This milestone issue features some of our favorite prizewinning essays. These curious, beautiful, nuanced stories about everything from surviving lightning strikes to the relief of solving medical mysteries consider the many perils, as well as the tremendous power, of living in a body. See what else the issue has in store for you at the Mag Stand.
“We don’t know much about Mr. Otomatsu Wada of Unit B in Barrack 14 in Block 63 of the Gila River Relocation Center,” Eric L. Muller admits at the start of his essay, “The Desert Was His Home.” This lack of knowledge does not deter Muller from examining the pain and power of absence, as well as how deep research becomes an avenue for creative discovery.
Throughout this essay, Muller lays out the facts about this one Japanese-American, among many, held prisoner in the U.S. during World War II. Muller uses what little is known of this man to sketch out a rough but potent portrait of his life. Most notable was Wada’s “two-year-old mystery” marked by the refrain “We don’t know” that Muller uses until Wada’s fate is revealed.
This essay demonstrates how seamlessly and naturally a story can incorporate the many don’t knows and can’t knows inevitable in research. It is even possible, as “The Desert” shows us, how the gaps in a subject’s life can become the story. This piece can be found in Issue 74 of Creative Nonfiction.
“The Desert Was His Home” by Eric L. Muller. Creative Nonfiction, Winter 2021.
Reviewer bio: Mark Smeltzer is a graduate student in Utah State University’s English Department. His area of specialization is in poetry.
Literary magazine Creative Nonfiction has currently announced their Spring 2021 courses. They are offering a total of 12 to help people achieve their writing goals.
Currently available courses are the Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp (5-week or 10-week); Thirty-Minute Memoir; Advanced Historical Narratives: Crafting the Best Material; Advanced Memoir: From First Sentence to Resolution; and Advanced Personal Essay: Finding a Way Through. The advanced courses do require you meet pre-requisites before enrolling.
These classes are offered completely online and will run April 12 through June 20, 2021.
Love creative nonfiction in bite-sized form? Literary magazine Creative Nonfiction has you covered with Sunday Short Reads. This is flash nonfiction delivered weekly straight to your inbox. The pieces featured in this mailing are hand-selected from the archives of Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Diagram, River Teeth, and Sweet Lit. They will also sometimes feature the occasional original works, too.
Interested in submitting your own nonfiction? They are open to submissions of nonfiction by older writers (age 60+) through February 22.
Creative Nonfiction #74: “Moments of Clarity” features stories of sudden realizations, things that can’t be unsaid, and power dynamics laid bare: a seventeen-year-old flirts her way into trouble; a daughter’s offhand remark shatters a family’s fragile peace; an employee quietly decides HR’s focus on diversity is actually kind of racist, and more.
Readers, Creative Nonfiction has a new issue heading out to their subscribers! Issue 74’s theme is “Moments of Clarity,” and you can get a sneak peek at what Editor Lee Gutkind has to say to introduce it. Single issue copies can be purchased from their website.
Writers, the nonfiction journal is currently accepting submissions for a few more days. The current reading period is focusing on “Experiments in Nonfiction,” and you can see more of what they’re looking for here. The deadline is January 11, and there is a $3 reading fee to writers who aren’t currently subscribed to the journal.
You still have time to register to attend Creative Nonfiction‘s December 16 webinar. The webinar will run from 2pm – 3:15pm EST on Wednesday. It is $25 to register, and registration closes 24 hours before the event.
The event aims to help writers:
- GAIN an understanding of the contemporary literary/literary magazine landscape and why you would want (or not want) to publish in lit mags.
- LEARN how and where to send your work.
- CONSIDER the writer-editor relationship and what happens once your work is accepted
Hattie Fletcher, managing editor of Creative Nonfiction, will lead the webinar. Find out more at the lit mag’s website.
Don’t forget that Creative Nonfiction‘s holiday sale officially ends tonight at 11:59 PM EST. They have some amazing deals going on perfect for the creative nonfiction lover in your life.
You can get 50% off a subscription to Creative Nonfiction and single issues for only $2.50. Like their long essay magazine True Story? You can get single issues for just a $1. They also have their books available for $8 and have even created special bundles of their favorite issues. These bundles include Animals, Exploration, Food & Drink, History, Home, Pushcart Nominees, Starting Over, Teaching & Learning, Technology, and Women Write.
Love T-Shirts? They have those available for $5, too.
Want to gift a writer or your self with an online course in nonfiction? Creative Nonfiction is currently offering 11 online classes. You can save $50 off the cost if you enroll by December 21.
The art of John Belue dons the cover and pages of the Fall 2020 issue of Creative Nonfiction, and I absolutely love it. His work remixes vintage photos, thinly cut strips overlaying another photo to create an almost portal-like image. The art drew me into the “Memoir” issue of Creative Nonfiction and the writing made me stick around even longer.
Megan Doney’s nightmares haunt her after a shooting at the school where she teaches in “The Wolf and the Dog.” While her dreams leave her powerless, she imagines finding power if the situation ever happens again. The piece begins viscerally, a dark view into Doney’s mind after surviving a horrific event.
Mary Beth Ellis gets deeply personal in “Weaponry of the Cold War” as she walks readers through her vaginismus diagnosis. While the subject of her writing is both physically and emotionally painful, Ellis uses humor in unexpected places, her writing cynical and skeptical, light when it matters. As Ellis says, up to 14% of the female population suffers from vaginismus, and there is not much to read about the subject. Ellis adds her voice, her story, giving other people with vaginas something to relate to.
Whether you pick up Creative Nonfiction‘s latest issue because the art caught your eye, or because you crave powerful nonfiction, you will not be let down.
This issue celebrates stories of the self in the world. Writers find (or, at least, try to find) meaning in familiar as well as unimaginable moments—the loves, losses, and joys that define our lives. Also in this issue: the seductive dangers of self-mythologizing, the memoir-in-pieces, tiny truths, and more. See contributors at the Mag Stand.
That’s right! Literary magazine Creative Nonfiction‘s Fall 2020 online writing courses are open to enrollment. They offer courses for writers of all levels from those just starting out to the more advanced. All courses will begin on September 7. If you sign up by August 15, you will save $50. If you have a buddy you want to do these courses with, you could save an additional $25.
Courses include a Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp, Introduction to Audio Podcasting & Storytelling, Magazine Writing, The Building Blocks of the Personal Essay, Writing for Change: The Study & Craft of Environmental Writing, Advanced Memoir: From First Sentence to Resolution, Advanced Personal Essay: Finding a Way Through, and Advanced Science Writing.
Learn more about all their courses and how to sign up at their website.