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.

Sickness

Is there anyone with any actual power who will stand up for us? Any Republicans with a shred of conscience? Any democrats with a shred of spine? More

Precious Time

There’s nothing like losing your country when you’re little to help you see NATIONALISM as the strange and unnatural thing that it is. More

Identity

From every corner they emerge, those who want to punish us for simply existing. More

Evident Truths

My Maternal grandmother was 6 years old when the 19th amendment passed. Her mother, who was illiterate, wouldn’t get to vote until her daughters brought her to the polls… More

Those Other Nurses

What starts as a memory riff on the kind of punning coincidence that puts the very sleep-deprived into giggle fits … evolves into a powerful meditation on where we… More

The Literal World

"The piece is a meditation both on how we apply the filter of social media to ourselves and others, and how the internet can actually help bridge gaps between… More

Mirjama

“Mirjama” is an eerily rendered, quite literally haunting tale of the Holocaust, as remembered by one woman–a native of Riga, Latvia–as she experienced it. More

Lighten Up

Is the request to take down the tone of a character’s skin color ever unbiased? What does it mean to be a Black artist speaking his truth to power? More

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