Every year, we bring together our members to share information about our work to date and debate key issues about all future work. This is an exciting opportunity to hear from our members and showcase some of the work we have undertaken to protect the rights or writers and readers both in Scotland and across the globe.
This year, Scottish PEN has built on our work defending free expression and protecting at-risk writers around the world. In a year that has seen worsening protections for writers and the written and spoken word, PEN centres are more valuable than ever.
In 2019, Scottish PEN has brought together international experts for our largest event to date, as part of the inaugural Scottish Press Freedom Summit; hosted other events across Scotland; led on campaigning on a range of issues including abuse of surveillance, defamation reform, hate speech and the UK Government’s work on Online Harms; launched our Declarations project to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath; joined international calls for justice for the murders of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Jamal Khashoggi and Lyra McKee, among others, and brought forward the concerns and experiences of Scottish writers to the international PEN network in both The Netherlands and The Philippines.
In September, our campaign to reform defamation law received a significant boost, with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announcing that defamation reform will be included in the next legislative session – ending 23 years of inadequate and outdated laws across Scotland. With this to look forward to, alongside our continued work protecting at-risk writers and strengthening free expression everywhere we are excited to invite you to the Scottish PEN AGM held at the University of Glasgow on 23rd November.
We are keen to use this event to share our successes and facilitate dialogue on what Scottish PEN should do in the future with our members from across Scotland who have made these successes possible.
In the evening, we will hold the Naomi Mitchison lecture in the same venue, entitled: Are we there yet? Naomi Mitchison & the road to equality in writing featuring Jenni Calder, Sara Sheridan, Leela Soma and Emma Doherty. To read more and sign up for your free ticket, click here
Please note: To take part in all formal proceedings, please ensure you are a full-paid member of Scottish PEN. If you are a READER member of Scottish PEN, you can attend the AGM, but will not be able to participate in the formal proceedings. If you have any questions about your membership status, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org