Subject: May Newsletter // Hope for those seeking help: A new book, a new fellowship, an upcoming conference & new summer classes

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"Writing the hard thing will require a great deal more of you than had you taken a safer route, but once you've committed to it and bled all over the page, you'll find it was worth the effort."
True Stories of Working Through Mental Illness 
"Hope for those seeking help."
- Booklist
18 true stories highlighting struggles and breakthroughs for both patients and therapists. Just in time for Mental Health Month.

In any given year, one in four Americans suffers from a diagnosable mental illness—and yet there is still a significant stigma attached to being labeled “mentally ill.”

We hear about worst-case scenarios, but in some—maybe even most—cases, there is much room for hope. Intimate and sincere, these narratives set out to prove that compassion can trump diagnosis and even help patients move forward with their lives. In Same Time Next Week: True Stories of Working Through Mental Illness, eighteen writers attempt to look past their titles of patient and therapist, and candidly relay their struggles and triumphs.

Real. Personal. Stories.
We are delighted to announce the winners of our recent “Memoir” contest, chosen by the magazine’s editors from more than 1,700 submissions.

Kelly Fig Smith won the first-place prize of $1,000 for her essay “Do No Harm.” An excerpt from her memoir-in-progress, Smith’s essay tells the story of her first pregnancy, which ended in a stillbirth. She meditates on the experience of loss and the quality of interactions between patients and healthcare providers. “In every moment,” she observes, “we possess an astonishing ability to affect (sometimes permanently) the lives of those we encounter, to do either great good or great harm.” Read our interview with Kelly here.

Emily Bernard won the $500 runner-up prize for her essay “Black is the Body,” which examines race and identity through the experiences of her twin daughters, who at age six argued between themselves whether they were “brown” or “black.”
Creative Nonfiction #55: "The Memoir Issue" (Spring 2015) also includes new work by Brenna Fitzgerald, Marilyn Moriarty, D.T. Nguyen, Suzanne Roberts, Scott Loring Sanders, Mimi Schwartz, Gillian Smith, Ron Tanner, and Gina Warren. 

This issue is big--not only in size (with twice as many true stories as usual!), but also in scope, illustrating thorny issues such as the power (and fallibility) of memory; the challenges of telling other people’s stories accurately; and the art of self-analysis and reflection.

The end result is a hulk of an issue that showcases and celebrates the rich possibilities of the form. You don’t want to miss this one.

Get this special double issue here, or…

All subscriptions begin with CNF #55
Join us in Pittsburgh for panels and presentations focusing on the art of telling powerful first-person narratives.  
Presenters include:

LEE GUTKIND Founding Editor, Creative Nonfiction
STEPHANIE BANE Brand Strategist, Smith Brothers Agency
JASON BITTEL Columnist, Earthwire
TORIE BOSCH Editor, Future Tense
RACHEL EKSTROM Agent, Goodman Literary Agency
HATTIE FLETCHER Managing Editor, Creative Nonfiction 
MAGGIE JONES Contributing Writer, The New York Times
SAEED JONES Literary Editor, BuzzFeed
JILL KANDEL Writer, Autumn House Nonfiction Prize Winner
ADAM KUSHNER Outlook Editor, The Washington Post
EMILY LOOSE Agent, Editor & Publishing Consultant
DINTY W. MOORE Editor, Brevity
Online registration closes 11:59 PM EST, Wednesday, May 20th
Onsite registration is available for Friday & Saturday only
Questions? Contact the conference coordinator, Kristina Marusic, at
We Want Your Best Stuff

We're seeking submissions for a special issue of CNF and an anthology.

Jun 12
Writing Pittsburgh: Neighborhoods 
Pitch your story: The first book in the Writing Pittsburgh series will focus on Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods as a defining and transformative feature of the city and surrounding areas. 
What to send: Ideas for true stories that show change over time; that feature vivid characters; and that have something important to say to a national audience. The book will include at least ten original narratives, each focused on a different neighborhood.

Aug 31
What's on the line: $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up; publication in CNF.
What to send: True stories that portray what married life is all about. Whether you've celebrated your 50th anniversary or 5th marriage; eloped to Vegas or fought for (or against) marriage equality in DC; just filed your divorce papers or proposed to your high school sweetheart, tell us your story.

Spend a Year Working with CNF

Interested in learning more about small press publishing from the inside? We're offering a one-year publishing fellowship. Fellows will work mainly on the Writing Pittsburgh project, but will also have the opportunity to work on other CNF projects, including the magazine and books. Because CNF is a small nonprofit organization, the fellow will also have the opportunity to learn about everything—not just the editorial work—related to indie publishing, from marketing to distribution to event planning.

The fellowship is open to anyone; we’re happy to work with current students who might be eligible to get course credit, but we’re equally open to working with non-students. $5,000 stipend paid over the course of the fellowship.

Deadline for applications is June 1, 2015.
Tell Your Story, Better

Summer is a great time to try something new or explore uncharted territory. Take a literary excursion into a new type of writing.

Whether you're heading to an exotic destination abroad or relaxing closer to home, Creative Nonfiction's summer online classes give you the chance to experiment with new subjects or forms in a condensed 4-week format. 
Here's what we're offering starting in July...
The Art of the Pitch >>
Learn how to turn an inkling of an idea into a sparkling pitch that editors will not be able to ignore

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

Experimental Forms >>
Discover a variety of strategies for innovation in nonfiction writing and explore new structures, hybrid forms, and nonstandard narrative perspectives

Food Writing >>
Get cooking on your food memoir, blog, or narrative cookbook and learn about the wide range of publishing outlets for food writing

Introduction to Nonfiction Podcasting >>
Produce a powerful audio narrative story that can stand alone or be the first in a series of podcasts

Magazine Writing >>
Explore the world through a writer's eyes to create the kinds of profiles and investigative pieces featured in magazines like the New Yorker, Harper's, the Atlantic, and Creative Nonfiction

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

Writing the Personal Essay >>
Whether you're a beginning or more experienced writer, learn how to tell your story with dialogue and detail while developing a better understanding of form and structure
Enroll today
Classes begin Monday, July 6th

Questions? Please email our director of online education, Anjali Sachdeva, at
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:

@anna_praznik: The dove sits on the roof. Cooing, waiting. Silhouetted by the sun. White feathers, black shingles. Her partner never comes. 
10:46 AM - 8 Apr 2015

‏@ChrisGNguyen: Dad repeats his old stories. I sigh, then realise: if he repeats them enough, I might remember them when he stops telling them.
5:01 PM - 19 Apr 2015

@ARtwistfic: A line on a zoo sign reads, The golden toad is now extinct. Is it the loss that pains me or the fact it can be summed in 6 words?
8:06 AM - 20 Apr 2015

@KatAnneCasey: There is a small cluster of white hairs above my left temple. I pull them out like they are candles on a cake. Make a wish.
8:48 AM - 30 Apr 2015

@anikawriter: First it was princess dresses, then mommy's sunglasses. Now she tries on bad words. They fit badly and she trips.
10:41 PM - 30 Apr 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.
What we're reading
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Our Roots Are Deep with Passion

Thoughtful, poignant, and hilarious personal essays collected by the editors of Creative Nonfiction explore the meanings of Italian-American identity.

In the twenty-one nonfiction narratives collected in Our Roots Are Deep with Passion, established and emerging writers with family ties to Italy reflect on the ways that their lives have been accented with uniquely Italian-American flavors.

Originally published by Other Press in 2006, this collection is now available as an e-book
Creative Nonfiction, 5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, United States
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