The Unslanted Truth: a Conversation With Four Editors of Today's Premier Creative Nonfiction Literary Magazines
A conversation with Dinty W. Moore of Brevity Magazine, Hattie Fletcher of Creative Nonfiction, Donna Talarico of Hippocampus Magazine and Sarah Wells of River Teeth Journal; facilitated by Alicia Cole of The Review Review.
What drew you to the world of creative non-fiction? Who and what were your early inspirations?
DINTY: Though I have a background in newspaper journalism, my early literary efforts were all short stories and my MFA is in fiction writing. The switch to creative nonfiction for me came for entirely practical reasons: I found a publisher interested in a nonfiction book idea, pitched a proposal to that publisher, and my proposal was accepted. That became my first (published) book. Before that, I wrote three unpublished novels, which taught me much about craft and structure. Almost everything I learned as a student of fiction writing has been helpful to me as a memoirist and essayist, and slowly but surely, the genre became my mainstay. Early inspirations included Lee Gutkind, John Edgar Wideman, and Joan Didion, though I don't think I resemble any of those three in my own writing.
SARAH: My interest in creative nonfiction as a real, live genre began in an Intro. to Creative Writing class with Joe Mackall at Ashland University, although I had read Thoreau and Emerson and other nonfiction writers and thinkers before college whose words inspired me to do that kind of writing - whatever that kind of writing was. I love the thinking and reflecting part of nonfiction, its ability to question and to doubt, to show and to tell, to be lyrical and to be metaphorical and to also just say the thing already. I also lack the ability to make up stuff, so I failed at fiction. I can, however, use all of the tools of the craft given by fiction and poetry in nonfiction, and that makes me very happy. It's hard to nail down specific early inspirations beyond Thoreau and Emerson, but certainly studying the Phillip Lopate anthology, The Art of the Personal Essay and all of its great essayists fueled my passion for nonfiction.
DONNA: Everyone, everything has a story, and if you ask the right questions, you'll find out about it. My innate curiosity leads to, "Why?" and "Why" led me to reading a lot of nonfiction and, eventually, wanting to tell stories about the things I was learning. Like Dinty, I have a background in newspapers, mainly feature writing.
During a research methods class in college (undergrad), I was introduced to oral histories and also had to read a few ethnography-type books. While I don't think I knew the term 'literary journalism' then, those books were my first taste of true stories told in a more compelling way. While I never wrote in the literary journalism world, my interest in it is resparked.
It didn't hit me to write creative nonfiction myself (outside of newspapers) until I started the MFA program at Wilkes. I thought I would do fiction, but the material that came out of my creative nonfiction foundation class led me to memoir. I found that I was one of those people that have a story. (In my opinion!) I find inspiration from everywhere, but two memoirists that really inspired me were Tobias Wolff and Jeanette Walls.
HATTIE: I came to creative nonfiction as a reader, first. I'd always loved fiction; I was that kid always lugging around a big, fat novel. In my twenties, I started reading more nonfiction. As it happens, my husband was an English major at Princeton and, thus, a huge John McPhee fan, and I think that was probably the gateway for me. At the time, I was teaching middle school Latin and English (my academic background is in Classics), and--maybe it's ok to admit this, now that it's been fifteen years or whatever--I applied to the creative nonfiction MFA program at Pitt at least partly as a way to get out of teaching. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun, and tremendously interesting--and it was. But I'm still far more interested in reading than in being a writer.
Who are your favorite creative nonfiction writers? Why?
HATTIE: I mean, "favorite" is such a tricky word. But as a reader, I tend to gravitate toward writers whose work is information-rich: I still love McPhee; Erik Larson does an incredible job of weaving research into narrative; I completely adore Donovan Hohn's original "Moby-Duck" article from Harper's which, I think, represents everything the creative nonfiction genre has to offer, all rolled into one (very long) story; and of course Susan Orlean's work is always great--well-reported, and funny, and insightful. I also really love Eula Biss's writing, and Meghan Daum's. And Lauren Slater is absolutely brilliant (infuriating, maybe, sometimes, but always brilliant).
And, of course, I have a huge soft spot for all of the writers I've had the chance to work with in almost ten years at Creative Nonfiction; with very, very few exceptions, they've all been wonderful.
