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Kenny Penn


By Jazzy Published 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2024

Thank you everyone for being patient! While I juggle my life, I have decided not to do the podcast every week, and instead will aim for once a month! While this is not nearly enough, it is better than nothing! Thank you for the support and as always if you haven't rated the podcast in your podcast player please make sure to give it 5 stars today! Now on the interview!

Kenny Penn

Here we have Kenny Penn. A man of words and vision. This is his website, and I recommend giving this a click and some love. This is the author page I have linked, I feel like it's always really interesting to give the authors we read about some background. Like finding out he has his own website, is married and has kids and recently finished his first novel "Mississippi Wizards." Sometimes on the site we get caught up in the words; forget that their are people with lives and personalities here. When I do research before the interview, I always feel like I find out the most interesting things and it really adds depth to these writers.

I have learned that he has a masters and a lifelong love of writing and reading. Which is evident in his language and word usage. His ability to tackle complex emotions and draw them out of the reader is palpable. When I read his work I feel transported to different feelings in my body and at times, can physically feel the setting he composed on paper. His ability to create relatable material is inspiring. While his attention to emotions is sublime, I can't help but love that he is also very empowering for everyone else as well on the site.

While talking to Kenny I was obviously very much liking his voice, quite literally the first thing I said to him when he answered the phone. I was also struck with how well this man could articulate what it is he was able to do to become the writer that he is. I, personally as a writer, struggle with what I say at times, but he very easily helped point us in the direction he took to elevate his writing. Here is one tool Kenny mentioned in regards to his writing.

What I was also enjoying about his adivce was that he mentioned to "write everyday". This has been a common theme I have come across when talking to other writers. They mention that they practice the craft daily. To those new to Vocal, take this man's advice and simply write.

This story was a finalist in the Vocal Awards; and for good reason. Reading this story you felt as if it was longer than it was. The context was brilliant and the small glimpse you see in the story opens your mind to even more that could have happened here. I get vibes of "Ferngully" and the movie "Faeries", which if you haven't seen is quite close in context to this story.

This is the first piece published to Vocal in August of 2023. WHich is odd, because I feel like I've known him longer. What strikes me in his writing is the story never goes where one would assume it would go. I love the twists and turns, and his first story was the perfect symbolism to that.

I remember this was one of the first I had read by him, when he came on the scene. This set in motion a series of events I can only descibe as awesome. This story is so well-written and funny, and his humor really comes through; as a parent I was equal parts horrified as I was laughing.

Wanted to make sure I included his poems that I really liked. Not to mention that it is super inspriing to me that someone who didn't ususally write in this genre decided to tackle something so structured! Haikus are not my specialty, but safe to say that Kenny has them down! Make sure to check them out!


About the Creator


Follow on IG @booksbyjaz

Head of the Jazzy Writers Association (JWA) in partnership with the Vocal HWA chapter.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (17)

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  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • SC Wells2 months ago

    I loved listening to this podcast. You're such a fantastic interviewer and I loved the questions you asked. It was wonderful listening to Kenny Penn's thoughts -- his perspective on writing and hard work is incredibly inspiring.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    This is fab. Love the podcast. I felt like I was listening into a conversation as opposed to an interview. Great style.

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Another great episode, Jazzy. I thoroughly enjoyed it!, excuse me, Kenny is very talented indeed. My favorites from him are 'The Elmoar Tree' and 'I'll play with you'. I definitely need to back into his profile to enjoy more. Thanks again and congrats to you both on a fine Top Story!

  • Your ability to create quality content on a monthly basis while juggling your show and other obligations is incredibly admirable, and your enlightening conversation with Kenny Penn sheds light on the complexity and compassion of the writers we look up to.

  • Oh, I see you, Vocal. What a coincidence that you wait until the episode *after mine* to highlight this podcast. Gauntlet thrown. Battle lines drawn 😠 Kidding. Congrats on the feature! Hopefully this helps recruit some more listeners. Lots of good content in the archives.

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    Congratulations on the Top Story recognition. Well-deserved.

  • I was so happy when you posted the in your Instagram story! I was like "Yessss, another interview with a Vocalite that we all love!" I listened to the beginning of the interview and would be coming back later to finish listening to it!

  • Claire Guérin2 months ago

    Way to go Kenny, you're amazing as always! @Jazzy, I'm excited to discover you and looking forward to hearing more from the Shrug. Have fun in your haiku discovery!

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    Very interesting. Love this insightful vehicle of yours.

  • Was very excited to see this notification on Spotify. Perfect companion while I'm grinding through some short story submissions with the month about to turn over. Also some wild synchronicities between me and The Penn: - Masters in IT -> former software engineer - Quick and easy signoff (that had me in stitches) - Also participated in one of the NYC Midnight competitions. This one was microfictions, so 100 words or less. Only made it to the 2nd round, so I wouldn't get too down about that. - Also running my author site through WordPress, and fairly certain we're using the same theme (Assembler) - Also completed my first full-length book last year As always, great interview, Jazzy! The transition of "Let's get into Vocal. Top Stories! What do you think of them?" killed me. Steering right into controversial waters, haha. Love it. And thanks for the shoutout! Assuming you meant me when you said "Stephen," but it could always have been directed at Avitabile. Of all the Stephens on Vocal, he's definitely the best.

  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    Thank you so much Jazzy! I can’t tell you how grateful I am! A wonderful experience to say the least

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Very happy to see you doing interviews again, Jazzy and Kenny was a great choice! I'll be catching up on his stories!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Brilliant! Kenny Penn is such an amazing talent and overall fabulous human,.Your interviewing skills were wonderful as always!

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    Great to see you doing this again!

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