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Anthology celebration event: Declarations on Freedom for Writers and Readers

Join us at 7.00pm on Tuesday 6th April as we celebrate the publication of Declaration on Freedom for Writers and Readers. Featuring contributions from Sir Tom Devine and Jenni Calder, alongside published writers.

March 23, 2021

‘This rich anthology won’t merely be relevant to the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the poems and prose will remain relevant until humanity accepts the individual’s right to freedom.’

Liz Niven

In 2020, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, Scottish PEN put out an open call for poetry and prose influenced by ideas of freedom of expression. Submissions were received from a wide range of perspectives, with an award of three prizes selected by Scottish PEN and Sir Tom Devine. The anthology was published by Scotland Street Press, available here.

Postponed from last year, please join us at 7.00pm on Tuesday 6 April as we finally come together to celebrate our shared values and mark the occasion of the signing of the 1320 Declaration. Introduced by writer and Scottish PEN Trustee Jenni Calder, with special guest speaker Sir Tom Devine. We will hear the prize-winning pieces, together with other writers featured in the collection. The event is held in partnership with Hospitalfield for the Arbroath 2020+1 events programme.

Today, an issue vital for democracy that concerns the whole world is freedom of expression. Every day we hear of writers being silenced, by censorship, surveillance, imprisonment and sometimes death. PEN International has for one hundred years been campaigning for freedom of expression. Since 1927, Scottish PEN has contributed to that international effort, defending the rights of readers and writers in Scotland and across the globe to speak out and speak up. Most recently, we led a campaign to reform defamation law in Scotland, and are pleased that earlier this month, the Defamation and Malicious Publications (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. Find out more about our work at

This event will be hosted and live-streamed online. Event joining details will be circulated to attendees in advance.

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