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Everything you need to know about the world's great writers and emerging voices is being collected and shared on the English PEN Online World Atlas. Head over to the Atlas to create (or edit) a profile for your favourite author or book, leave a comment or contact another user, and discover your next great read. We believe that great writing has the power to change your life and change the world, one book at a time.

The Atlas is proud to be partnering with the Hay Festival's Beirut39 contest, celebrating Beirut's year as UNESCO World Book Capital, to find the hottest authors under 40 of Arabic origin. Nominations are open until August 24th, 2009.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


… to the winners of the ArtVenture prizes, awarded last night in London: the Freedom to Create Prize was awarded to Zimbabwean playwright Cont Mhlanga, a fierce critic of the Mugabe regime (who was unable to leave Zimbabwe to attend the ceremony), while the prize for an Imprisoned Activist went to Zargana, a Burmese comedian and activist who was arrested on the evening of 4 June 2008 after leading a private relief effort to deliver aid to victims of Cyclone Nargis which struck on 2 May 2008. English PEN reports that on 21 November 2008 he was handed a harsh 45-year sentence in response to h
is outspoken criticism of the government's slow response to the cyclone, and his opposition activities.

… to Laila Lalami, picked as one of the Top 10 litblogs at blogs.com

… to Queen Rania of Jordan, who won YouTube's first ever Visionary Award, for her videostream dedicated to combatting damaging stereotypes and misperceptions of Arabs and the Middle East (Global Voices collects tributes from the blogosphere here)

… to Lawrence Venuti, who Words Without Borders report is the winner of this year's Robert Fagles Translation Prize

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