Patterson Donates $2m to PEN America

The bestselling US author James Patterson has donated $2m to PEN America to help the organisation ‘build communications capacity and help [it] speak louder in defence of free expression against evolving threats in the United States, online, and around the world’.

Patterson said: I’ve focused the entirety of my career on championing literacy. And that starts with ensuring that all people have access to all different types of books – books with different viewpoints and that celebrate different ideas. My hope is that this donation to PEN America will help them in their fight for free expression, which will ultimately benefit readers and writers everywhere.”

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said: “We are incredibly grateful to James Patterson for this catalytic gift which will help us increase our reach, voice and influence at a pivotal time in the battle for free speech.  A master at connecting with audiences and telling compelling stories, Jim’s extraordinary generosity will help us build the capacity to reach more writers and readers and to convey the essence of pivotal issues in ways that galvanize our supporters and propel our campaigns to achieve concrete results.  Amid a centenary campaign aimed to equip PEN America to lead the free expression fights of the future, Jim’s leadership will help pave the way to motivate other writers and members of the literary community to stand with PEN America and make possible our essential work.”

Patterson has also revived his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Programme for independent booksellers in which the author has pledged a personal contribution of $250,000, to be distributed to 500 booksellers in $500 increments.  Nominations can be made through an online nomination form that asks the question: ‘In 250 words or less, why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?’ The deadline to nominate is November 16.

“We are all so grateful for Mr. Patterson’s ongoing support of independent booksellers,” said American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill.  “His generosity is incredible, and his recognition of booksellers and the valuable role they play in the industry is especially meaningful to us.”

Patterson is one of the world’s most philanthropic writers having donated a total of $100 million to literacy causes. He has long been an advocate for writers and reading, donating more than one million books to schools across the United States, cultivating the careers of  thousands of teachers and young writers, fortifying classroom libraries around the country, and backing independent booksellers who needed money to keep operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.