nonfiction Archive

REVIEW: Belief is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe by Lori Jakiela

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Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe Lori Jakiela August 4, 2015 Atticus Books 290 pages Preorder Halfway through her new memoir, Belief is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe, Lori Jakiela comes across a mall kiosk selling Russian nesting dolls. “The doll in the woman’s hand looks

Impossible to Pin Down: Truth & Memory in Nonfiction

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Nonfiction as a genre confronts the discordance between memory—a slippery, subjective entity that can be the antithesis of truth—and actuality. Roy Peter Clark writes of the “essential fictive nature of all memory.” Mark Kramer and Wendy Call, editors of Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman

Auto Biography

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Auto Biography Earl Swift It Books, May 2014 368 Pages $18.50 Buy: book | ebook To the casual passerby on North Carolina’s state Route 168—and the County inspectors—Moyock Muscle looked like a junkyard. The lot was overflowing, with hundreds of cars in terrible condition. Cars stacked on top of

How Narrative Nonfiction Keeps Me Sane

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Years ago, feeling creatively unfulfilled at my full-time publishing job, I took a continuing education class at The New School on pitching creative nonfiction to the glossy mags. Throughout the course of the semester, we worked our way through Robert S. Boynton’s The New New Journalism, which contained a

The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

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When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big changes, until I think the writer has said what that writer wanted

Episodia 1.16: How to Structure Your Memoir

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Sometimes memoirists can feel as if we have very few choices about our stories. Bound by truth and memory, we can often conclude there’s not much room for our creative selves to have a say. But here’s a secret—we don’t have to pin down a narrative in the order

Writing Lessons: Mary Mann

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In our Writing Lessons series, writers and writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Mary Mann, a student in Columbia University’s nonfiction MFA program. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_e_mann. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor As I completed

“Let’s Get You an Agent”—An Agent’s How-to for Writers

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So—Eric Nelson is an agent with the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. His own blog, “How to Think Like Your Agent,” is full of quick, no-nonsense advice. Here, he lends our readers a special dose of it: how to get an agent, from an agent’s POV. Check out his words

Why Are Readings So Awkward?

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Hey Writing World. I love you. You’re brilliant. You make amazing things happen on a page. But you have NO IDEA what to do behind a microphone. And so many of your venues are grim! They make us forget that there’s ever been magic in words. Basically, there’s an

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?

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At my job working the early morning Hydration Stations along the lakefront path serving Gatorade to Chicago-area runners, I work with a 19 year old who also works at the duty-free at the airport (she’s the one who looks at your ticket and tells you that you can’t shop