APWN was initiated by Australian PEN Centre, in partnership with Asialink.
The Asia and Pacific Writers Network, is an alliance of writers, individuals and organizations that work with language and stories, in all their forms.
APWN includes - novelists; journalists; playwrights; poets; publishers; editors; academics; documentary-makers; storytellers.
As a PEN initiative we aim; to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere, to fight for freedom of speech, work for good understanding and respect between nations and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in one world.
The Asia and Pacific Writers Network aims to:
- Increase understanding of, and dialogue about, the current issues, writing and cultures in the region;
- Fight for freedom of speech
- Support each other in the promotion and preservation of the regions literatures and languages
- Share and develop strategies and methods of contending with the issues, obstacles, and difficulties that face writers and their communities
- Provide opportunities for Network members to develop joint projects
- Facilitate greater public awareness of writing and issues of the region.
APWN, as a regional cooperation system of writers, brings together people working in a range of ways – from the academic to the grassroots, to contend with global issues that are faced locally.
There are many issues that the regions’ writers and their communities face –issues to do with freedom of speech and the maintaining of diversity: gender and racial equality; linguistic diversity and rights; multiple forms of censorship; access to publication and communication; access to education; the homogenising effects of globalisation. Writers are often in direct confrontation with these issues, whether it be through writing an article or novel that is not approved, or not having access to publication because they write in a minority language or are not of the right race, gender or ideology. Writers often have very practical methods to overcome some of these issues.
Writers are communicators, engaged in the production of the stories that explicate the way we see ourselves and each other. These stories encompass the complexities of social histories, cultural perspectives, global contexts, political currents, personal journeys of identity, the what we have been through to make us what we are. They not only produce the stories that tell us who we are, but the visions of who we can become. These stories are the foundation of mutual understanding.
The Network provides a forum for: cultural exchange, sharing information, methodologies, and strategies; to develop a support system for the protection and promotion of the languages and stories that are the foundation of our cultures and the basis of a pluralistic and civil society.