"[T]he typical lifespan for a literary magazine appears to be roughly that of a major household appliance: anything over 10 years is gravy."  

- The New York Times

An Issue Dedicated to Our Readers



The quotation at the top of this newsletter is relevant for two reasons: 1) there's gravy in it, which makes us think about our upcoming Thanksgiving dinners, and 2) it's an unfortunately astute observation about the challenges of keeping a literary magazine going.

When we first encountered that quote, in 2005, Creative Nonfiction was already a full two years into the gravy. And we admit it, we felt lucky enough then. But now, as we approach our 20th anniversary and our 50th (!) issue, we feel incredibly thankful--and only part of that has to do with the holiday.    


And while we have many things to be thankful for this year, we are thankful most of all for you: our readers. Your readership, support, and enthusiasm for the magazine (and the genre) all these many years, have helped keep us going (both literally and figuratively). 


In return, we're offering you the best gift we can think of: a heaping plateful of our best stuff. Creative Nonfiction #50: "CNF Gold," headed your way soon, is a big deal--and that's not just hype. CNF #50 spans two seasons (Fall and Winter!) and is nearly double the length of a normal issue. 


It's also the ultimate reading experience: an in-depth primer and a kickass introduction for anyone new to the magazine (or the genre) that will also provide longtime readers with new insight and never-before-told stories about the origins of Creative Nonfiction--and a peek into the future--from founding editor Lee Gutkind.

PLUS: We're bringing out some of our greatest hits. The issue features ten remarkable true stories from our first 50 issues, with new introductions from CNF editors past and present. 
Or subscribe & be among the first to receive the issue. 
We Want Your Best Stuff 

We're seeking submissions for two upcoming publications: a new anthology from In Fact Books and an issue of CNF.

March 1 
Mental Health Anthology 
What to send: Well-written, true narratives about the enigmatic, creative, frustrating, and triumphant moments of the recovery process and the therapeutic journey. View guidelines.

May 31
The Memoir Issue 
What's on the line: $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up; publication in an issue of CNF 
What to send: New stories that are honest, accurate, informative, intimate, and--most important--true. Whether your story is revelatory or painful, hilarious or tragic, if it's about you and your life, we want to read it. View guidelines. 
Help Us Build a Stronger Organization

Do you have business or project management experience--especially (but not exclusively) working with nonprofit organizations? The Creative Nonfiction Foundation is seeking one or two new board members who can help us achieve administrative efficiency.

If this idea appeals to you and you'd like to find out more about the responsibilities of serving on the Creative Nonfiction Foundation's board, please e-mail Patricia Park, Board Treasurer (
Of course, we understand joining a board isn't for everyone. If you'd like to contribute in another way, please consider sending a year-end tax-deductible donation. Your support helps make all of our publishing and educational programs possible. 
Tell Your Story, Better
Let's face it: the only thing any of us are going to accomplish over the next few weeks is eating too much. But if you're looking to get back into writing shape in 2014, CNF can help motivate and sustain your writing life.
It's never too early to start planning your New Year's resolution.

Online Classes
Do you need a flexible schedule? Want personal feedback on your work? Work better with deadlines?

Whether you're just starting out or are looking for an advanced class to help refine and polish your work, there's an online class for you. Courses this winter:
Click here to learn more about the classes.


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, CNF can create a program that's right for you.

 Can you tell a true story in a single 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:

@SarahShelton The puppy wants to explore every pebble, smell each dandelion leaf, question the beetle; the man just wants to reach the corner. 2:05 PM - 1 Oct 13 
@MeghanKBarnes Sometimes people still show up at the house because they miss you & we sit on the sofa and pretend like you're coming back. 7:20 AM - 2 Oct 13 
@amalchik Four editors read the textbook before me. I correct commas and tenses. The six-year-olds will have to get it right the first time. 9:33 AM - 9 Oct 13 
@shawnajkenney He showed me a drawer full of mismatched food containers and lids, saying "this is why my wife left me." 2:15 PM - 10 Oct 13 
@MotelHeartache 1985. Teacher made me and a kid fistfight to get it over with. 2013. A kid is expelled for making a gun with his fingers. 5:52 PM - 30 Oct 13

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


What others are reading


What you're missing on


Dec 16
Early registration ends
Jan 6
Online Classes:
10-week courses begin
Feb 26 - Mar 1
AWP Conference
Seattle, WA
Mar 1 
May 24 - 26
CNF Writers' Conference  
Pittsburgh, PA
May 31 

Stories that matter.
Follow us.

facebook icon twitter icon