PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western United States. The organization, therefore, has two distinct yet complementary aims: one fundamentally literary and the other having a freedom of expression mandate. Among PEN's various activities are public literary events, an annual literary award festival, a mentorship project, and international human rights campaigns on behalf of writers who are censored or imprisoned.