Favorite Authors

On Writers’ Reel this week, we take a look at the PBS show Charlie Rose. The TV talk show host and journalist has invited many celebrated authors to sit and converse about their process. This 13-minute video features clips of Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, and more.

Bookmark This: 35 Essential Short Story Collections

Flavorwire recently published their definitive list of the “35 Perfect Examples of the Art of The Short Story.” The feature includes an eclectic mix of classic choices like Anton Chekov and Ernest Hemingway and not-so-obvious newcomers like Kelly Lynch and Claire Vaye Watkins. Which short story collection do you think is missing from the list?

Writers’ Reel: Tom Perrotta on The Fallacy of Writing What You Know

Author Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children) takes on the age-old advice of writing what you know in this candid discussion for Big Think. He also talks about his process in writing his 1998 novel Election, a novel that was adapted for film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Bookmark This: 30 Writing Tips From The Masters

Stephen King believes in killing your darlings. George Orwell says if it's possible to cut a word out, always cut it. And Kurt Vonnegut says to start as close to the end as possible. When it comes to writing, we can all use a little bit of advice. BuzzFeed.com compiled a list of 30 invaluable nuggets of wisdom from our favorite writers. From Stephen King to Toni Morrison to Neil Gaiman, these quick hits will inspire you to keep going.


Saudi Arabia: Editor Raef Badawi faces “apostasy” charges

Bookmark This: Your Submission Checklist

If your New Year’s resolution was to finally submit your work, this week’s Bookmark This is for you. The Review Review breaks down what literary editors are really looking for when it comes to submissions. From writing a good cover letter to learning how to respond to a personal rejection, the essay is a great primer to read before taking that creative leap.
“You, of course, are a writer.


PEN Protests Romania's Re-Criminalization of Insult and Libel
PEN International has joined 35 other free expression organizations and members of IFEX in protesting Romania’s 2013 Re-Criminalization of libel and insult. To read our joint letter to the Romanian authorities in which we call on President Traian Basescu to veto this change to the law, please see below.
16 December 2013
H. E. Victor Ponta
Prime Minister of Romania