DONNA: I love Augusten Burrough's voice inRunning with Scissors. His descriptions are just so vivid, so much so that I feel like I actually experience scenes from that memoir. David Sedaris makes me laugh out loud; I love his observations and outlook. And the writing in The Glass Castle and This Boy's Life was so captivating and touched me so deeply (I see my own upbringing in these stories) that I must rank Jeanette Walls and Tobias Wolff as favorites too. I greatly admire the work of one of my Wilkes mentors, too: Beverly Donofrio. When I look at these names, I see striking similarities in the types of stories and story-tellers to which I'm drawn. Definitely writers that show vulnerability.
SARAH: I found myself nodding along with each of you as you replied about favorites-- how do you choose favorites in such a fantastic genre!? I'll throw in The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard, which I adore to no end for its brilliant use of metaphor and juxtaposition and structure and and and everything else; anything by Brian Doyle for his playfulness with language and his spirit; the work of my colleague Jill Christman, whose essayist's voice is just as authentic as her actual person, and Darkroom is tremendous; Cheryl Strayed's Dear Sugar columns and Wild; Scott Russell Sanders and Patricia Hampl... Andre Dubus III's Townie... and on and on it goes. I'll echo Donna that any writers who dig deep into the heart of the matter, writers who question themselves and exhibit a desire to understand themselves and the world better, even (especially) the soft underbelly of the self-- those are writers I'm interested in reading again and again.
DINTY: Yes, yes, yes, and yes to all of the wonderful writers mentioned so far.
I'll add Melissa Fay Greene, Diane Ackerman, Richard Rodriguez, James Baldwin. The inspiration pool is rich and deep.
What suggestions do you have for new creative nonfiction writers? What about those who wish to work in creative nonfiction publishing? For nonfiction writers, do you feel formal study is needed over field experience, field experience over formal study, some combination of the two, or a different formula? Is there actually a "one size fits most" for breaking into this field creatively?
DONNA: I say it is a combination of both, but definitely no one-size-fits-all approach. I don't think you can enter formal study without already having a love of words, so that probably means you've dabbled in writing. I think, especially in this day and age, that the enterprising, resourceful writer can learn a lot on his or her own. Never has there been a time that writers of all skill levels were so open to sharing via blogs and social media; the web is a bustling community of writers who want to help each other. Still, with all of the technology and "self-service" we have, I think that people often overlook or discount the power of a strong mentor and face-to-face learning.
I firmly believe it literally pays to invest in formal education at some point. There is incredible value in an MFA, and I mean that even beyond the actual instruction, too. For example, in my MFA cohort, we had people who were already published (creatively, academically or journalistic-ly), but they wanted the structure to help with deadlines, to get even better at their craft, to receive personal feedback and, yes, yes, of course, to make connections. There is something to be said about the personal attention you get as a student in a good MFA program and finding someone who will give honest-to-goodness feedback and maybe a little tough love. Someone who you might hate after a feedback session, and then, as you simmer down and let the advice/comments sink in, realize that, "Wow! That was just what I -- and this piece -- needed!"
I completely understand an MFA program might not be right for someone, or at least at this point in their life, but I wholeheartedly believe adding some kind of third party to the mix will benefit the writer: conferences, writing workshops and retreats, local writing classes (non-credit, I mean) or a critique group are ways to get solid feedback outside of taking formal classes. You can tell I work in academia; this might be my most passionate answer yet.
DINTY: I have a standard answer for folks who ask me, "Do you think I should be a writer?" Or "Do you think I can succeed as a writer?" My answer is, "Do you find sentences fascinating?" That's what it comes down to in the end. It is a good thing to live a rich life full of experiences, it is a good thing to have boundless curiosity about what drives people, it is a good thing to be disciplined, it is a good thing to see the world from interesting angles rather than straightforwardly and predictably, but after all of that -- and all of that is important -- you are alone in your room, changing and changing and restoring and reversing and starting sentences all over again, trying to decide “How do I capture this thought, feeling, scene, action on the page so that it pierces the reader's awareness?" If you find that latter process - at the level of word choice, the phrase, the sentence -- fascinating, addictive even, then you'll get where you want to be as a writer, eventually. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is what I believe.
