For the past 24 years, Eau Claire Writer-in-Residence Ken Szymanski has posed the same challenge to each of his classes at DeLong Middle School: Can you escape Cell 7346?

When he wrote his first choose-your-own adventure book at age 13 –“Escape From Cell 7346," he had no idea that he would be an English teacher – or that he would create the ultimate, inescapable plot line of a would-be New York Times bestselling novel (if he ever published it).

But, this year – with students muzzled with masks – one has to wonder: is this the year students can finally escape the literary prison? And what does this fun, challenging story have to do with the way that fads, fashions, and teaching methods have evolved since 1983?

This is the second episode of our new series “Visual/Voice,” which features some of the best writers in the region visually vocalizing their words that appear in our pages. Enjoy!

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