Ink Wars
By Word Alive Press

180 years ago today Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born—although most of us will likely be more familiar with his pen name, Mark Twain. Mark Twain was such a legendary writer that at one point The Conklin Pen Company approached him with what they hoped would be a soon-to-be-legendary pen—one which, if the ads are to be believed, soon became Twain’s favourite:

“I prefer it to ten other fountain pens, because it carries its filler in its own stomach, and I can not mislay even by art or intention. Also, I prefer it because it is a profanity saver; it cannot roll off the desk," He stated in one advertisement (learn more about Twain’s pen infatuation at His Nibs).

In this age of high-tech enterprises, a good pen can be hard to find; we at Word Alive Press have our favourites as well, and have had more than a few arguments over what brand of pen best satisfies a writer’s needs. And so, in honor of Twain’s birthday, we did an office poll: what’s your favourite pen?


One item that can always be found with me is a Uni-ball Vision pen. There’s something about the generous ink distribution that brings my mediocre hand writing up a notch—letters are lengthened and gracefully flood the page. This pen was perfect for the disenfranchised poetry I wrote in my youth and the soliloquies I wrote in university. I’m fairly certain I sit up straighter, and I may even choose my words more… carefully when a write a note with Uni. In the past, some may have been dissuaded by a few small shortcomings quirks of the pen; I once mailed a cheque on a rainy day and it was returned to me with all of the ink washed away… However the highly intelligent people who make this pen have since come out with a waterproof version. Now that’s perfection.


My favourite pen is the Sharpie Pen. Not the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker. There is a distinction here, my friends. The Sharpie Pen has the perfect flow of a ball point, and the thick, dark ink of a marker all wrapped in one wonderful, smear resistant, thin point that won’t bleed through your papers. While you have your classic blacks and blues, this pen also comes in ten colours, so feel free to make a statement! The Sharpie Pen is best matched with a Moleskin notebook and a strong latte.


My favourite pen of all time is the Energel Liquid Gel pen. Not just any liquid gel pen, the Energel Liquid Gel pen. There is a fine line between this gel pen and other basic gel pens here. The Energel has a smooth movement to the ball point, a deep rich gel, which comes in many different colours and most definitely does not bleed though your paper. You won’t have to worry about your pen fading with this amazing pen. I not only recommend you to go out and buy this pen, I strongly encourage it. Once you use this pen… you will never want to go back to any other pen.


When we first discussed the importance of pens, it became clear to me that some of us may very well have enough material for an entire blog series of Adventures with Writing Implements. Me, I have no pen loyalty. I’m more of the “if-it-can-make-marks-on-paper-I’m-writing-with-it” type. I’ve used everything from berry pink lipliner to bits of charred wood as writing implements before. Not that I would recommend either for their staying power, but desperate times call for desperate measures. By “desperate” I don’t necessarily mean something so glamorous as needing to dash out a best-seller book idea on a napkin (still waiting!) but, like many writing types, I do think better on paper.

Disagree? Are we completely overlooking the ideal pen? Should we all go out and buy Conklin’s Self-Filling Pen instead (still around, apparently!), make pencils our friends, or stick to that classic feather quill we venerate in our logo? Let us know about your writing weapon of choice in the comments section!

About this Contributor:

Word Alive Press is a Christian book publishing company that provides professional book publishing, sales, marketing and distribution services all in one facility!

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