Open to all 14 – 21 year olds, Summer of Freedom Reads is a new programme of interactive writing workshops, with talks from inspiring speakers including Professor Corinne Fowler, Mariam Khan, and Professor Sharon Monteith.

This programme has been developed in partnership with English PEN, one of the world’s oldest human rights organisations. This year, English PEN celebrates its centenary through the Common Currency programme, a unique programme of in-person and online events, residencies and workshops that combines debates on freedom of expression, creative campaigning, and a celebration of diverse voices – and Nottingham is getting involved.

Held in the historic National Justice Museum, the Nottingham Summer of Freedom Reads writing workshops will look specifically at these themes of protest, free speech, and democracy, as well as taking a deep dive into some of the most famous (and infamous) books to have sparked public outrage across time. You will discuss censorship and how it has differed over time and place, and receive professional writing advice in a #PENWrites letter writing workshop. #PENWrites is English PEN’s international letter-writing campaign in solidarity with writers in prison and at risk around the world. For decades, PEN has supported writers who are unjustly persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression, and PEN members have long supported fellow writers by sending letters of support.

There will also be in-person talks and a Q&A from inspiring guest writers and activists, whose stories will spark conversation about historical and contemporary issues relating to freedom of speech, censorship, and public outrage

When and where are the workshops?

The workshops will run on the 8th, 15th, and 22nd August 2021, from 12pm – 4pm.

Lunch will be provided from 12:15pm and the first workshop will begin at 1pm.

All three workshops will take place in the National Justice Museum, Nottingham.

Your responsibilities

  1. Attend all three Freedom Reads sessions
  2. Be committed and punctual to the programme
  3. Share your feedback and thoughts about the programme and help us improve the sessions.
  4. To oblige by the Covid restrictions in place at the National Justice Museum


We’re happy to help! You can get in touch on TwitterInstagram or by email.