Subject: May 2018 // New issue of True Story, new workshops, & last call for “Home” submissions.

Plus: We're hiring!
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"Each little story is being reported by someone who thinks they may have the key to the mystery."
- FRITZ SWANSON, "Magpie & Maniac"
The Perfect Pair

Inspired by the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's classic, the spring issue of Creative Nonfiction (#66: "Dangerous Creations") is devoted to real-life Frankenstein stories. In these true tales about the intersections of technological innovation and the human condition, writers consider prenatal surgeries, lifesaving medical interventions, and the limitations of science and medicine. In the modern era, what does it mean to be a monster?

Plus, Heather Sellers discusses writing through dark places; Jennifer R. Hubbard explores how technology is changing the way we think; Jenny Boully takes a closer look at beginnings and endings; tweeters share their tiny truths; and more.

And in the latest issue of True Story, #17: "Unmolested" by Michael Lowenthal, an openly gay alum returns to his all-boys summer camp as a “guest-star counselor.” But then, he finds himself not only a role model but also the object of an adolescent camper’s crush.

Subscribe today ›
Subscriptions start with Creative Nonfiction #66 and/or True Story #17
The 2018 Writers' Conference Presenters

As the 2018 CNF WRITERS' CONFERENCE approaches, we thought it would be fun to take a few moments to introduce you to this year's stellar lineup.

We asked our presenters to give us a little preview of what they'll be talking about later this month. They sent back so many terrific, insightful responses (a small selection of which are below or you can read them all here), and we can't wait to have all these talented writers, editors, and teachers in the same room!

JENNIFER BAKER // Writing for Online & Digital Outlets

"To some, digital means 'fast' and 'short' specifically, which is and isn't true. Yes, digital outlets constantly post information and some of it is more timely than others, but that doesn't mean the writing of more developed ideas should be done quickly."

DAISY HERNÁNDEZ // The Lyric Essay

"You don't have to be a poet to write a lyric essay. In fact, the lyric essay is an especially juicy adventure for writers who are nervous about letting go of the story line, about trusting the music of language itself."

BRYANT SIMON // Using History & Research to Tell a Better Story

"History can deepen any creative nonfiction story. Everyone, and every story, has a past . . . a past that shapes people and their ideas, and sometimes, a past they want to escape. Understanding those pasts will provide depth and texture to our storytellin
Reserve your spot ›
Fewer than 20 spots left!
View the daily schedule & the full list of presenters.
Join Our Team

Creative Nonfiction is hiring a part-time Events & Building Manager. Help build our schedule of Pittsburgh workshops and other events! Apply here
We Want Your Best Stuff

We're seeking submissions for upcoming issues of CNF and True Story:
Home (a special issue of CNF)
What we’re looking for: True stories about finding a place in the world to call your own.

Jul 16
Let's Talk About Sex (a special issue of CNF)
What’s on the line: $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up.
What we’re looking for: True stories about doing it—whether you’re straight, gay, or other; alone, in a couple, or in a crowd; doing it for the first time or the last, or not doing it at all.

True Story (monthly mini-magazine)
What it is: Each issue of True Story features one exceptional work of creative nonfiction, distributed in print and digitally.
What we're looking for: Previously unpublished works of narrative nonfiction between 5,000 and 10,000 words long, on any subject, in any style. Surprise us!

Pitch Us a Column
What we're looking for: Have an idea for a literary timeline? An opinion on essential texts for readers and/or writers? An in-depth, working knowledge of a specific type of nonfiction? Pitch us your ideas. We're always accepting query letters for the non-essay sections of the magazine. We're especially interested in pitches related to upcoming themes: Risk, Intoxication, Home, and Sex.
Write Now at Creative Nonfiction

CNF’s writing workshops can help you get motivated, find a writing community, and more.

Jun 16
When Pain Becomes Art with Kelly Sundberg
Trauma-based nonfiction is popular in this current moment, but what personal and professional costs are associated with writing about trauma? How can we maintain a literary standard when writing about loaded topics? How can we resist an impulse towards melodrama and cliché?

