The best of the best of CNF's first 20 years.

"Inviting, inquisitive and attentive" - Kirkus Reviews

"Moments of vulnerability will hit home with readers and bind these disparate essays into an emotionally coherent whole." - Publishers Weekly

"Intelligent, polished, surprising essays that will have you wiping away tears one moment, laughing out loud the next. An indispensable resource for writers, teachers, and those who simply love to read true stories, well told." - Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire

In 20 years of publishing Creative Nonfiction magazine, we've published brand-new nonfiction by more than 500 writers.

Now, in this book, we've collected the very best of the best--the stories we've been unable to forget. Some of them make us a little weepy, even after multiple readings, while others have not yet lost their power to make us laugh out loud. Some make us grapple with our place in the world, while other stories take us to far-away lands. Some help us experience and maybe even understand, at least briefly, other lives. And there are even a few stories here that have quite literally changed our lives.

Perhaps they'll change yours, too. That's what a good story can do.

Learn more >>

The stories we tell have to matter--not only personally, but to the world at large.


Lee Gutkind, founding editor

CNF needs your help!

Creative Nonfiction is a small nonprofit organization, and to keep our programs running at full capacity we depend on the generosity of those who know us best. We rely in part on support from foundations, but support from individuals is also vital. In fact, being able to show support from individuals puts us in a stronger position with major funders. As we approach the end of our fiscal year, we hope that you will consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of CNF's programs--the magazine and the books, the online classes, the conferences, and the mentoring program. Your gift in any amount will help us reach our goal.

Nurses Book Giveaway Winners

In celebration of National Nurses Week and the 2.7 million working RNs in the US, Creative Nonfiction held a contest to give away five copies of I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse. We are pleased to announce that the winners are:

  • Melanie Dalrymple
  • Ruth Fitzpatrick
  • Suzanne Richardson
  • Bobbie Terrell
  • Emily Yang

Congratulations to all five winners, and thanks to everyone who entered. For a sneak peek at the collection that the New York Times called "Beautifully wrought," read Lee Gutkind's introduction, "The Anonymous, Irreplaceable Nurse."

Elizabeth Kolbert

What page is this featured on?:

The Magazine

Featured Link:

Turning out the lights just isn't going to do it


Environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert on climate change, her adventures with scientists, and why her books don't have happy endings.

Where should it be featured at on the page?:


30 minute consultation with Emily Loose

15 minute consultation with Emily Loose

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