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.


We are now accepting submissions for the "Water" issue.

Deadline: 31 May

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

You can read our biannual PENning magazine on Issuu here.

Please note that the issue website includes targeted advertisements, which Scottish PEN does not endorse or have control over.

If you have any trouble accessing the magazine on issuu.com, please email info@scottishpen.org. We will be more than happy to send you a PDF of the magazine directly.

What should I send to PENning?

Send us up to 3 poems of no more than 50 lines each OR one prose or non-fiction piece of no more than 2,000 words.

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..

Writing may not have been previously published.

How do I submit?

Please send your submission to pensubmissions@googlemail.com and make sure that you complete and attach our downloadable submission form to your email.

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 entries anonymously.

Who can submit to PENning?

Any member of Scottish PEN, and all persons living in Scotland whose first language is not English, Scots and Gaelic.

History of PENning

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.