Professional Membership

Professional Membership is open to professional writers, journalists, editors, and translators who have professionally published at least one major title or a comparable body of work. While the rewards of PEN Center USA membership begin 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.

  1. Vote in PEN Center USA elections and hold an office in the organization.
  2. Half off all PEN Center USA Craft Sessions.
  3. Receive discounts on advertised craft sessions and events, including PEN Center USA’s largest benefit, the annual Literary Awards Festival.
  4. Become a teaching artist with PEN in the Community (PITC). Apply to lead a creative writing workshop in an underserved classroom, non-profit, shelter, or reservation.
  5. Access PEN Center USA's password-protected Resource Guide for Members, which includes information on grants, submissions, legal advice, writing, editing, and more. If you are a member, and do not have access to the Resource Guide, contact us to obtain a password.
  6. Apply to be a Literary Awards judge with your professional résumé. For more information, e-mail
  7. Receive discounts on classes at UCLA Extension Writers' Program. Members receive a 10% discount on any Writers' Program courses, with the exception of their two master classes and their studio courses. Find information on how to redeem this in the Resource Guide for Members.
  8. Apply for a Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship.
All PEN Center Members Enjoy Access To Electric PEN (ePEN) and the Freedom To Write Network.
  • Electric PEN (ePEN) is a monthly electronic newsletter, which details current programs, events, Freedom To Write cases, workshops, and announcements.
  • The PEN Center USA tote is 13"x14" and is made from natural cotton-poly with 25" natural cotton web handles. Each bag is individually cut, hand-stitched, and screen-printed by Enviro-Tote™, Inc., a family-owned, woman-owned-and-operated company in New Hampshire.
  • The Freedom To Write Network’s main feature is the Rapid Action Network (RAN), an alert system that highlights critical cases of writers who have been arrested or threatened because of their work. All cases include support petitions. Would you like your name automatically signed to RAN petitions? Enroll in the Auto-RAN program here.