Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Pen American Center Inc

  • New York, NY
  • www.pen.org

Mission Statement

Founded in 1922, PEN American Center (PEN) is an association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship. PEN is comprised of 4,400 professional members who represent the most distinguished writers, translators, and editors in the United States. PEN also welcomes Advocate Members who come from all parts of the literary community - booksellers, librarians, students, passionate readers - and who share PEN's ideals. PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world's oldest international literary and human rights organization, International PEN. Our programs promote writing and literature at every level and are founded on the belief that free expression is an essential component of every healthy society.

Main Programs

  1. Free Expression Programs
  2. Prison Writing Program
  3. The Writers' Fund
  4. Children's/Young Adult Book Authors Committee
  5. World Voices Festival
  6. Literary Awards
  7. Translation Committee
  8. PEN America: A Journal for Readers and Writers
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

PEN American Center fights for the maintenance of free expression protections all around the world. Our Free Expression Program works on an international level to promote the fundamental rights of writers worldwide. Our membership extends to literary professionals and advocates throughout the United States. We also serve our members on a local level with PEN's pioneering Public Programs, which draw audiences of more than 10,000 New Yorkers from across the five boroughs.

ruling year

1992

Executive Director since 2013

Self-reported

Suzanne Nossel

President since 2015

Self-reported

Andrew Solomon

Keywords

Self-reported

Free Expression, Literature

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013.
Register now

EIN

13-3447888

 Number

7376354038

Physical Address

588 Broadway Suite 303

New York, NY 10012

Also Known As

Pen America

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Free Expression Programs

The Free Expression Programs defend writers and protect free expression in the United States and around the world.

Category

Population(s) Served

None

Budget

Program 2

Prison Writing Program

The Prison Writing Program sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes a free handbook for prisoners, and provides one-on-one mentoring to inmates.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 3

The Writers' Fund

The PEN Writers’ Fund provides financial assistance to professionally published writers and editors facing acute financial crisis.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Children's/Young Adult Book Authors Committee

The Children’s/YA Book Authors Committee meets monthly to discuss topics such as censorship and diversity. The committee supports authors whose books have been challenged, sponsors school visits in New Orleans and NYC, plans public programs, and administers PEN’s children’s and YA awards.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 5

World Voices Festival

Each spring, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature showcases the work of writers in an exciting cross-cultural celebration of the written word. Chaired by Colm Tóibín, the Festival has featured such luminaries as Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, Orhan Pamuk, Umberto Eco, Ian McEwan, and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 6

Literary Awards

The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers more than $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 7

Translation Committee

The Translation Committee advocates for literary translators, working to foster a wider understanding of their art and offering resources and support for translators, publishers, critics, and others with an interest in international literature.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 8

PEN America: A Journal for Readers and Writers

PEN’s literary journal publishes fiction, poetry, memoir, and conversations. It champions international authors and invites them to contribute to provocative forums. The literary journal is an annual publication on its eighteenth issue and was named one of the Ten Best New Magazines by Library Journal in 2000.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    PEN American Center seeks to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    PEN American Center runs a full range of programs, such as Free Expression, the PEN World Voices Festival, and Literary Awards. The combined strength of these programs expand the freedom to write and celebrate the vital and universal power of literature.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    PEN American Center has over 90 years of experience working to support free expression and literature. As the largest of the 144 PEN centers in 101 countries that comprise International PEN, the PEN American Center is building on a tradition that began in the years following World War I and continues to be carried forward by thousands of American writers.

    Our strength is our membership, a nationwide community of 4,000 members, including novelists, journalists, editors, and other literary professionals who work together with PEN to carry out its mission. We are also joined by a large network of advocate members who come from all parts of the literary community - booksellers, librarians, students, passionate readers - and who provide a vital base of volunteers and support for PEN's programs.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    PEN American Center gauges its success by evaluating the state of free expression around the world. Our Free Expression initiatives aim to support the liberty and safety of writers at risk of persecution and imprisonment. These initiatives not only bring much-needed awareness to free expression violations, they also help us measure the extent to which our mission has made progress around the globe.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As long as freedom of expression remains at risk, PEN's work will never be finished. However, we have achieved significant progress in several areas:

    PEN Freedom to Write Award
    The PEN Freedom to Write Award is a powerful tool in PEN America's year-round efforts to end the persecution of writers and defend free expression. Established in 1987, the awards are designed to honor individual writers who have fought courageously in the face of adversity for their right to freedom of expression. Of the 38 award winners who were in prison, 35 have been released.

    PEN World Voices Festival
    One of the world's largest literary festivals, and the only one of its kind with a human rights focus, the annual PEN World Voices Festival catalyzes conversations among writers, artists, thought-leaders, and the broader public on a variety of timely cultural and social topics.

    PEN Literary Awards
    The PEN Literary Awards is the most comprehensive awards program in the country, offering nearly $150,000 each year to fiction writers, poets, translators, children's authors, biographers, nonfiction writers and playwrights. Each prize is conferred by a panel of PEN members who bring to the task a familiarity with the solitary task of creating great literature.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

PEN American Center fights for the maintenance of free expression protections all around the world. Our Free Expression Program works on an international level to promote the fundamental rights of writers worldwide. Our membership extends to literary professionals and advocates throughout the United States. We also serve our members on a local level with PEN's pioneering Public Programs, which draw audiences of more than 10,000 New Yorkers from across the five boroughs.

Social Media

Accreditations

Charity Navigator

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

PEN AMERICAN CENTER INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

Sign in or create an account to view this information

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Get all this now for free
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Pen American Center Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Suzanne Nossel

President

Andrew Solomon

BIO

Suzanne Nossel was named executive director of PEN American Center in January, 2013. Her career has spanned government service and leadership roles in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining PEN, she served as executive director of Amnesty International USA. Before joining Amnesty, Nossel served as deputy assistant secretary of state for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women's issues, public diplomacy, press, and congressional relations. Nossel has also served as chief operating officer for Human Rights Watch and deputy to the ambassador for U.N. Management and Reform at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In the private sector, she has served as vice-president of U.S. Business Development at Bertelsmann Media Worldwide, vice-president of strategy and operations for The Wall Street Journal, and a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

During the early 1990s Nossel worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the implementation of South Africa's National Peace. Nossel is the author of a 2004 article in Foreign Affairs entitled “Smart Power," and coined the term that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a defining feature of U.S. foreign policy.

Nossel is also a columnist for Foreign Policy and has published hundreds of blog entries, op-ed pieces, and numerous scholarly articles. She is the author of Presumed Equal: What America's Top Women Lawyers Really Think About Their Firms, and has served as a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Council on Foreign Relations. Nossel is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Tides Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Andrew Solomon

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?