SARAH: My big encouragement lately is for writers (who love sentences, like Dinty mentioned) to get involved, get connected, and participate in the literary community. Like Donna said, there are loads of opportunities to engage in conversation with other writers available at our fingertips - social media has created a whirlwind of writerly conversation for this solitary act, and I loooooove it. Write and write and write, read and read and read, respond and respond and respond (review books, send notes to authors, mention what you are reading on Facebook or Twitter, start a discussion group), because if you do love those sentences and you want other people to read your sentences eventually, then you need to be reading other people's work and participating in the advancement of literature. Being real and engaging with other writers in an honest way can lead to opportunities for your own work, but don't let that be your primary motivator. If you love to create sentences, you should also love to read sentences, and paragraphs, too.
DONNA: Oooh! I love Dinty's thoughts about sentences being addictive!!
HATTIE: There's a ton of great advice here! To all of this, I would add: find a litmag to read (or more generally volunteer) for, if you can. Of course, it's important to read the great writers, and to puzzle through what makes their writing work (and you can do that in or out of an MFA program), but I think it's also really helpful to look at work in progress or work that maybe isn't quite ready for publication. At CNF, we ask our readers to articulate what's working and what isn't and why we might or might not want to publish a piece, and I think that can be a really useful exercise that can help you bring that same reader's eye to your own work.
Too, the more you read, the more you see the same stories and themes emerging, and I think it's useful to be aware of that; it can help you figure out what's unique and important about the story you have to tell. I meet a fair number of writers at conferences who say things like, "I want to write about my grandmother, because she's just lived through so much, and done such interesting things, and she's really so special to me," and … I mean, a lot of grandmothers are like that. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't write about yours; it just means you might have to work a little harder to figure out what it is about your grandmother, specifically, that will make her story completely fascinating to readers. And I think one way to figure that out is by reading very widely.
SARAH: I fully agree with Hattie -- volunteering to read for a literary magazine is an education in itself. It forces readers to discern the great from the oh-my-god-you-have-to-read-this-we-have-to-publish-it, which is the real sweat-work of editing a journal. It sharpens the editorial eye so that you can turn that editorial eye back onto your own work.
What are you seeking in terms of creative nonfiction submissions?
HATTIE: At Creative Nonfiction, we're usually looking for any number of things. We have a track for pitching column ideas--broadly, writing-about-writing--and I'd love to see more queries come in there. It's pretty flexible--has to be about creative nonfiction, but beyond that, we're pretty open. We're also always reading general submissions--essays about anything--though we tend to publish only one "general reading" issue per year, so that's a pretty slow track. (We try to keep writers updated on where we are in the reading process, but it's a challenge--especially because we really do read everything very carefully.) And then we're usually also reading for a theme issue (and sometimes an associated contest), as well as for books that we're publishing under the In Fact Books imprint. At the moment, we have a call for "Waiting" essays; that's actually a theme our readers chose. We'll also announce a few other calls for books and upcoming issues very soon. (All of our current calls for submissions are here.)
More generally, I think that what sets CNF apart from other literary magazines that focus on creative nonfiction is a focus for narrative. That is, given a choice between drop-dead beautiful writing and a strong story line, we'll almost always go with the story line. (I mean, we like beautiful writing, too...) We're pretty subject-driven, too, especially in our books. Our editor, Lee Gutkind, has a strong interest in applying creative nonfiction techniques to subjects that aren't necessarily seen as "literary," so we've done a number of projects or publications recently that push in that direction: an issue about sustainability, for example, or our summer issue, which featured stories about science policy.
DINTY: Well to start, at Brevity we publish flash nonfiction, specifically essays that are complete at 750 words or fewer. That's a tougher nut to crack than some folks initially think, but it is also a fabulous petri dish for experimentation. Everything is dialed up in a shorter piece. You need to move in and out of scene quickly, you need to introduce language, diction and rhythm immediately, and you need to establish place, character, conflict, voice right away – usually in the first sentence. The first paragraph of a brief essay has to do what the first chapter of a memoir does. Moreover, whatever the piece is exploring – a parent dying from cancer for instance, to name a subject we see often – the essay needs to look at the situation or moment differently than what is known, expected. We need to learn something, to see the world from a fresh perspective. What does the death reveal about the relationship that existed? In what ways is death a relief, an unburdening, perhaps for the deceased and the family member? Can death be beautiful? What else is happening, besides grief following the loss of a loved one?
