Pen 2 Paper Judges

Pen 2 Paper Judges


From a high angle, a smiling woman sits on a wrought iron bench on a green lawn. An wooden fence with a slightly open gate is in the background.Former P2P contestant Mel Finefrock (Non-fiction & Poetry judge) carries first place awards in poetry with "Optical Illusions" (2012) and prose with "Miles to Go" (2016). In addition, she has published her own book of poems entitled Patchwork Poetry and sometimes appears on popular blogs including the Mighty, the Huffington Post, and elephant journal. She is also the basis for blind protagonist Janie Jansen in Melissa Foster's Touched by Love.


A woman in hoop earrings leans her head to one side and smiles at the camera. Lynn Johnson (Fiction judge) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from UT Drama Department, Austin, TX and has spent her time in Film and Theater ever since. After working in the film industry in the 70’s, she continues her love of films by participating in SXSW and Sundance Film Festivals as a volunteer. In 1987, she began her theatrical adventures in Austin by working and volunteering for Live Oak Theater, Capitol City Playhouse, Zilker Hillside Summer Musicals, Texas Performing Arts, Long Center for Performing Arts, and Zachary Scott Theater, where she is a regular. Lynn has been a judge for Lights.Camera.Help annual film festival and the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival. Currently she is the Community Relations and Outreach Services liaison for VSA Texas, the State Organization on Arts and Disability.

Against a background of an ivy-covered wall, a man in a collared shirt gazes pensively out of the frame.Michael Noll (Fiction judge) 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 forthcoming book 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 judge) 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.

Close up of a woman with short hair who is smiling and furrowing her brow.Stephanie Torreno (Non-fiction judge)'s portfolio includes articles exploring education, special education, and mental health topics. She contributed e-commerce articles to the eCom Exclusive website. In addition, Stephanie wrote an online newsletter for employment professionals focused on obtaining work for individuals with disabilities. Her book, Keeping My Balance: A Memoir of Disability and Determination, was published in 2013. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Houston Baptist University.

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