Illustrated PEN

The Illustrated PEN aspires to be at the intersection of literature, journalism, and visual storytelling, where images and words come together in an ever-emerging and essential creative form. We feature fiction and nonfiction graphic narratives, comics journalism and illustrated reportage, stories of social justice, and personal stories that can’t be told through words alone.

This year, we have three guest editors—Robert Kirby, Meg Lemke, and Whit Taylor—who will be soliciting pieces from the cartoonists and graphic artists they most admire.

Window

I am an English professor. I encourage my students to approach language as a complex and faulty and therefore fascinating system of visual and lexical signs. Lately I find… More

School Choice

Don’t waste time opening the windows when the tornado comes. Touch the door to feel for heat from the other side. Stop—drop—(cover your eyes)—and roll. Don’t shout “Help!” Shout… More

What We’ve Become

You see, my daughter's school is a preschool. Her classmates are 3 and 4 years old. We would never watch a movie at school. But saying we were would… More

Present

By walking, you escape the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone . . . to have a name and a history. Isn't being someone also a… More

Makers

"I feel like we raised the bar on history reports." "And puppet shows." "I could make puppets all day long." "That's cuz we're Makers, Tess." "Yeah, Makers." ... More

Scott County Memories

Once, when I was living in Denver, my good friend Jon Pinnow became obsessed with the state of Kansas. . . . So we made plans to take a… More

That Night

Home is where I want to be. Pick me up and turn me round. I'm just an animal looking for home. Share the same space for a minute or… More

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