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Member Exclusive: The Writing Life with Rex Ogle

Calling all members of PEN America!

Award-winning author of nearly 100 children’s books, comics, graphic novels, and memoirs, PEN America Member Rex Ogle joins our Director of National Outreach & Engagement William Johnson in a free, member-exclusive webinar. Ogle will discuss his life as an LGBTQ+ author and the journey that led to his greatest successes—most notably Free Lunch, which won the ALA/YALSA award for Excellence in Non-Fiction. The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A. To register for this special event, visit the password-protected PEN America Member Benefits page:


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Rex Ogle is an award-winning author and the writer of nearly a hundred children’s books, comics, graphic novels, and memoirs—most notably Free Lunch, which won the ALA/YALSA award for Excellence in Non-Fiction.

He has written under several pseudonyms, including Trey King and Honest Lee, but is currently focused on reimagining classic literature as modern or fantastical graphic novels as REY TERCIERO, under which he penned bestselling Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy, as well as Northranger, nominated for both a Harvey and GLAAD Media Award.

Born and raised (mostly) in Texas, Ogle moved to New York City after college to intern with Marvel Comics before moving over to DC Comics, Scholastic, and Little Brown Young Readers. As an editor, he championed over a dozen NY Times Bestsellers and worked (and often wrote) on major brands such as X-Men, Justice League, Star Wars, LEGO, Power Rangers, Transformers, Minecraft, Assassin’s Creed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Neil Patrick Harris’s Magic Misfits.

Now, Ogle lives in Los Angeles where he writes every day—that is, when he’s not outdoors hiking with his dog, playing MarioKart with friends, or thinking up new ideas for books.

headshot of William JohnsonWilliam Johnson is the Director of National Outreach and Engagement at PEN America. A longtime steward in the writing community, Johnson was the editor and publisher of Mary Literary, a literary magazine committed to showcasing work of artistic integrity. He also co-produced Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, the first major anthology for queer poets of color in the United States. In 2011, Johnson began his tenure at Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ literature. As the deputy director of Lambda Literary, Johnson oversaw many of the organization’s most dynamic programs and public events, including the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices and Lambda’s web magazine, the Lambda Literary Review.

In 2021, Johnson was awarded The Publishing Triangle’s Leadership Award, an award recognizing contributions to LGBTQ literature by those who are not primarily writers, such as editors, agents, librarians, and institutions. In 2023, he was the recipient of the Guardian of the Narrative Award, conferred by the Counter Narrative Project, whose aim is to shift narratives about Black gay, bisexual, queer, and other men who have sex with men to change policy and improve lives.