Stephen King To Receive The 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award

Stephen King (Guardian)
Stephen King | Source: The Guardian

2017 was quite a year of career resurgence for Stephen King, between a raft of adaptations and new novels, as well as making the news for calling out President Trump repeatedly on Twitter. And 2018 looks like it may be another hallmark year for the It author, as he was recently revealed as the recipient of the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, in part due to voicing his criticisms of the US president.

According to its website, PEN seeks to “protect open expression in the United States and worldwide”, championing the freedom to write. Its mission is to “unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible” and its membership comprises novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators and agents, as well as readers.

The Literary Service Award is presented each year to an author whose work “embodies PEN America’s mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity”. Stephen King will receive this honour on 22nd May at the 2018 PEN America Literary Gala (coincidentally the same day his next novel, The Outsider, will be released in the states).

“No stranger to the dark side, Stephen King has inspired us to stand up to sinister forces through his rich prose, his generous philanthropy, and his outspoken defense of free expression,” commented PEN America president Andrew Solomon. “Stephen has fearlessly used his bully pulpit as one of our country’s best-loved writers to speak out about the mounting threats to free expression and democracy that are endemic to our times. His vivid storytelling reaches across boundaries to captivate multitudes of readers, young and old, in this country and worldwide, across the political spectrum. He helps us all to confront our demons—whether a dancing clown or a tweeting president.”

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