Mogford Prize
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Aug 19, 2021

Jeremy Mogford & The Oxford Collection have pledged £10,000+ to PEN International

‘Without literature, there can be no meaningful freedom of expression. Without freedom of expression, there can be no meaningful literature’

This quote is taken from PEN International, the charity wholeheartedly supported by The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing. In 2021, PEN International named Jeremy Mogford and The Oxford Collection as one of its ‘Centenary Patrons’, a group of supporters joining together in the organisation’s 100th year to support its work protecting persecuted writers. In 2021 we donated £5,000 from the entry fee to PEN International. A further £5,000 from is pledged to PEN International for 2022.

PEN International was established in 1921 to promote intellectual cooperation and friendship among writers throughout the world. Originally PEN stood for Poets, Essayists and Novelists. Today it stands for Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists and includes journalists and historians. It is a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

PEN International has its headquarters in London with more than 100 autonomous PEN Centres around the globe that are actively engaged in promoting literature, journalism and all forms of the written word. PEN opposes any form of oppression of freedom of expression, and it works on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide through the PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, established in 1960.

In 2011, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of PEN International, the British artist Antony Gormley was commissioned to produce a cast-iron sculpture that depicts an empty chair. It stands outside the British Library in London.

For more information about PEN International visit