J.K. Rowling to be Honored with PEN Award

It has been announced that J.K. Rowling will be receiving the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award this spring at the 2016 PEN Literary Gala and Free Expression Awards. The prestigious award has previously been given to authors such as Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie, honoring those who have

joined PEN in defending freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas.

PEN is an organization that works to

ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures [sic] of others.

In the announcement made today, January 25, PEN announced that they had chosen Jo receive the award because of her

advocacy for free expression; her founding of the charitable trust Volant, which supports multiple sclerosis research and other causes; and her nonprofit organization Lumos, which works to reconnect institutionalized children with their families.

On the honor, Jo said,

I’m deeply honored to receive this award and humbled that my work has been recognized as having moral value by an organization I so admire. I’ve long been a supporter of PEN, which does invaluable work on behalf of imprisoned writers and in defense of freedom of speech.

Andrew Solomon, PEN America president, also commented on the decision to give Jo the award this year.

Through their experiences with Rowling both on and off the page, countless children have learned not only the power of speaking their own minds but [also] the critical importance of hearing others.

The award will be presented to Jo on May 16 in New York at the PEN gala.

A huge congratulations to Jo – a very well-deserved award!