Letter from the Editor

from Alice, Executive Editor and Chair York PEN

Members of the committee. Photo: Lennard M. Ortmann

Members of the committee. Photo: Lennard M. Ortmann

It’s been one week since the new YorkPEN.wordpress.com was launched, and the website has already hosted a number of student as well as professional writers. In this letter I would like to share our success and highlight some of the great pieces we have published during the week. Most of all, I would like to thank all our editors and contributors for their great work.

Since the new website was launched we’ve had readers from over 50 countries, from five continents.

We’ve appeared on Freshly Pressed, and the website has been shared by PEN International as well as a number of national PEN centres, including English PEN and Portuguese PEN.

It’s with great pleasure that we were able to publish Cathal Sheerin’s article as the first one in our series for the Out in the Cold campaign, leading up to the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympic Games.

We’ve published articles, features and opinion pieces by a number of new student writers on topics ranging from freedom of expression online to the trial of Chinese writer Xu Zhiyong.

As part of the website launch we created a mug shot series with committee members, see picture above. When the site went live, the members of the committee uploaded portrait shots in the same style as their Facebook profile pictures to draw attention to it on social media and amongst fellow students. The effort proved to be immensely successful and we’ve received great response for the idea.

We also hope the photographs will serve as a reminder that there are places in the world where our words and actions could have led to those pictures being real. It is for the writers living in those places that we run this site—for their right to freedom to write and freedom to read.

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