The annual honour is presented to a "critically acclaimed author whose work embodies PEN America's mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity."
Past winners include J K Rowling, Salman Rushdie, and Margaret Atwood.
"No stranger to the dark side, Stephen King has inspired us to stand up to sinister forces through his rich prose, his generous philanthropy, and his outspoken defense of free expression. Stephen has fearlessly used his bully pulpit as one of our country's best-loved writers to speak out about the mounting threats to free expression and democracy that are endemic to our times.
"His vivid storytelling reaches across boundaries to captivate multitudes of readers, young and old, in this country and worldwide, across the political spectrum. He helps us all to confront our demonswhether a dancing clown or a tweeting president," Andrew Solomon, President, PEN America said in a statement posted on their official website.
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