Error: Eight O Eight, Where For Art Thou?

Yes, we know. It’s been ages since the last Open Pen. Three long months! At long last Issue Eight is on its way, due out in a month, tops. It’s a sort of plum/lavender in colour. Rather wimpy looking, actually. So it’s a good job we’ve got the balance right with the content.

Now, I want to throw out testosteroned hyperbole here like ‘No Holds Barred Lit’ or ‘Hard-Hitting No Bullsh*t Word Bombs’, but after reading Open Pen columnist N Quentin Woolf’s Issue Eight article on an Englishman’s relationship with the word, I’m much more comfortable with stating that the included short stories are anything but wimpy (forgive me Ernie).


Ernest Hemingway. Keen proponent of hard-hitting literature. And bath-time.

Akis Papantonis is our Issue Eight winner. Greek National and Oxford Fellow, Papantonis has sculpted an excellent tale in The Very Short Journey of Mr R. that will leave you a gulpy stunned mess at its excellent climax. Short stories and essays of his have appeared in Greek literary journals and newspapers, in the ‘Oxford Magazine’, and in the anthology ‘We Are All Immigrants’ (Patakis Eds., 2007).

We’ve also got If, Then by Jo Gatford. Gatford has short works published in SmokeLong Quarterly, PANK, Litro and The Pygmy Giant, amongst others.  She lives in Brighton where she wrangles babies and writes for her supper. Wank by Scott Hadley is as charming a read as the title suggests, but immensely cringeworthy and funny. Also on the table is the playful tale Jehovah’s Witness by Alun Evans, previously published in Structo MagazineÉclat Fiction and othersWill you see the light? Either way, we’re chuffed to bits with the richness of this issue’s librettos. Really hard-hitti… erm… quite… erm… Ah forget it… they’re a positively full-braced clusterfudge!

And on top of all that, we’ve got a tasty guest editorial (that’s not a hint that we were able to agree terms with literary behemoth Ainsley Harriot), as well as another look at one of London’s Stinky Little Bookshops.

Right, Hyperbole (pron (here at least); HYPERBOWL!!!) engaged. Open Pen Issue Eight is super-charged to knock you for six, whatwhat!

Ugh, it’s confusing being English.

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