Pen 2 Paper: The Ones that Got Away November

Every year, Pen 2 Paper receives so many entries that we love, but that never make it to the finalist round. This year, we wanted to recognize some of those from 2017, so we present a monthly web feature: The Ones that Got Away. From January through October (ok, November), P2P co-coordinators Susie and Laura will each post one of our favorite non-finalists from the 2017 contest. Enjoy!

All entries posted with permission, authors retain all rights.

November 26, 2018

Susie's Pick: Grieving on the Dance Floor Robert Kingett

An important part of disability writing is to model how you want to be thought of and/or treated as a person with a disability. Stories are one way to give an able-bodied reader a chance to change or revisit their views, looking past the author’s disability and seeing them as just a person. Kingett does this well by using the subtlest of clues to reveal to the reader that he has visual impairment (i.e. “...I watch all the blurry bodies bounce and wiggle to the tunes…” and “...which sent my cane flying out of my hand…”). The rest of Grieving on the Dance Floor is a honest account of the challenges of dating in the LGBTQ community. His descriptions of the setting, time period, and his thoughts allow the reader to form a personal connection with him and understand what he’s going through.

Robert Kingett has published a memoir about living as a blind man without the internet. He is also is currently working on a piece making Patreon more accessible to the blind and a young adult novel that showcases the good and the bad of dating a superhero while blind (we are hoping to see an excerpt in next year’s contest!). Learn more about Robert’s work at and

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