Writers’ organisation Scottish PEN hopes to raise £1,000 for a plaque in the Writers’ Museum to mark its 90th birthday celebration next year. The plaque will celebrate the group’s contribution to Scotland’s literary heritage with the inscription “Liberty, Language and Literature: Scottish PEN, campaigning for freedom of expression since 1927”. The organisation is inviting donations via its first ever crowdfunding campaign.
The Scottish branch of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers, was founded in 1927 by members including Hugh MacDiarmid. The organisation helped re-assert Scotland’s cultural identity, and has continued to do so into the 21st century, defending Scotland’s minority languages Scots and Gaelic, among other things. The organisation also actively lobbies Holyrood and Westminster on issues such as defamation laws, campaigns for freedom from censorship, and has lent its support to exiled and imprisoned writers, including Ashraf Fayadh and Raif Badaw.
The plaque will be just one part of Scottish PEN’s 90th birthday celebrations, which will also see the organisation celebrate the work of hundreds of notable Scottish writers including the aforementioned Hugh MacDiarmid, Naomi Mitchison, Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, and J.K. Rowling.