Subject: January News // Some great weather is on the way

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"There's an element of mystery to the weather; that's what keeps it interesting."

- Lee Gutkind, "What's the Story #58"
Let's Talk About the Weather
Can you believe this weather we’re having? 

We’re not just making small talk: our winter issue, Creative Nonfiction #58, is all about the weather. Whether enveloped in fog, stranded in a blizzard, or steering through a sea squall, the writers featured in this issue are battling forces larger than themselves. That’s what the weather does, after all: puts us in our place.

Plus, Al Roker talks about the challenges of writing creative nonfiction; Dot Earth blogger Andrew C. Revkin reflects on 30 years of covering climate change; memoirists share their favorite research technology; tiny truths; and more.

Not a subscriber? Sign up by January 22nd and be among the first to receive CNF #58. 
Registration Now Open!
Three days exploring the art, craft, and business of creative nonfiction with authors, editors, agents, and publishers. 

Whether you're writing your first essay or article or have a couple of books under your belt–from brainstorming to book promotion–we have something for you.

In just three days you can meet one-on-one with a literary agent, get advice from professional writers, learn about publishing options, and hone your skills in an inspiring small-group session. You’ll also connect with writers from across the country who share your excitement about the writing process.

Join us...
MAY 27-29
Wyndham University Center
Pittsburgh, PA

Presenters & master class instructors include
Lee Gutkind (founding editor, Creative Nonfiction), Nick Courage (book marketer), Rachel Ekstrom (agent), Lise Funderburg (CNF mentor), Geeta Kothari (Kenyon Review), Dinty W. Moore (editor, Brevity), Adriana E. Ramírez (winner, 2015 PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize), Neil White (Nautilus Publishing) & many others. 

One- or three-day conference passes are available.

Questions? Contact our director of education, Anjali Sachdeva at
We Want Your Best Stuff

We're seeking submissions for upcoming issues of CNF and an anthology:

Learning from Nature (a special issue of CNF)
What's on the line$5,000 for best essay, sponsored by the Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University; $1,000 for runner-up; publication in CNF.
What we're looking forTrue stories about how we learn from nature—whether it’s businesses routing delivery vehicles according to models inspired by ant foraging, energy-efficient skyscrapers modeled after termite mounds, or more abstract sources of inspiration. We’re looking for well-crafted narratives that will illuminate the relationship between humans and the environment, particularly as we face the challenges of climate change.
View guidelines ›

Mar 7
Siblings (a book)
What to send: True stories that capture the complexities and comforts of sibling relationships. We hope to represent the widest possible variety of these relationships—whether adoptive or biological, step or full, human or animal, one or many.
View guidelines ›

May 16
Joy (a special issue of CNF)
What's on the line: $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up; publication in CNF.
What we're looking for: Well-crafted narratives that explore the brighter moments in life, those that teach and enlighten us through their beauty or humor. Send us your true stories of once-in-a-lifetime moments, finding pleasure in small things, or seeking out the joy in the midst of otherwise difficult circumstances. 
What to be joyful about: No reading fee for current subscribers!
View guidelines ›

Tell Your Story, Better

Creative Nonfiction's online classes have helped more than 2,000 writers tell their stories better. How can we help you? 

Our online classes give you the opportunity to learn on a flexible schedule that fits your needs. Participants receive personal feedback from their instructors on each assignment, and all instructors are university professors and/or working professional writers. Firm deadlines and feedback help keep you writing and improving your work throughout the class.

The 10-week spring session will begin March 28, 2016. We'll be offering the following classes:
  • Advanced Memoir & Personal Essay
  • Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp (5- & 10-week classes)
  • NEW! Flash Essays (4-week class)
  • Foundations of Creative Nonfiction
  • Introduction to Audio Storytelling & Podcasting
  • Magazine Writing
  • Writing the Nonfiction Book Proposal
  • Writing the Personal Essay
  • Writing the Tough Stuff

Looking for more individualized support? 
We also offer one-on-one mentoring.

Writers at every level can use guidance when it comes to shaping and refining their work. The Creative Nonfiction Mentoring Program gives writers one-on-one access to accomplished mentors (who, by the way, aren't just great writers, but experienced teachers and editors, too).

