CNF Needs Your Help!

"Little” or literary magazines like Creative Nonfiction are labors of love—underfunded, understaffed, and often, for these reasons, short-lived. A while back, Charles McGrath pointed out in the New York Times that “the typical lifespan for a literary magazine appears to be roughly that of a major household appliance: anything over 10 years is gravy.”

Incredibly, this year marks Creative Nonfiction's twentieth year of publication. That’s pretty good for a magazine that started at a dining room table in Pittsburgh and which, even today, is put out by a small, part-time staff with the help of a few unpaid interns. It’s not been easy, and in fact, there’s more than a little heartache in our history.

Creative Nonfiction is more than just a magazine, though; it’s a community—a home not only for the writers whose work has appeared in the magazine’s pages, but for anyone who loves this incredibly compelling and versatile genre. In 20 years, we’ve published brand-new nonfiction by more than 500 writers—some of them famous, but more of them not (or, rather, not yet). We’re especially proud of our track record in giving writers their first significant byline; you’ll have a hard time finding a literary magazine that doesn’t say it’s “looking for new voices,” but almost every issue of Creative Nonfiction has included someone’s first publication. Our other programs—online classes, an annual writers’ conference in Pittsburgh, a mentoring program—also help nurture writers at all stages of their careers.

As we prepare to head into our third decade, we’ve got some big plans. Some of the exciting projects we’re working on this year include:

  • a new anthology featuring our favorite essays from the first 20 years of the magazine
  • a third annual Writers’ Conference in Pittsburgh over Memorial Day weekend, with an expanded program and more networking opportunities
  • four new issues of Creative Nonfiction, including a special “Memoir” issue
  • four full terms of online classes focusing on everything from Personal Essay to Medical Narrative and designed to help writers at all stages of their careers keep refining and polishing (and publishing!) their work
  • a special 20th anniversary event (stay tuned; we’ll have more information about that soon)

But we can’t do any of this without you. Income from our publications and educational programs offsets many—but far from all—of our expenses, and donations from individuals have played a significant role in helping our small organization make a big impact. Your generosity helps us focus on our most important work: helping writers tell their true stories better.

Your friendship and support are the payoff for all our hard work. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to CNF today.

Please send checks to 

Creative Nonfiction Foundation
5501 Walnut Street, suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Or donate online now: