Creative Nonfiction (magazine)


Creative Nonfiction (magazine)
Creative Nonfiction
Frequency Quarterly
First issue 1993 (1993-month)
Company Creative Nonfiction Foundation
Country United States
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Website creativenonfiction.org

Creative Nonfiction is a literary magazine based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The journal was founded by Lee Gutkind in 1993 making it the first literary magazine to publish, exclusively and on a regular basis, high quality nonfiction prose. In Spring 2010, Creative Nonfiction evolved from journal to magazine format with the addition of new sections such as writer profiles, essays on the craft of writing as well as updates on developments in the literary non-fiction scene. Today, with a circulation of over 7,000, Creative Nonfiction is the largest literary magazine devoted to the genre and to serving a variety of readers, from nonfiction and journalism enthusiasts to poetry and fiction writers, editors and agents.

In its brief history, Creative Nonfiction has already achieved much acclaim. An essay from Creative Nonfiction: Issue 31, "The Writers in the Silos," was reprinted in Harper's September 2007 issue. In 2006 Toi Derricotte's essay "Beginning Dialogues" was featured in The Best American Essays, and two essays, "Road Kill" by Kate Krautkramer and "Ghost Children" by D. Winston Brown, appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

In the past few years, Creative Nonfiction has begun to publish books in collaboration with a number of different publishers, including W.W. Norton and SMU Press.

Contents


Past Issues

Number Year Title Issue Description Contributing Authors
1 1994 Creative Nonfiction The Premiere Issue - the one that started it all.

• Mimi Schwartz
Richard Goodman
Michael Pearson

2 1994 Poets Writing Prose Poetry and creative nonfiction have a lot in common, deftness of word choice and the attention to detail to name a few. In this issue renowned and emerging poets cross forms to produce works of prose.

Margaret Gibson
Adrienne Rich
Michael Stevens
Richard Hague
Charles Simic

3 1995 Emerging Women Writers This issue features work by emerging women writers who tell intricately detailed stories while being incisive, reflective and deeply personal.

Jeanne Marie Laskas
Lauren Slater

4 1995 Creative Nonfiction Classics This issue brings together classic essays (and a few new ones) that have helped charter the genre and develop it into what it is today.

John McPhee
• Samuel F. Pickering
Jonathan Holden
• Elizabeth Hodges
Louis Simpson
Gay Talese

5 1996 Fathers and Fatherhood This collection gives special attention to the memory of fathers and the importance of their role in family life and the lives of the authors.

Phillip Lopate
Hilary Masters
Moritz Thomsen
Linda Pastan
Bret Lott
Gordon Lish

6 1996 The Essayist at Work This issue gives the reader a chance to learn more about the craft and process of writing an essay through profiles and stories about the work of authors.

Annie Dillard
Michael Pearson
Hilary Masters
Scott Chisholm
Michael Stephens
Ellen Gilchrist
Gay Talese
Tracy Kidder
Barbara Adams

7 1996 Points of View This issue contains examples of the potential of the genre and of how much can be accomplished with focused commitment. It also serves as a model of the varied points of view achievable in writing creative nonfiction--from the distance of immersion/reportage to the personal closeness and intimacy of poetry.

Maxine Kumin
Mark Bowden
Charles Simic
David Hamilton

8 1997 Mostly Memoir Just as the title implies, this issue provides a short glimpse into the lives of the writers. The authors are sharing something special and true in this collection: their own stories.

Ellen Gilchrist
Phillip Lopate
• Elizabeth Hodges
Alec Wilkinson
John McPhee

9 1997 Surviving Crisis This issue highlights some of the most intimate, personal, and challenging moments of the authors' lives. Age, life, and disappointment are common themes throughout this collection. (Special Double Issue)

John McPhee
Lauren Slater
• Reginald Gibbons
Annie Dillard
Marjorie Gross
Scott Murphy
Richard Rodriguez
Andre Dubus
Cynthia Ozick
John Edgar Wideman

9.5 1998 The Universal Chord Creative nonfiction essays should strike a universal chord—establish a special place, register an insight, moment, or idea that might be shared and appreciated by a larger readership. All of the essays in this issue will make readers care about what the writers care about—about a place, a time of life, a friend, or loved one. About the things which make all our lives meaningful and interesting.