Since all writers and writing projects are different, every program is customized to meet the needs of each incoming mentee. Whether you're trying to publish, find your voice as a writer, draft a book proposal, or receive specific feedback, we can create a program that's right for you.

Writing Away the Stigma Update

We're pleased to introduce our 2016 Writing Away the Stigma FellowsThis spring, the Fellows will take part in a series of writing workshops led by Lee Gutkind, founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, to tell their true stories of mental illness. 

In May, they will share those stories during a number of public events in the Pittsburgh area. (We’re looking for organizations to co-host events; if you’re interested in learning more, please contact our Writing Away the Stigma intern, Sara Button:

The Writing Away the Stigma project kicks off with a free writing workshop on January 24 at Winchester Thurston School. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

Can you tell a true story in a tweet?

Our daily Twitter contest is a great way to get your work into Creative Nonfiction. To join, follow us @cnfonline and tag your submissions #cnftweet. 

Here are a few of our recent favorites:

@JennRHubbard: A fox stalked through our yard. Last week it was deer. Habitat loss turns the suburbs wild.
1:45 PM - 4 Dec 2015

@existitchialism: Spotting a loaf of bread abandoned in the Walmart book aisle, I realize that I, too, need to reevaluate my priorities.
12:38 AM - 11 Dec 2015

@JennRHubbard: The moths bred secretly in a bag of birdseed. We hunt them throughout the house, scrutinizing every dark spot on the walls.
12:46 PM - 11 Dec 2015

@anikawriter: I got the job because someone else didn't show up. Employment by default is both vaguely insulting and strangely life-affirming.
5:09 PM - 11 Dec 2015

@WilliamReagan: Just outside the polyester snowscape of the North Pole, Santa chats with the cell phone kiosk clerk while an elf scrolls Facebook.
7:34 PM - 15 Dec 2015

All past winners are available on our profile page under the "Favorites" tab.

Want to know more about the art of micro-essaying? Read this roundtable discussion with some of the more prolific #cnftweet-ers.
A  Picture Worth 2,200 Characters 

We're excited to announce that we're expanding the micro-essay contest to Instagram. 

Participating is simple. Follow us on Instagram (@creativenonfiction). Post an original photo. Write a CNF-worthy caption (note: IG limits captions to 2,200 characters). Add the hashtags #cnfgram and #tinytruth. And we'll do the rest.

What are we looking for? The same thing we look for in #cnftweets and submissions to the magazine: “True stories, well told.” Find inspiration in an amazing place, an unforgettable character, a moment in time, or current events. Use a photo (note: it should be a photo that you yourself took) to tell half your story and a crafted caption to tell the rest.

Every week we'll repost our favorite to our Instagram feed--and we'll share one in our newsletter monthly (like the one below), and one on our website every third month.

Check out some of these early examples to experience the breadth of options this mixed media format offers… from travel essays to memoir to political discourse to research-driven exploratory narratives! 
drebelle Galeano writes in Celebration of Contradictions/2, What it all comes down to is that we are the sum of our efforts to change who we are. Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case, but rather the endlessly astonishing synthesis of the contradictions of everyday life. • In the 1930s, five minutes west of this San Elizario plaza, my grandmother picked cotton alongside her father and younger brother. She says her hands were small, and she could pick bolls fast. Her father didn't believe in god, but in work and then the bottle. • Sixty years earlier, the Salinero Revolt raged. Crops went without care or harvest. Marginalization of the native people grew. The town doesn't forget its history. • Tonight, I drive to San Elizario for my first ever posada. People of the community light candles inside of white paper bags filled with sand. The sun seems to crawl in its setting tonight. There is a practice run of the re-enactment. From the microphone in the center of the plaza, the director tells the children, The angels are following too close behind--slow down. • The sheriff walks around, the only white man in this square at the moment, careful not to tip a luminaria. The three teenage wise men look on: one of them talks on his cell phone while another wears a shirt with a photo of four Native Americans on it. The text above the photo reads: HOMELAND SECURITY; below: FIGHTING TERRORISM SINCE 1492. • Believers, doubters, and non-believers gather around in front of the church, eating tamales and drinking champurrado. The piñata star hangs for all to see, but all are looking at the lights. #cnfgram #tinytruth
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