EXPLORING THE BOUNDARIES
Creative Nonfiction is currently seeking experimental nonfiction for the "Exploring the Boundaries" section ("experimental," "boundaries" ... yes, we know these can be loaded terms). We're looking for writing that is ambitious, pushes against the conventional boundaries of the genre, plays with style and form, and makes its own rules. As always, we have only one absolute rule--nonfiction must be based in fact.
Please note that this is NOT a call for an entire "Exploring the Boundaries" issue of the magazine; accepted pieces will be published one per issue, and earliest possible publication will be in Issue #67 (Spring 2018).
4,500 word maximum; please include a word count on the first page of the essay, and a cover letter with complete contact information and a brief bio. Any additional questions can be directed to information [at] creativenonfiction.org.
Submissions must be uploaded by September 11, 2017.
There is a $3 convenience fee for online submissions. Subscribers to CNF/TS never pay a reading/convenience fee of any kind when submitting. Ever. Not a subscriber? Choose the discounted subscription add-on when uploading your submission.
**Please note that we will check all submissions against our subscriber database. Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read. If you are not a subscriber, proceed to fill out the form below—you will have the opportunity to subscribe on the next page.
The Writing Pittsburgh Book Prize will recognize one book focusing on a subject of regional and national significance, by a writer with a meaningful Pittsburgh connection. The author of the winning manuscript will receive a $10,000 honorarium; publication of their book by CNF's independent book imprint, In Fact Books (IFB); national distribution; and a marketing and publicity campaign.
Manuscripts will be judged on originality; the subject's broad appeal and resonance with a national readership; interpretation of the "Writing Pittsburgh" theme; and literary quality and strength of prose. The selected book might be an in-depth reporting project focusing on one organization, individual, or event; alternatively, it might be a more personal writing project—for example, a memoir. All submissions will be judged by CNF’s editorial staff.
The winning author will work with CNF/IFB's editorial staff to refine and polish the manuscript. Publication will occur between one year and 15 months from the announcement of the prize.
Submissions should include a cover letter of up to two pages and a book-length manuscript, double-spaced.
Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm Eastern Time, Monday, October 23, 2017.
Winner will be announced in February 2018.
The Writing Pittsburgh Book Prize is made possible through support from the Heinz Endowments. The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to their work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.
Every decision we make, whether as individuals or as a society, involves some risk—whether physical or emotional, economic or legal, social or spiritual. Our comfort level with uncertainty defines not only our choices in any given situation, but how we live.
For a special issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine, we’re seeking true stories illustrating the ways we balance the threat of loss against the promise of gain.
Possible subjects could be big or small, personal or public. We’re interested in intersections between deeply personal decisions and those that affect larger communities.
- How is risk intertwined with life decisions like entering relationships, starting or ending a pregnancy, or revealing a sexual or gender preference?
- How do the risks associated with social interactions, whether online or in person, affect people’s behavior or speech?
- How does risk relate to deeply held religious and/or political beliefs, especially within a pluralistic society?
- Why do some people actively seek risk, and how does this affect their quality of life?
- How are emerging technologies such as gene editing and artificial intelligence changing the nature of the risks we face?
- How do we think about and approach potentially catastrophic risks such as a large asteroid colliding with the earth, nuclear war, or the possibility of artificial intelligence superseding human intelligence?
Above all, we are looking for vivid narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—with unique insights into these questions.
Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up, and all essays submitted will be considered for publication.
Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process, and editors may ask for sources and citations.
There is a $20 reading fee, waived for current subscribers.** You can also submit and become a subscriber, extend your subscription, or give a gift subscription by submitting $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US addresses only). Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay, becoming a subscriber is recommended instead) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs the rate will be higher if you choose to include a subscription--$43 to Canada or $60 elsewhere).
To submit by regular mail:
Postmark deadline: Monday, November 6, 2017. Mail essay plus a cover letter and entry fee to:
c/o Creative Nonfiction
5119 Coral Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
To submit online, proceed through the form below.
Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm Eastern Time, Monday, November 6, 2017.
**Please note that we will check all submissions against our subscriber database. Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read. If you are not a subscriber, please proceed through the form below.
The Creative Nonfiction Foundation is pleased to announce that, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, we’re starting a new monthly magazine, set to debut this fall. Each issue of True Story will feature one exceptional work of creative nonfiction, which will be distributed in print and digitally (though not available online).
Submissions should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words long, on any subject, in any style. Surprise us! The only rules are that all work submitted must be nonfiction and original to the author, and we will not consider previously published work.
We’ll pay $300 on publication and give you 10 free copies of “your” issue.
We’ll do our best to respond to submissions within three months. We can’t promise to consider work submitted for True Story for any of CNF’s other projects or publications—but we reserve the right to do so.
Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 10,000 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States. You may submit essays online or by regular mail:
By regular mail
Please send your manuscript; a cover letter with complete contact information, including the title of the essay and word count; and an SASE or email address for response to:
c/o Creative Nonfiction Foundation
5119 Coral Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
There is a $3 convenience fee to submit online. Subscribers to CNF/TS never pay a reading/convenience fee of any kind when submitting, though. Ever. Not a subscriber? Choose the discounted subscription add-on when uploading your submission.
**Please note that we will check all submissions against our subscriber database. Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read.
Do you have an idea for a literary timeline? An opinion about essential texts for readers and/or writers? An in-depth, working knowledge of a specific type of nonfiction? Pitch us your ideas; Creative Nonfiction accepts query letters for the following sections of the magazine:
AFTERWORDS is the final page of the magazine. We're open to just about any idea that can be presented completely in one page, though we are more inclined toward pieces that take a lighter look at the genre, craft, and/or industry. Examples: First sentences from first books (#38); The ever-expanding nonfiction subtitle (#39); Side gigs for the nonfiction 99% (#45).
BETWEEN THE LINES focuses on the business of writing and the contemporary publishing landscape. This section is reserved for more serious, newsy (in a general way) topics.
Examples: The future of literary magazines in America (#38); A defense of navel-gazing (#39); The line between documentation and exploitation (#44).
REQUIRED READING catalogues and explores essential texts for nonfiction readers and writers. Pieces can be as simple as a list or as complex as a lyric essay.
Examples: David Shields' inspirations and recommendations (#38); Norman Mailer's indispensible nonfiction, as recommended by his biographer (#39).
THEN & NOW tracks significant developments in the genre and can include timelines or other creative comparisons.
Examples: A history of the genre (and the magazine) from 1993 to 2009 (#38); Environmental writing since "Silent Spring" (#44); Our longstanding obsession with true crime (#45).
LIFE ONLINE provides a uique perspective of what the literary life is like online. Examples: The virtual realities of online advice columnist Sugar (#42); Of online anger, puppy dogs and ice cream (#43); Is online publishing permanent enough/ (#44).
UNDER THE UMBRELLA explores one subset or type of writing that falls under the creative nonfiction umbrella--dad memoir, extreme travel writing, as well as lesser-known kinds of creative nonfiction--and the patterns that connect these types of writing.
Examples: CNF's Armchair Guide to Stunt Writing (#38); Family History Narrative (#41); Sex Worker Memoirs (#45).
WRITER AT WORK offers an analysis of or an in-depth look into a specific writer's writing process.
Examples: Gay Talese's approach to composition (#39); E.B. White's use of literary effect in "Death of a Pig" (#41).
Note: Nothing increases your publishing chances more than a familiarity with the magazine; we recommend you become a subscriber, but a working knowledge of our recent issues is a great place to start, too.
Queries only. Please do not send completed pieces. Please do not send attachments. Please send brilliant, original ideas and a solid plan for turning those ideas into brilliant pieces of writing.