Norwegian PEN is the Norwegian division of PEN International, the world’s largest organization for writers and freedom of expression, founded in 1921. PEN International’s initiator, Cathrine Amy Dawson-Scott, described the organization as a “republic of the words, which will unite nations”.
PEN was founded as an international literary club that should also be a body to fight for authors’ and other writers’ right to freedom of expression. The abbreviation means “Poets, Essayists and Novelists», or «Poets, Editors and Novelists” – a dispute among scholars.
Norwegian PEN was founded as a national division by Johan Bojer in 1922.
Norwegian PEN is a member-based organization and has over 900 members.
The annual meeting is Norwegian PEN’s supreme body, and the board and president are chosen in the meeting.
Norwegian PEN is governed after the principles laid down on the PEN Charter. PEN shall promote good understanding and mutual respect between nations, including through the spread of literature between nations. PEN stands for an uninterrupted exchange of thoughts within any nation and between all nations, supports a free press and is opposed to arbitrary censorship in peacetime.
Norwegian PEN is located at the House of Literature in Oslo.