Brian Doyle
Ntozake Shange
• A. D. Coleman
Madison Smartt Bell
Michael Pearson

10 1998 Style and Substance The essays in this issue are examples of how writers can blend style and substance, while using a personal voice. The essays in this issue demonstrate the true potential of creative nonfiction.

Lee Gutkind
• Mimi Schwartz
Madison Smartt Bell
John Hales
Christopher Buckley

11 1998 A View from the Divide This special double issue demonstrates the many ways in which aspects of the scientific world--from biology, medicine, physics, and astronomy--can be captured and dramatized for a humanities-oriented readership. This collection of essays captures a range of ideas combining literary style and intellectual substance. These works come from poets, immunologists and physicists, established writers and up-and-coming new talent. (Special issue published by University of Pittsburgh Press.)

Susan Mann
James Glanz

12 1999 Emerging Women Writers II This follow up issue again features work by emerging women writers who tell intricately detailed stories while being incisive, reflective and deeply personal.

Beth Kephart

13 1999 The Brain: A Nonfiction Mystery This issue explores attempts to live normally with damaged brains and with brains affected by drugs. All the stories are tough illustrations of the complications that interfere with life when the brain is affected even slightly and subtly.

• Floyd Skloot
David Goldblatt
James Glanz

14 2000 What Men Think, What Men Write Although the themes of What Men Think, What Men Write significantly differ from those in the Emerging Women Writers issues, what is worth noting about this narrative nonfiction is not so much what distinguishes the men writers from the women, but more what doesn't.

Lee Martin
• C.K. Williams
Gregory Martin
Madison Smartt Bell

15 2000 Lessons in Persuasion: Writers with Pittsburgh Roots or Connections Pittsburgh has always been--despite its industrial reputation--a great city in which to be a writer and, although Pittsburgh is not the subject of most of the essays in this issue, the featured authors are bound together by their affinity for the written word and their collective fondness for Pittsburgh. (Special issue published by University of Pittsburgh Press.)

Annie Dillard
• Lester Goran
Chuck Kinder
Hilary Masters
Diane Ackerman
Peter S. Beagle
Jan Beatty

16 2001 The Line Between Fact and Fiction This issue explores the importance of creative nonfiction in today's literary world. These essays deal with the division between fiction and nonfiction and why the distinctions matter.

• Czeslaw Milosz
David Goldblatt
• Jennifer White

17 2001 Between the Lines This issue features essays that, among other things, take us between the lines of writers and readers. These essays are writers writing about writing, and they do it in a variety of creative and informative contexts.

Brian Doyle
Molly Peacock
Bret Lott

18 2001 Intimate Details The essays published in this issue represent survival and change, expressed through dramatic stories and intimacy of detail.

Meredith Hall
Hal Herring
• Samuel Pickering

19 2002 Diversity Details In this issue, celebrated and emerging authors write essays about diversity that defy easy labels. To seek out some new voices for this collection, Creative Nonfiction teamed up with JPMorganChase to offer a $10,000 prize for narratives about the challenges faced by outsiders in a world where "normal," "regular" and "accepted" are the watchwords and all others are marginalized.

Lee Gutkind
Francine Prose
John Edgar Wideman
Andrei Codrescu
• Floyd Skloot
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Terry Tempest Williams
Richard Rodriguez

20 2003 Clarity This issue features writers searching for clarity in their lives, and the rest of the world, as they struggle to make social and personal changes.

