The Harry Potter creator will be presented with the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award in recognition of her support for freedom of speech and her work with her The Volant Charitable Trust, which grants funds for research into multiple sclerosis and other social causes, and her nonprofit Lumos organisation, which aims to reconnect children in institutional care with their families.

"I'm deeply honoured to receive this award and humbled that my work has been recognised as having moral value by an organisation I so admire," Rowling writes in a statement issued to The Associated Press. "I've long been a supporter of PEN, which does invaluable work on behalf of imprisoned writers and in defence of freedom of speech."

Rowling will follow in the footsteps of previous honourees, including Salman Rushdie and Tom Stoppard, when she receives the award at the literary and human rights group's annual gala in New York City on 16 May (16).