The PEN Pinter Prize 2022: Malorie Blackman

Author Malorie Blackman (photo credit Dominic Turner)

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The annual award for freedom of expression in literature.

Early bird offer: Get tickets for £10 for this event until 31 July. After this full-price tickets will be £13.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The online version of this event will be live captioned.

Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman is awarded the prestigious PEN Pinter Prize for 2022, the first children’s and YA writer to receive it. At this event she delivers her keynote address at a ceremony hosted by British Library and English PEN.

Malorie Blackman was chosen by this year’s judges: Chair of English PEN, Ruth Borthwick; publisher, editor, writer and broadcaster Margaret Busby; and writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn.

The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature, in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter. The prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.

The prize is shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty. The co-winner, selected by Malorie Blackman from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN, is announced at the event.

The event will be followed by a book signing.

Malorie Blackman has written over 70 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts and Crosses series of novels (which won the Red House FCBG Children’s Book Award as well as being included in the top 100 of the BBC Big Read), Cloud Busting (winner of the Smarties Silver Award), Thief (winner of the Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award) and Hacker (winner of the WH Smiths Children's Book Award and the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award for best children's book of the year). Her latest book is Endgame, the final novel of the Noughts and Crosses series.

Malorie is a scriptwriting graduate of the National Film and Television School. Her work has appeared on TV, with Pig-Heart Boy, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, being adapted into a BAFTA winning 6-part TV serial. As well as writing original and adapted drama scripts for TV, Malorie also regularly wrote for CBBC's Byker Grove. She also co-wrote the Doctor Who episode – Rosa. In 2005, Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books. In 2008, she was then honoured with an OBE for her services to Children’s Literature. Malorie was appointed Children’s Laureate 2013–2015.

English PEN is one of the world's oldest human rights organisations, championing the freedom to write and read. With the support of members – a community of writers, readers and activists – they protect freedom of expression whenever it is under attack, support writers facing persecution around the world, and celebrate contemporary international writing with literary prizes, grants and events.

The PEN Pinter Prize is supported by the generosity of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Ruth Maxted.

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Image of Malorie Blackman by Dominic Taylor

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Name: The PEN Pinter Prize 2022: Malorie Blackman
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546