Jul 11, 18, 25, Aug 1
The Art of Time in Nonfiction with Kevin Haworth
Literary work, like cinema, is a sequential form of art that unfolds in time. But how can you use time to its fullest potential in your essay or memoir? Learn how to conceptualize the frame of a story, manage writing stories that cover varying lengths of time, experiment with nonlinear chronologies (without losing your readers), and slow down or speed up scenes to suit the story you want to tell.
Get an alert when this class opens »
Jul 14
The Pit & the Page
Thinking like an Archaeologist to Reveal New Literary Material with Elizabeth Mosier
When writing personal narrative, it can be easy to overlook or discount the most telling details from your life because they are familiar or too commonplace to warrant notice. But for archaeologists, everyday objects are material evidence, full of meaning that helps us realign the deeper truth of experience with the stories we tell about who we are and how we live.
Get an alert when this class opens »

New to our writing programs? Save 50% on your first workshop when you use discount code WORKSHOP50 during checkout.
Tell Your Story, Better

Our online classes have helped more than 2,500 writers tell their stories better. How can we help you?

CNF's online courses 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 5-week summer sessions begin June 25, 2018.

Creative Nonfiction Summer Boot Camp
Build momentum and develop essential writing habits that will allow you to reach your writing goals

Digital Storytelling
Use digital multimedia technologies to tell engaging and interactive stories that invite reader participation and collaboration

Eureka! Science Writing for General Audiences
Gain writing and research skills—everything from general literary techniques to interviewing and fact-checking—that will help you craft engaging nonfiction about scientific discovery, research, and policy

Experimental Forms
Explore new structures, hybrid forms, and nonstandard narrative perspectives, and discover strategies for innovation in nonfiction writing

NEW! Extraordinary Embodiment
Writing Chronic Illness & Disability
Understand and push against the expected narratives

Historical Narratives
Bring the past to life! Get insight into how to translate facts and research into vivid characters and scenes

I to Eye
Integrating Research into the Personal Essay
"Memoir" may start with "me" ... but there's room for so much more

Spiritual Writing
Find the balance between the personal and the powerful, and learn how to share your deepest truths with readers of differing beliefs or traditions

The Revision Workshop
Learn the tools of effective micro- and macro-revision, give and get feedback from your peers, and pick up advice for submitting your work for publication

[NOTE: The Approaching Mystery: Writing Flash Memoir about Wonder and the Unexplained course is already sold out.] 

Enroll today
Classes begin Monday, June 25
Sign up by June 4 & save $50

Questions? Please email our director of online education, Sharla Yates, at
From the Desk of the Godfather

​Explore the genre with Lee as he blogs about the history, ethics, craft, and structure of creative nonfiction. Tune in biweekly to glean tricks of the trade and hear from other greats of the genre.

Recent posts include "A Book with a Lasting Impact" and "The Trouble with Writing Science." And you can read it all here ›

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:

@DDSyrdal: To this day, a winter sunset sky of soft reds, pinks and oranges transports me. I am eight-years-old again, trudging home to the warmth of the kitchen where I take off my snow-caked boots and mittens.
6:16 PM - 27 Apr 2018

@Evan_Hoyle3: I walked into a house full of family, friends, and balloons. Black and pink rubber bags filled with helium signifying so much. No more hair loss, no more port, no more poison. We cut our ties with chemo filled black balloons, as we embraced the pink ones - and survival.
8:20 AM - 27 Apr 2018

@WilliamReagan: He arrived just in time to catch the train, but stood on the platform as the doors closed and it pulled away. "Sorry," he said into his phone, "I missed the train."
4:25 PM - 26 Apr 2018

@GypsyHausfrau: Grandpa Skluzacek was a silent man. Dad said he was angry, but maybe deep in his psyche were swirls of color, Bohemian forests, secret lakes with waves of silver fish. Maybe he didn’t know how he ever got here.
8:41 AM - 16 Apr 2018

@MPMcCune2: For years I called the yellow flowers Forcynthia, after my best friend told me they were named after her. In my child-sized world she was a star, and if a flower could be named after the lace of a long dead queen, why not after her?
1:05 PM - 13 Apr 2018

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

Want to know more about the art of micro-essaying? Read this roundtable discussion with some of our more prolific #cnftweet-ers.

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Creative Nonfiction, 5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, United States
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