Free Word Centre
The Free Word Centre is an international centre promoting literature, literacy and free expression, based in Farringdon, London. It is funded by Arts Council England and its director is Rose Fenton. It opened in June 2009 and hosts eight resident organisations including ARTICLE 19, English PEN and Index on Censorship. As well as providing office space for its resident organisations, it also hosts a programme of public events in its lecture theatre and main hall.
The idea for Free Word emerged in 2004, when literature and free expression organisations met to discuss ways of working together. Eight founder organisations, the project director Ursula Owen and project managers Virginia Barry and Penny Mayes worked together over several years. In 2007 Fritt Ord, a Norwegian foundation, was persuaded by their vision and purchased the former newsroom and archive building of The Guardian newspaper in Farringdon Road for Free Word.
The following seven organisations are residents at Free Word Centre:
- Apples & Snakes
- ARTICLE 19
- The Arvon Foundation
- English PEN
- The Literary Consultancy
- The Reading Agency
- Free Word event listings
- New literature centre Free Word to open in Clerkenwell The Guardian, 14 July 2009