PENning Magazine

PENning, the Writers in Exile Committee’s biannual online journal, presents work by Scottish PEN’s member-writers alongside writing from people living in Scotland who are from other parts of the world.


Photo by zoetnet on Flickr, used under CC BY 2.0 license

We are now accepting submissions for for the PENning “Walls” issue.

Deadline: 27th March 2017

Unfortunately, we are unable to consider submissions that do not follow these guidelines.

Who is eligible to submit:

  • Any person living in Scotland whose first language is not English, Scots and Gaelic
  • Members of Scottish PEN

How to submit:

Submissions may be in any language, provided that they are accompanied by a translation into English or Scots. This translation can be the author’s or the work of another writer. Collaborations with those writing in other languages are very welcome.

Work may have been previously published.

Please do not include your name anywhere on your submission. Your name should only appear on the submission form. This allows our editorial team to consider entires anonymously.

If you are unable to download the form please ensure that you include with your submission:

  • details of your eligibility to submit: you must be either a refugee, asylum seeker or other person currently living in Scotland whose first language is not English, Scots or Gaelic or a current member of Scottish PEN.
  • details of where the submitted work has been previously published, if applicable
  • a brief (not more than 100 words) biography


From its start in 2009, each themed issue of PENning includes a selection of poetry and prose from this rich mix of writers. Each issue also includes a featured writer with links outside Scotland. These have included poet Ak Welsapar from the former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan who was forced into exile in Sweden, and Ali Cobby Eckermann, an Australian writer removed from her Aboriginal family as a child.

We offer a literary community to established writers exiled from their own countries. We also welcome those who have come to live in Scotland and have an urge to write. We work with community refugee organisations and TESOL groups, encouraging work and organising peer to peer translation. This furthers intercultural dialogue.

Conflict or clampdown on freedom of expression in other parts of the world can make it necessary for a writer to leave their home. Being exiled can cause personal and professional suffering, endangering access to the usual sources of writerly support, publication and readership. We try to make that experience a little less lonely.

Latest Issue

You can read PENning on issuu here.

Simply click to read and select  at the top of the screen followed by “Download” to receive a full-size PDF to browse and read at your leisure.

If you have any trouble at all with the download on, please email She will be more than happy to send you a PDF of the magazine directly.

You can read past issues of PENning on Issuu here!