Meredith Hall
Sam Anderson
• Lucinda Rosenfeld
Laurie Graham
Hilary Masters

21 2003 Rage and Reconciliation This issue features writers, both patients and doctors, exploring the current state of American health care. (This issue received generous support from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.)

Linda Peeno
Ron Grant
Beth Kephart

22 2004 Creative Nonfiction in the Crosshairs This issue responds to the recent barrage of criticism from journalists and critics of the genre.

Lee Gutkind
Michael Pearson

23 2004 Mexican Voices This issue seeks to understand how nonfiction forms have evolved in regions outside of the United States–specifically, in Mexico. These essays offer the reader more than the just an understanding of the literary traditions of Mexico.

Ilan Stavans
Juan Villoro
Alberto Ruy Sánchez
Rigoberto González
Homero Aridjis
Sergio Pitol
Ilan Stavans
Diane Ackerman

24/25 2004 In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction This anthology features the best writing published in Creative Nonfiction over its first ten years. Culled from the 300 pieces published in the journal, themselves chosen from over 10,000 manuscripts, the stories now published in In Fact showcase the possibilities of the genre in pieces by the famous, and those surely destined to be so. Each author has also included a reflection on the process of composing the particular piece included. (Special issue published by W. W. Norton & Co. to celebrate CNF's 10 year anniversary.)

Annie Dillard
Lauren Slater
John Edgar Wideman
Meredith Hall
John McPhee
Charles Simic
Terry Tempest Williams
Richard Rodriguez
Brian Doyle
Diane Ackerman
Mark Bowden
• Floyd Skloot
Andrei Codrescu
Madison Smartt Bell
Francine Prose
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Phillip Lopate

26 2005 The Poets and Writers Issue This issue features many writers whose work crosses the borders between literary genres, from poetry and fiction to creative nonfiction, and illustrates how the lines of division between writers may be disintegrating. The stories themselves also flirt with the idea of crossing boundaries - between life and death, between countries and cultures and languages, and between individuals.

Lee Gutkind
Hilary Masters
Toi Derricotte
Robert Wilder
Lauren Slater
Laurie Graham
Mark O'Connor
Ira Berkow

27 2005 Writing It Short This issue features highlights from the online creative nonfiction journal Brevity1, which challenges writers to do their best in fewer than 750 words.

Natalie Goldberg
Dinty W. Moore
Bret Lott
Brian Doyle
• Robin Hemley
Lori Jakiela
Michael Perry
David Shields
Lee Martin
Nicole Walker
• Floyd Skloot

28 2006 Essays from the Edge This issue features new voices exploring the darker side of life. These essays grapple with a difficult time in each author’s life.

Gay Talese
Meredith Hall
Margaret Price
Adam Gussow

29 2006 A Million Little Choices: The ABCs of CNF This issue contains a glossary of concise entries that define and explain the anchoring elements of the genre, from scene and dialogue to acknowledging your sources. (This issue has been republished, in expanded form, as Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction.)

Lee Gutkind
Daniel Nester

30 2006 Our Roots are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian American Writers Established and emerging writers reflect on the ways their lives have been accented with uniquely Italian American flavors. The pieces are as varied as their authors, but all explore the distinctive intersection of language, tradition, cuisine, and culture that characterize the diverse experience of Americans of Italian heritage.

Joe Mantegna
Maria Laurino
• Sandra M. Gilbert
Gina Barreca

31 2007 Imagining the Future: Writing and Publishing in 2025 and Beyond This issue brings together voices from across the publishing spectrum—from novelists and journalists to librarians and editors—all of them speculating about the ways literature and the business of writing will change in the coming decades.

Dinty W. Moore
David Henry Sterry
George Gibson
• Robin Hemley
Phillip Lopate
Astro Teller
Heidi Julavits
Ira Berkow
Marita Golden
Dennis Covington

32 2007 The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 1 Creative Nonfiction scoured alternative publications, blogs, literary journals and other often-overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas for essays written with panache and power. (Special issue published by W. W. Norton.)

