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    Issue 57 Fall 2015

    Making a Living

    Our fall issue, Creative Nonfiction #57, explores making a living—that means jobs, yes, but more than that: how do we work meaning out of our days, and what do we do to survive? For the young office temp, the state executioner, the musician, the activist, the refugee worker, the rape crisis counselor, and the estate planning attorney whose stories are featured in this issue, it's not just about the money.

    Plus, writing (and editing) for free; revisiting Studs Terkel's Working; the history of erotic memoir; tiny truths; and more.

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    Issue 55 Spring 2015

    The Memoir Issue

    Our spring edition, "The Memoir Issue," is big news: a special double issue with twice as many stories as usual, from places as far-ranging as Japan, Australia, the Marshall Islands, the Appalachian Trail, and Vermont.

    This issue is also big in scope, illustrating thorny issues such as the power (and fallibility) of memory; the challenges of telling other people’s stories accurately; and the art of self-analysis and reflection.

    Plus, CNF #55 features columns on how social media might be changing human memory; readers’ duty to wield belief responsibly; accepting the narcissist within; tiny truths; 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.

Online Reading

The Same Story

Suzanne Roberts

Two young women pregnant at the same time by the same man. more

The Butterfly Effect

Jennifer Lunden

Finding Sanctuary in Butterfly Town, USA. more


Joe Fassler

The winner of Creative Nonfiction's 'Waiting' contest talks about his prize-winning essay, "Wait Times." The essay describes a harrowing trip to the emergency room with his wife, who--suffering from ovarian torsion--waits for hours, writhing but unexamined, in the ER.  more


Elizabeth Amber Rudnick

CNF Staff

"There’s a huge gap between the experiences we feel compelled to record and the experiences that stay with us regardless of documentation." more

The Magazine