London Short Story Prize 2016

The London Short Story Prize 2016, run by London’s writer development agency Spread the Word, is now open for entries, and it gives us Open Penners unabashed smugness and a healthy dose of pleasure

A War

First published, The Third Script (Transportation Press) By Siamak Vossoughi There was a young man and an old man at war, and they were the same man, seventy-nine-year-old Rahim Hashemi. The war was on

Tiger Quoll

First published, The Third Script (Transportation Press) By Robbie Arnott Imagine a cat that is better than a cat in all ways. It’s faster, cuter, deadlier, and has much more pizzazz. It’s


Scott Manley Hadley Reviews The Shapes of Dogs’ Eyes  (Dead Ink)  by Harry Gallon [Buy Now] Arguably the most self-involved book review of all time. This might be a long one. I feel ready to digress. Buckle up! Harry Gallon’s The Shapes of Dogs’ Eyes is a novella, a gritty, earthy, boozy, druggy, sexy novella set all up and inside of Hackney in about 2014. It’s all craft beer and cocaine and marijoowuanwua and sleeping


By Eddie Willson From the beginning, Patrick disliked making home visits. The estate depressed him. It didn’t surprise him that it was to be demolished, and replaced by a low-rise development. Glum-faced


Scott Manley Hadley reviews The Arrival of Missives  (Unsung Stories)  by Aliya Whiteley. [Buy Now] Hello. I don’t know if I’m expected to introduce myself here or if I should launch straight into discussion of the book. However, as I’ve been hired off the back of my self-indulgent reviewing style and because the guys at Open Pen can just delete any paragraphs they don’t like, I’m going to do it anyway. Welcome to my world. My

An introduction to Clark Zlotchew and ‘Going for the Gold’

One of the peculiarities of running a submissions-based magazine is an unexpected one. You end up with pen pals. Lots of them. You’ll know this if you run a magazine that accepts

An Extract from Starstruck

An Extract from Starstruck By Rajeev Balasubramanyam Facebook Update Status What’s on Your Mind? Mala Iyer First of all, it is sad and painful when anyone dies of cancer in their early


By Elliot Egerton I grew up in a new town. The one-way systems enforced a general linear perspective but my planned existence made me feel wanted. This lethal concoction coerced me into


We’re delighted to be getting back to our raison d’être – your free copy of Open Pen Issue Sixteen will be hitting bookshops Saturday, 28th May. INSIDE: ‘Invisible Monsters’ is a deeply touching fictional account of


It’s been our biggest year in the five years our free short fiction magazine has been in print. We’ve got more stockists than ever, more readers than ever, you can now subscribe to Open Pen, and we’ve published The Open Pen Anthology. So we’re left pinching ourselves that on top of all that, we’ve been nominated in two categories in the 2016 Saboteur Awards. ‘Best Magazine‘ and ‘Best Anthology‘. If you nominated us in these two categories,

In What Capacity

By Mazin Saleem So it was towards the end of the party and there was just me and this older girl left in the living room, pretty well out of it, so I got


By Lisa Fontaine Phase six. I skipped phase five. A letter was delivered to me today. Wrong address. Stranger things have happened. Yusuf Patel: that’s who it’s for. I know vaguely where the


By Anton Rose The body falls towards the river, cutting a pattern through the rain. It hits the water, and I shiver. I wipe the raindrops off my binoculars, and focus on

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