PEN Transmissions is English PEN’s magazine for international and translated voices. PEN’s members are the backbone of our work, helping us to support international literature, campaign for writers at risk, and advocate for the freedom to write and read. If you are able, please consider becoming an English PEN member and joining our community of over 1,000 readers and writers. Join now.

The English PEN Literary Salon at the London Book Fair is a standout moment in our calendar – a moment in which we share with the publishing community our mission of celebrating diverse literature and championing freedom of expression. The Salon is a platform on which writers – some emerging, others with long careers behind them – address pressing contemporary discussions. Year-on-year, we are thrilled and provoked by what emerges.

With the necessary cancellation of the 2020 London Book Fair, we resolved to create a new platform for these discussions. And so, this week, we present the Digital English PEN Literary Salon: five interviews on PEN Transmissions, published daily, featuring writers from the LBF programme.

In these pieces, you will encounter discussions on reading and writing queer black British experiences;  on asking what we can (and should) write; on placing marginalised voices at the centre of surreal stories; on being a woman writer writing ‘unlikeable’ women; and on timeliness, in all its senses. 

When fisherfolk can’t go to sea, they mend their nets. We’re pleased to have fashioned a new platform for these conversations, despite the storm we’re weathering. We hope Transmissions readers enjoy the catches.

– Hannah Trevarthen (Events and Partnerships Manager) & Will Forrester (Editor).

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