Pen 2 Paper Judges

Thank you to this year's volunteer judges!


Standing next to a long brick wall, a man with glasses smiles laughingly at the camera .David Borden (Comics division) is an award-winning artist and writer living in Austin, Texas. Once, long ago, he sold everything and moved to Morocco for five years. He is often described as unconventional, irreverent, and indomitable. His oldest daughter taught him to laugh loudly, face every day with courage, and dare to dream. His first graphic novel, And Yet We Rise, was featured on Fox7 News. Find David at:, on Twitter and Instagram @dsborden, and on Facebook @scribblefire.


A man in sunglasses smiles at the camera with a sweeping desert landscape in the background.Eric Clow (Comics division) has been passionate about the arts since childhood. He started writing screenplays and making short documentaries in high school. In 2011, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Geography, but he also received extensive training in filmmaking, screenwriting, creative writing, and radio programming. After moving to Austin, Eric dove further into the arts, exploring songwriting, music, and screenwriting, and began work at Art Spark Texas where he helped to extend the creative opportunities he enjoyed to others with disabilities. "Faceplant," his web comic collaboration with artist David Borden, combined his interest in extreme sports with his experiences in the disability community and won the 2018 Pen 2 Paper Comics Division.

On a green lawn with blurred trees and a house in the background, a woman in a bright orange shirt poses in her power chair and smiles at the camera.Heidi Johnson-Wright (Non-Fiction division) is a seasoned free-lance writer and an ADA compliance professional. She is a contributor to the anthology, Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities. Published by Oleb Books, the anthology was released October 1, 2018. Heidi's non-fiction short story "Crip Cargo" won the 2017 Pen 2 Paper Grand Prize.


Close-up on a woman with glasses smiling warmly at the camera.Dianne King (Non-fiction division) is a writer for SAFE Disability Services in Austin, which works to stop abuse against children and adults with disabilities. In her off time, she is a short fiction writer who recently ended a troublesome relationship with a young adult novel. Her short fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, American Airlines Magazine, and Glimmer Train Stories. Her story, "Small Speaking Parts," won the Glimmer Train Open Fiction contest in 2003. She is a former journalist and feature writer for Texas newspapers, including The Austin American-Statesman.


Matthew Limpede (Fiction division)

Against a background of an ivy-covered wall, a man in a collared shirt gazes pensively out of the frame.

Michael Noll (Fiction division) is the Program Director of the Writers' League of Texas, where he plans and organizes in-person and online classes, monthly panels at BookPeople, and the annual Agents & Editors Conference. He is also editor of the craft-of-writing blog Read to Write Stories and author of The Writer's Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction. His short stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Chattahoochee Review, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Indiana Review, and The New Territory. His story, “The Tank Yard,” was included in The Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

A seated woman with hands on hips smirks as she tosses her head over her shoulder.Maria R. Palacios (Poetry division) is a feminist writer, poet, author, spoken word performer, polio survivor, and disability activist whose message of hope and empowerment pulsates and breathes through her work. Maria's work has been featured in anthologies, articles, audio interviews, and other multimedia publications. Her work embraces self-acceptance, empowerment, and social justice surrounding women with disabilities, gender, and sexuality and a wide spectrum of issues as they relate to diversity. Her publications including Criptionary: Disability Humor & Satire, Dressing Skeletons: A Poetic Tribute To Frida Khalo, Poetic Confessions Vol. I, and the now out-of-print The Female King, as well as two empowerment journals for women and young girls, and The Big Little Black Book: An Address Book Revealing What Women Want Men To Know. Maria is also the founder of Houston’s Women with Disabilities Empowerment Forum and Grand Prize winner of Pen 2 Paper 2013. To learn more about Maria R. Palacios’ work and ongoing projects, you may visit her at or our guest blog. Watch Maria read her latest work as the featured author at the May 2018 Lion & Pirate open mic!

Susan Slattery (Fiction division)

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