PEN South Africa is a branch of PEN International, a non-profit organisation that promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations.

Join us and help to continue our work defending freedom of expression, promoting literature and partnering with civil society organisations such as Nal’ibali.

Professional Membership

A leading voice of literature, PEN brings together poets, novelists, essayists, historians, playwrights, critics, translators, editors, journalists and screenwriters. PEN SA welcomes new members – to qualify for membership you need to be a published writer (one literary work or more published by a recognised publisher, i.e. not self-published) or a person deemed by the committee to be recognised as of sufficient standing. Membership of PEN SA is open to all South Africans, including non-South Africans permanently resident in South Africa. The committee is the final judge of any candidate for election to PEN SA. Candidates for membership are also required to agree to subscribe to the PEN Charter. If you are in agreement with the PEN Charter and would like to be considered for membership please email Khanya Mncwabe information regarding your publication/s (ie. your literary “CV”) and she will pass it on to the committee.

Professional membership dues are R250 per year, with additional bank charges depending on the payment type. Find out more here.

Supporter Membership

If you don’t qualify for PEN membership (above) but would like to support PEN SA’s work, then consider becoming a PEN Supporter. Benefits include receiving our fortnightly newsletter with freedom of expression and literary news, as well as the same discounts that members receive for PEN SA events. Contact Khanya Mncwabe on if you would like to join as a Supporter.

Supporter membership dues are R150 per year, with additional bank charges depending on the payment type. Find out more here.


If you would like to make a once off donation to support our work, please contact us for payment options. PEN SA is a registered Non-Profit Organisation and donation receipts will be issued for income tax purposes. Donations can be made online using Payfast here.

Legacy or Living Will

Support PEN South Africa by leaving a legacy or creating a living will. This money will be used by PEN SA to help writers in need, safeguard freedom of expression and promote literature.

Contact Khanya Mncwabe for more information on joining PEN SA or donating to our organisation.