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A Worse Scenario than Not Getting Published or Writing a Flop

Writers imprisoned for writing their truth - peoplewhowriteSo much of the writing life involves longing. The longing to be published. The longing to be read. The longing to be acclaimed. The dream. But very rarely do we consider the possibility of a nightmare outcome, when writing your truth becomes a literal occupational hazard.

History is rife with stories of writers imprisoned for challenging the status quo in their work (see Voltaire), but we don’t have to go back as far as the 18th century. Novelist Salman Rushdie,  writer Liu Xiabo, and journalist Rodney Sieh are among the list of contemporary scribes that have been threatened with death or imprisoned for their writing. Sieh was just released from prison on November 8, 2013, thank God.

Last week, PEN International observed the Day of the Imprisoned Writer by highlighting specific ongoing cases. Check out a few stories here and here.

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