Carol Smith
John O'Connor
Rebecca Skloot
Robin Black

33 2007 Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives The essays collected in Silence Kills present a compelling, and often frightening, look at the lack of communication and understanding currently plaguing the American health care system.

Abraham Verghese

34 2008 Anatomy of Baseball This collection of essays about the great American pastime dissects the game one element at a time to try to get at why we find ourselves in the stands or on the field, season after season.

Yogi Berra
Kevin Baker
Michael Shapiro
Philip F. Deaver
Frank Deford
John Thorn
Sean Wilentz
Jeff Greenfield

35 2008 The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2 Creative Nonfiction again scoured alternative publications, blogs, literary journals and other often-overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas for essays written with panache and power. (Special issue published by W. W. Norton.)

Heidi Julavits
Vijay Seshadri
James Renner
Stefan Fatsis
Pagan Kennedy
David Bradley
Ander Monson
Carol Richards

36 2009 First Lede, Real Lead This issue offers readers a look at the editorial process and the challenge of deciding where a story really begins.

• Laurie Rachkus Uttich
• Paul Bogard
• Howard Mansfield
• Claire McQuerry
• Anjali Sachdeva
• Carrie Seymour
• Maria Hummel
• Ashley Butler

37 2009 The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 Special issue published by W. W. Norton, book format.

• Sean Rowe
• Julianna Baggott
• Brenda Miller
Edwidge Danticat
Gregory Orr

38 2010 Essays: Immortality First issue in a new magazine style, no longer a journal format. Essays on "Immortality", interview with Dave Eggers, David Shields "required reading".

Richard Rodriguez
Dave Eggers
Phillip Lopate
David Shields
Bill McKibben
Lawrence M. Krauss
• Virginia Morell
Rebecca Skloot
Carolyn Forché
Todd May

39 2010 Pioneers of the Genre This issue pays tribute to pioneers of the genre such as Norman Mailer and Gay Talese.

Doris Kearns Goodwin
J. Michael Lennon
Lee Gutkind
• Michael Rosenwald
• Ayse Papatya Bucak
• Rachael Button
Toi Derricotte
John Gilmore
Jim Kennedy
• John Nosco
• Greta Schuler
Heidi Julavits
Phillip Lopate
• Robin Hemley
• Peter Ginna

40 2010 The Animals Issue Essays with a focus on animals plus an Encounter with Lauren Slater who talks about her writing process, truth, and why people get so angry with her; Phillip Lopate on the ethics of writing about other people and Sarah Z. Wexler on magazine editors' unwillingness to adopt to new technology

• Sarah Z. Wexler
Lauren Slater
Phillip Lopate
• Tessa Fontaine
• Jennifer Lunden
• Kateri Kosek
• Kelly Herbinson
• Randy Fertel
• Jeff Oaks
• Chester F. Phillips
Susan Cheever

41 2011 The Food Issue Stories about food and our relationship to what we eat--from pork to lasagna, and from pomegranates to toasted grasshoppers. Ruth Reichl talks about differences between men and women (in the kitchen and on the page) and how she's turning her Twitter feed into a book; Phillip Lopate shares an uncomfortable secret about teaching creative writing; and pieces are featured by Lee Gutkind, Robert Atwan, and others.

Past Contributors

CNF Books

Title Description Publisher Year ISBN
The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2 A special issue of Creative Nonfiction that features twenty-seven essays that originally appeared in alternative publications, blogs, literary journals, and other publications. W.W. Norton 2008 ISBN 978-0-393-33024-3
Anatomy of Baseball Twenty new and classic essays about the American past time. SMU Press 2008 ISBN 978-0-87074-522-5
Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction Provides writers with the working parameters of the creative nonfiction genre W.W. Norton 2008 ISBN 978-0-393-06561-9
Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives Twelve new essays written by physicians, patients, and family members. Explores the communication breakdown in the current American health care system SMU Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-87074-518-8
The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 1 A special issue of Creative Nonfiction that features twenty-seven essays that originally appeared in alternative publications, blogs, literary journals, and other publications. W.W. Norton 2007 ISBN 978-0-393-33003-8
Hurricanes and Carnivals: Essays by Chicanos, Pochos, Pachucos, Mexicanos, and Expatriates Originally published as Issue 23 of Creative Nonfiction, this book features fifteen essays that push the boundaries between fact and fiction. The University of Arizona Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-8165-2625-3
Our Roots are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian American Writers Twenty-one essays written by established and emerging writers that explore the unique intersections of language, tradition, cuisine, and culture that characterize the diverse experience of Americans of Italian heritage. Other Press 2006 ISBN 978-1-59051-242-5
Rage & Reconciliation: Inspiring a Health Care Revolution Originally published as issue 21 of Creative Nonfiction, the book includes new essays and an 80- minute CD containing three essays read by professional actors and a panel discussion of the ethical dimensions of the issues raised. Produced in conjunction with Pittsburgh's Jewish Healthcare Foundation, writers tackle health care in America, including problems of patient rights and professional responsibility. SMU Press 2005 ISBN 0-87074-503-4
In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction Twenty-five essays, all originally appearing in Creative Nonfiction, republished in honor of the journal's tenth anniversary. W.W. Norton 2005 ISBN 0-393-32665-9
Lessons in Persuasion: Creative Nonfiction/Pittsburgh Connections Eighteen essays written by writers with ties to the city of Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh Press 2000 ISBN 0-8229-5715-9
A View from the Divide: Creative Nonfiction on Health and Science Seventeen essays that attempt to demonstrate the many ways in which aspects of the scientific world--from biology, medicine, physics, and astronomy--can be captured and dramatized for a humanities-oriented readership. University of Pittsburgh Press 1998 ISBN 978-0822956853
The Art of Creative Nonfiction: Writing and Selling the Literature of Reality Introduces the genre of creative non-fiction and the process of structuring, researching and writing creative non-fiction essay. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1997 ISBN 0-471-11356-5

The CNF Foundation

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation pursues educational and publishing initiatives in the genre of literary nonfiction. Its objectives are to provide a venue, the journal Creative Nonfiction, for high quality nonfiction prose (memoir, literary journalism, personal essay); to serve as the singular strongest voice of the genre, defining the ethics and parameters of the field; and to broaden the genre's impact in the literary arena by providing an array of educational services and publishing activities.

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation was incorporated in 1994 and is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Creative Nonfiction Foundation is supported by public and private funds contributed by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, as well as by individual donors.

Educational Programs

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation offers a number of educational programs for teachers, students, and emerging writers.

Writing Institutes: Creative Nonfiction holds institutes throughout the year in a variety of locations and offers programs for writers at all levels of experience. Instructors include Lee Gutkind and other well-known writers, teachers, and editors. The institutes often cover a range of themes, from the basics of the creative nonfiction genre to writing memoir to travel narrative. Courses also attempt to emphasize the ethics and guidelines of the genre. CNF hosted the Mid-South Writers Conference in Oxford, Mississippi, in February 2008, and 412: The Pittsburgh Creative Nonfiction Literary Festival in October 2008.

Mentoring Programs: Creative Nonfiction’s mentoring program pairs new writers with seasoned professionals such as Rebecca Skloot and Dinty W. Moore. The goal of the mentoring program is to help new writers 1) develop their technique and approach to creative nonfiction composition; 2) revise, edit and shape their manuscript; and 3) place their finished manuscript with a publisher.

Online Courses: Creative Nonfiction provides online courses on basic techniques for research, interviewing, immersion and reporting as well as instruction on writing personal essays.

Editorial Advisory Board

A number of prominent authors, educators and media figures are members of the Foundation's Editorial Advisory Board, whose task is to help the Editorial Board sustain and guide the editorial mission of the magazine.

External links


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