Open Pen Issue Eighteen is out Saturday, February 4. You can find it at one of our stockists, or if you can’t get to one of those, you can subscribe.

It’s front cover story is The Jungle by Josephine Bruni. Josephine is late to writing, but her short story feels like a classic Chekhov unravelling. The Jungle is about African Violets and internet forums, it’s about the treachery of devotion.

OP18_1Booker long-listed Wyl Menmuir‘s guest editorial looks at the importance of writing counters narratives which seek to isolate and divide, and in what is of equal privilege to Open Pen, The London Short Story Prize winning story is printed in full. Congratulations to winner Foye McCarthy for his Oh No, a Bank Robbery! Fuck!.

N Quentin Woolf returns of course. His residency is as much a part of what we do as Josh Neal’s exquisite cover illustrations, which return with a timely colourful bang (Issue Eighteen is otherwise charcoal, in colour). And it wouldn’t be Open Pen without discovering fresh, young talent. And that’s where William Kraemer’s playful contribution Answering Zeus comes in and ties the whole issue together.

Enjoy the read as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together (minus the stress, natch).

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