Welcome to Free Word. Interested in exploring the political and cultural power of words? Join us at an upcoming event or read about the themes we explore.

About Free Word

Hello, welcome to Free Word.

Free Word is an arts venue that explores the power and politics of words.

We bring together a rich variety of the most exciting writers and thinkers – the new and the established. We spark critical conversations about society, culture and politics, and we amplify voices that often go unheard.

In our distinctive building in Clerkenwell, we host dynamic public events and provide a home and hub to other organisations that champion freedom of expression by nourishing writers, readers, speakers and listeners.

We are proud to be supported by the Norwegian Free Expression charity, Fritt Ord, and to be an Arts Council England NPO.

Free Word works internationally to bring together communities, organisations and individuals through the belief that words change lives.

The building that is now Free Word Centre has seen its way through a creative transformation over the years. Since it was built in 1875, it has been a wheelwright’s workshop, studios for music education and filmmaking and, most recently, the Guardian’s archive and education/exhibition centre. Even its location, on Farringdon Road, is brimming with a rich history in literature and politics; from the 1870s to the 1990s, bookstalls lined the street.

In 2009, Free Word moved in, and, after refurbishing in 2014, Free Word Centre has become a vibrant hub for literature, art and politics. The café and lecture theatre are open to the public, a nourishing space for you to think, engage with new ideas and spark up challenging discussions. There is also a main hall for our Residents and Associates to work and collaborate in.

Make a difference. Support Free Word.