Ukrainian PEN Center is a part of the network of the international PEN centers whose activity is based on the 1921 PEN Charter and aims at protection of freedom of speech and expression, support for imperiled and persecuted authors, defense of language and cultural rights, and promotion of humanistic values through culture and literature.

Besides the watchdog activity, the Ukrainian PEN Center organizes literary readings and topical panel discussions, including the annual meetings of the representatives of the Central East European PEN Centers; supports Ukrainian authors’ participation in literary festivals, book fairs, and other cultural events; administers national part of the international “New Voices” literary competition, and bestows annually the Yuri Shevelov national award for the best essays and the Vasyl Stus award for the intellectual courage. In 2017, the Ukrainian PEN Center hosted the 83rd Congress of the PEN International in Lviv.