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Day of the Imprisoned Writer

On Day of the Imprisoned Writer, let's honor those who risk their freedom to speak out and share their stories with the world.
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November 15
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Introduction

November 15 marks a significant day for writers all around the world as we celebrate Day of the Imprisoned Writer. This day was established by PEN International in 1981 to raise awareness about the importance of free speech and the dangers faced by writers who speak out against injustice, oppression, and censorship. It's a day to honor those brave individuals who have been imprisoned, threatened, or even killed for their words and ideas. But it's also a reminder to cherish our own freedom of expression and continue fighting for it. So let's take a moment to appreciate the power of words and stand in solidarity with writers who face persecution for exercising their right to speak their minds.

History of Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Day of the Imprisoned Writer Dates

Day of the Imprisoned Writer Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1981</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Establishment of the Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>PEN International establishes Day of the Imprisoned Writer to honor writers who have been persecuted for their free speech rights.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1991</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Raising Global Awareness </div><div class='timeline-text'>On this day, the organization begins to host events worldwide to draw attention to specific persecuted and imprisoned authors, raising awareness around the globe.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2001</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Solidarity Through Letter Writing</div><div class='timeline-text'>PEN International begins a tradition of encouraging supporters to send letters to selected incarcerated authors, showing solidarity and fostering hope.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2011</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Online Advocacy</div><div class='timeline-text'>With the advent of social media, campaigns around the Day of the Imprisoned Writer move online, expanding its reach and influence.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2021</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Continued Activism and Support</div><div class='timeline-text'>This day continues to rally support for persecuted writers, shining a spotlight on current cases, defending the freedom to write, and promoting literature as a fundamental right.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Day of the Imprisoned Writer

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write a letter to an imprisoned writer</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Use the power of words to show your support and solidarity with an imprisoned writer by writing them a letter. Let them know that their voice matters and that they are not alone.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Read a book written by an imprisoned writer</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Educate yourself about the struggles and sacrifices of imprisoned writers by reading a book written by one. This is a great way to honor their work and support their cause.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a protest or rally</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Join others in raising awareness about the issue of imprisoned writers by attending a protest or rally. This is a powerful way to show your support and demand for their release.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a book club discussion</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather a group of friends and discuss a book written by an imprisoned writer. This is a great way to spread awareness and have meaningful conversations about the importance of freedom of expression.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Support organizations that help imprisoned writers</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Donate to or volunteer at organizations that work towards protecting the rights and well-being of imprisoned writers. Your support can make a difference in their lives.</p></div></div>

Why Day of the Imprisoned Writer is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises awareness for persecuted writers</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Day of the Imprisoned Writer shines a light on the injustice faced by writers who are imprisoned, threatened or killed for expressing their views. This event brings attention to the importance of freedom of speech and the need to protect those who exercise it.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It honors the bravery of persecuted writers</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Day of the Imprisoned Writer also serves as a reminder of the courage and sacrifice shown by writers who continue to write despite facing intimidation, harassment and imprisonment. This day honors their bravery and highlights their important role in society.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It encourages solidarity with writers around the world</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>This day brings together individuals, organizations and governments to show support and solidarity for persecuted writers. It reminds us that defending free speech is a global issue and encourages us to take action in our own communities to protect the rights of writers.</p></div></div>

5 Little-Known Facts About Imprisoned Writers

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Many Imprisoned Writers Continue to Create in Captivity</h3><p class='facts-content'>Despite severe oppressions, many imprisoned writers find ways to continue their craft behind bars, often risking further punishments. Their words become a beacon of defiance and resistance.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Imprisoned Writers' Works Often See Renewed Interest</h3><p class='facts-content'>Writers who face persecution often see a surge of interest in their work, as readers seek to understand the ideas that led to their imprisonment and pay tribute to their courage.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Imprisoned Writers Often Advocate for Those Left Behind</h3><p class='facts-content'>Once released, many formerly imprisoned writers dedicate themselves to activism, raising awareness for others who remain incarcerated and championing for freedom of expression internationally.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Many Notable Works Have Been Conceived in Prison</h3><p class='facts-content'>From Boethius' "The Consolation of Philosophy" to Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", numerous important literary works have been written by authors during their imprisonment.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Writing is a Form of Survival for Many Incarcerated Authors</h3><p class='facts-content'>Writing becomes more than expression for many imprisoned authors—it serves as a means of survival, allowing them to assert their humanity and maintain their sanity amidst harsh conditions.</p></div></div>

Day of the Imprisoned Writer FAQs

When is Day of the Imprisoned Writer?

The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is celebrated on November 15th every year. In 2024, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer will occur on a Friday.

Day of the Imprisoned Writer Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Nov 15

Wednesday

2024

Nov 15

Friday

2025

Nov 15

Saturday

2026

Nov 15

Sunday

2027

Nov 15

Monday

Cause Holidays