Wildlife Nuisance

  BY MAT WOOLFENDEN My wife and I, we have everything we need in our attic flat: a bathroom, a bedroom, bed, telephone for the takeaway and a cat. That morning Raffles

In The Age of Nicotine

  BY GC PERRY He orders a large gin and tonic and checks out the barmaid’s curves as she bends down to get a bottle of Schweppes from the fridge, his flat


Our Responsibility as Writers By Matthew Neal In the age of social media anyone with an internet connection can become a writer. People could write before that, of course – but with

My Girl Tornado

 by Jordan O’Shea The girl I loved was a tornado. That seems to be the most accurate way to describe her. She was fascinating and dangerously beautiful, but she destroyed everything. I

Remembering Mike Marqusee

by Tom Wood I hate the fact that I am writing this. It’s something I never wanted to write. It reminds me that life is random, brutal and cruel, and that natural


Sean Preston takes a look at David McGrath’s novel Rickshaw. Irish needs to “sort something out,” we’re told by author David McGrath in the opening gambit of his debut novel. Happenstance colludes, and that something becomes a rickshaw, a handy (if not physically challenging) vehicle for both the perverse and relatable kooks McGrath draws in his novel, and for the whirlwind narrative itself. McGrath has been a short story writer for some time now, including


The Girl With The Indian Braids – Why Mad Men Is A Television Novel By Erinna Mettler THE MAD MEN PARTY IS FINISHED AND I AM BEREFT. I know, the whole world has written

Storm’s a-comin’

This weekend in an independent bookshop near you… Now firmly in its teens, Issue Fourteen of Open Pen is a brooding stripped back black on white (with colour illustration), with guest editorial from Kit Caless, one half of Influx Press, who asks of fiction, What’s Place Got To Do With It? Issue Fourteen’s cover story is a sassy and fidgety tale from Londoner Ben Byrne: Her voice took on a cute, flippant tone. “Well! We can


FOOTBALL AND LITZINES PART 1: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOE ENGLAND Sean Preston caught up with PUSH Magazine editor Joe England at Leyton Orient Football Club to talk football fans and literary endeavours. Part 2 will be available later in the month.  

…or Salad

The creators of Talking Soup Magazine get some things off their chests in an interview with Open Pen. Continuing a series of features with our favourite lit zines and journals, editor Sean


Phillip Clement reviews Devourings, James Vella’s ‘startlingly lucid’ debut collection of short stories. There is something quite remarkable in the sixteen short stories that make up Devourings – James Vella’s startlingly lucid debut

Future Flash

To celebrate the start of The Open University’s free online course, Start Writing Fiction, course provider FutureLearn is challenging authors to try their hand at writing Twitter fiction. Today (Tuesday 12) and

Writers and Social Progression

Back in 2012, Owen Jones provided a guest editorial for Open Pen. Here it is in full, as relevant as ever on Election Day. This editorial first featured in Issue Five of Open Pen Magazine, May 2012.  An editorial by Owen Jones Writers do not change the world. Social change happens through collective action from below, not because of the scribblings of the well-intentioned individual. Nobody votes for writers: in that sense, they are not

Doing It Themselves – Hand Job ZINE

As part of our month looking at lit zines making a real impact, we cast the magnifying glass over HAND JOB, a Notts based zine thick with bright ideas, such as the


Phillip Clement reviews Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn, the debut novella by British author David John Griffin. In David John Griffin’s debut magical realism novella, Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn,