History of Pen Cambodia
PEN Cambodia is a non-profit association that was founded by Tararith Kho, Poet, Co-Founder of Nou Hach Literature Project with a group of Cambodian writers and scholars in 2010 to take part in educational development in Cambodia. PEN Cambodia has its primary goal to promote writing and reading culture through training writers, producing literary and academic works for the youth and general public in Cambodia. On September 29, 2010, PEN Cambodia was ratified in the PEN International Congress in Tokyo to be one of its members. This ratification is the result of the proposal put forward by a group of young Cambodian writers to the PEN International in London informing and explaining their need to have a PEN Center in Cambodia.
Since 2010, Heng Sreang, professor of philosophy of Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia was elected to be the president of Pen Cambodia. In 2019, he resigned from his position because he has been doing research and writing in U.S. since 2016, and his research project has not finished yet.
On July 7, 2019, Yorn Young, Poet, Songwriter, Singer and project director of PEN Cambodia for Civil Society, was elected to be the President of Pen Cambodia. From the beginning, Pen has had many activities locally and internationally. We have been invited to join international forum of writers organized by Pen International and our partners. Besides, we have also organized some workshops in Cambodia by inviting Cambodian and Foreigner writers to share knowledge and experiences for young writers.
President, Singer, Poet, Composer and Musician
Yorn Young is a singer, composer, play writer and poet. Besides, he can play Khmer traditional music Tro Sau and Yike drum. Born in Kampong Thom, in the middle of Cambodia, he has been working with arts in Cambodia for more than ten years. After graduating high school in 1999, I started learning Khmer arts in both a pop and classical style, and continued my studies at MSL Arts Club, Apsara Arts Association School, and University of Fine Arts, Cambodia. He has also worked with a number of arts organizations such as the Department of Fine Arts and Culture in Phnom Penh City, where he was a writer and singer from 2003-2006, and Apsara Arts Association, where he contributed his skills as a musician, singer, theatrical teacher, and school director from 2006-2010. He has performed–and continue to perform–in many festivals in Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, U.S., Austria, Australia, Philippines and beyond. Besides, he is a co-founder of the Khmer Magic Music Bus and Khmer Legacy Ambassador of The International Khmer Assembly (IKARE) based in Minnesota, U.S., receiving many awards
2014: Award of the best singer and writing Original Song, Hear My Song Program, organized by Sabay Company
2011: Award of Poetry Chanting, organized by Bayon TV
2010: Award of Writing Poem, organized by Nou Hach Literature
2007: Award of Writing Theater Story, organized by Ministry of Culture
2003: Award of Writing Theater Story, organized by Ministry of Culture
Secretary, Writer, Jounalist
Raised in an orphanage in the capital city of Cambodia where he grew up, he started reading Khmers novels and was passionate about writing a diary when he was 13. Nowadays Oudom has written around thirty short stories in Khmer language. In 2015, he won the "ASEAN Young Writers Award" in Bangkok, Thailand. One year later, he participated to the "Japan-Asean residency program" in Jakarta, Indonesia.
While and after he graduated Bachelor of Law, he worked as a journalist. He accumulated five years of experience in radio, working for the Khmer service of Radio France International (RFI) in Phnom Penh and Paris.
He is currently finishing the second year of his master’s degree in journalism, specialized in television, especially as a JRI ("journaliste reporter d'image", video journalist) at the École Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille, in France.
With friends, he founded the "Khmer books publishing" which provides an editing and designing book service. From 2017, this company edited and printed more than thirty books titles in Khmer language.
Tong Him Phiev
Treasurer and Administrator
Since the beginning of Pen Cambodia in 2010, Tong Him has been working as the secretary.
In 2019, has been appointed as the Administrator and Treasurer of PEN Cambodia. He graduated bachelor degree of education in TEFL from Royal University of Phnom Penh, Institute of Foreign Languages and Master degree of Sociology and Anthropology. He is responsible for Administrator and Treasurer, involving in writing proposal, organizing event for developing, training and workshop.