PEN Melbourne will be hosting a series of events at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.
Each year at the Melbourne Writers Festival PEN Melbourne nominates The Empty Chair at various events for PEN International ‘cases’, that is writers who have been killed, imprisoned, persecuted and in other ways silenced for the peaceful practice of their professions. In 2014 there were 904 such cases of writers around the world.
The Empty Chair on stage is for a writer who cannot share the platform with colleagues because of these circumstances. Several of the events PEN Melbourne and the MWF honours with The Empty Chair are free, but require bookings. Visit our Events page to find out more.
People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.