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    Issue 56 Summer 2015


    Our summer issue is all about waiting. Writers explore the boundaries of their patience as they wait for a missing family member’s return, for sleep to come, for doctors, planes, or the next good wave.

    Plus, we consider the murky origins of the term “creative nonfiction”; the art of immersion reporting; books that took lifetimes to write; and more.

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    Issue 54 Winter 2015

    Lost Truths & Family Legends

    Our winter issue is full of family lore--the stories we grow up hearing and the tales we, in turn, tell. Like the night we hit the deer, or Dad's close encounter with a serial killer, or the time Grandma saved the village from the Germans ... Every family has at least one story like this--but is it true? (And, if it's a good enough story, does it matter whether it's true?)

    Plus, we explore the special challenges of writing about family; writers travel in search of missing stories; and Rick Bragg reflects on the process of interviewing living legend Jerry Lee Lewis.

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    Issue 53 Fall 2014


    Creative Nonfiction #53, our first-ever readers' choice theme issue, is dedicated to MISTAKES. We've collected an explosive group of essays exploring wrong turns and missteps—from a dramatic prison protest to an ill-advised game of strip-spin-the-bottle, from a bad tattoo to the epidemic of errors plaguing our healthcare system. Together, these true stories grapple with questions that get at the heart of how to live.

    Plus, why building a platform is a waste of a writer's time, why publishing won't make you happy, and why readers shouldn't worry (too much) about the occasional typo.

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    Issue 52 Summer 2014

    Telling Stories that Matter

    Creative Nonfiction #52 explores the uses of storytelling--our oldest and perhaps most effective art form--in non-literary fields such as law and medicine. A special essays section features collaborations between writers and science policy scholars who teamed up to tell stories about topics including a curatorial crisis at the Smithsonian; a pediatric geneticist's decision to share potentially life-changing information with one of his patients; and one legislative aide's quest to save the Chesapeake Bay from the dietary supplement industry.

    Plus, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheri Fink reflects on the years of careful reporting behind her bestseller, Five Days at Memorial, and we look at the explosion in live storytelling series.

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    Issue 51 Spring 2014


    Creative Nonfiction #51, our "Human Face of Sustainability" issue, features true stories about moms, scientists, farmers, and others who are trying to change the world. Plus, guest editor Donna Seaman talks with environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert about climate change, her adventures with scientists, and why her books don't have happy endings.

    And, of course, there's a fantastic new "Pushing the Boundaries" piece and a slew of sustainability-related micro-essays. All intricately illustrated by Marcy Miranda Janes.

Online Reading

Sleepless in Any City

Janine Zeitlin

Insomnia in Lorca's Madrid more


Mary Paumier Jones

Sometimes you have to wander to get where you're going. more


Suzanne Roberts

The winner of the $1,000 first place "Mistakes" essay prize discusses her compelling essay, which illuminates, through the story of her unintended pregnancy at age twenty-four, the ways in which her mistake has taken on new meaning over time. more


Kelly Blevins

"Without change, there is no real progression in the arts, resulting in no real progression of the mind." more

The Magazine