Membership Update

Please see below for an important announcement about PEN Center USA membership.


Dear PEN Center USA Members,

We hope that you had an enjoyable holiday season and that 2013 is off to a wonderful start. Here at PEN Center USA, we are welcoming the new year with changes to the organization’s membership titles. After careful consideration, the PEN Center USA Board of Directors and staff have decided to amend the naming for the Full and Associate levels of membership.

The core of PEN Center USA’s membership is made up of those writers that have demonstrated significant publishing progress in their writing careers. This top tier had been designated “Full” membership, because it entitles those members to vote in PEN Center USA elections and to be eligible to serve on the PEN Center USA Board of Directors. Full membership will now be renamed Professional membership to focus more on professional achievement, rather than on the level of membership benefit.

In the past, the “Associate” membership was viewed as a holding position for writers whose careers had not reached the level of achievement necessary for Professional membership. We are replacing the Associate title with Patron, because supporting PEN’s mission goes beyond the achievement of publication. There are people who are attracted to our Freedom to Write program, but are not pursuing a writing career. There are lovers of literature, reading, and freedom of expression that want to support the mission of PEN Center USA, but are not career writers. By changing Associate to Patron, we are hoping to create a category of membership that is more attractive and more inclusive of supporters of PEN Center USA’s mission and programming.

These title changes will be effective immediately. No changes will be made to the Student and Bookseller membership designations. All membership procedures, policies, and benefits will remain the same.

Thank you for your continued support of our organization. When you renew your membership, your dues provide significant financial support that allows our staff and members to carry out the work of PEN Center USA. Additionally, they grant a crucial endorsement that gives our center the authority to advocate on behalf of all writers, wherever they are imperiled.

Please visit the membership page of our website for more information on PEN Center USA’s membership procedures, policies, and benefits at penusa.org/membership. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please e-mail us at membership@penusa.org.

We look forward to sharing more PEN Center USA programming and events with you in 2013!

Best wishes,

Adam Somers
Executive Director

Hilary McCreery
Program Manager
Membership & Awards


PEN Center USA’s membership consists of over six hundred published authors (Professional members), supporters of the literary community (Patron members), students (Student members) and booksellers (Bookseller members) who endorse our mission.

All members share a commitment to the betterment of the literary community and advocacy of the freedom of expression both internationally and domestically. The annual dues of membership, which vary by type, provide significant financial support that allows our members to carry out the work of PEN Center USA. Additionally, they grant a crucial endorsement that gives our center the authority to advocate on behalf of all writers, wherever they are imperiled.

For more info, contact: membership@penusa.org