DONNA: I echo what Hattie says about story and what Dinty says about making the familiar fresh. AtHippocampus, we publish such a range of styles and topics so I don't think I can pinpoint what we're looking for -- we just know it when we see it. Often they are stories that make us say "Wow!" or "Really?!" or "OMG. Are you kidding me?" We like to be moved, surprised or brought to a new place. We might fall into the "literary" realm by classification, but we want to appeal to a general audience. We want real stories by real people to move other real people.
What we're NOT looking for, however, is easier to pinpoint: submissions that could pass for a journal entry. We also don't want first drafts. As one member of our reading panel said recently in our "discussion area" about a recent submission, and I take this verbatim: "I'm glad the writer took the time to put his thoughts and emotions on paper. It's good that he's able to use writing as an outlet. But good writing goes beyond that. I wish he knew that after the draft comes the craft. He's skipped that step." That pretty much sums up what I see as the biggest issue we see with the pieces we turn down.
SARAH: The essays that are accepted for River Teeth are the sorts of stories you want to shake your partner awake at 2 a.m. and force him or her to read, it's that urgent. That good. Like Donna, we're not very good at pinpointing what it is, exactly, we want. Something that moves beyond the immediate circumstances of the writer's life, something like shifting gears, or a key change in a song, or the turn of a sonnet. We are less interested in what happened and more interested in why it matters. River Teeth does not have any particular theme or agenda, just good writing, and what Donna's reader said rings true for us as well, after the draft comes the craft. We recently started a weekly series called Beautiful Things, and that column is looking for very brief essays, 250 words or less, that are able to achieve the same movement I mentioned above in a much tighter space. I think of the reading experience as one of those Magic Eye tricks. We want to be surprised. We want to be moved. We want to learn something. We want to know why it mattered.
DINTY: This conversation allows me to share two of my favorite quotes. On truth in nonfiction, Philip Gerard writes: “Nonfiction is in the facts. Creative nonfiction is in the telling.” As for the rejected author who claimed memoir is not about entertaining the reader, Jesse Lee Kercheval says: "Tell your story as though you are trying to keep people awake.” I full agree with Sarah and Donna about the role of imagination and perhapsing. You can go anywhere, really, as long as you cue the reader into where you are going. "This is the truth of my imagination." Or, "Here is a memory I can only barely glimpse. I've filled in other details in an attempt to make sense of my own past." That's all well and good. Just don't leave the reader in the dark. As for the notion that memoir is not meant to entertain the reader. That's just ignorant. The reader must be engaged in every sentence, or why keep reading?
HATTIE: These are all excellent observations, and I am also all in favor of clear signposting as a way of handling those thorny issues of memory and "creativity." I guess I would also add that in our submissions pile, at least, we get a fair amount of what we might call "uncreative nonfiction"--things like family histories or, often, memories of (long-ago) childhood the writer wants to set down on the page. And that kind of writing can have tremendous value—to families and sometimes also to historical societies and the like. It's just not really what we're looking for, as a literary magazine. But I think people struggle with that, a lot, and maybe it comes from this idea that creative nonfiction is (often) personal narrative; it is, but it's something more complicated than that, too.
Are there any misconceptions you’d like to squash about creative non-fiction publishing?
SARAH: "How 'creative' can my nonfiction be? How much fiction can be in it?" :) If you are going to fictionalize at all in nonfiction, the narrator on the page better let the reader know within the text, or else I'm going to feel duped. Creative nonfiction can flex its muscles and imagine plenty of things into being... as long as the narrator is honest. Perhapsing is great for this, or "I imagine," or "My father might have..." or "Maybe..." I think this is the most common question I get from beginning nonfiction writers: how much creativity can I exercise in my nonfiction? And the answer is plenty, until your muscles are noodles from all of that exercise, but don't tell me you bench pressed 200 lbs when it was actually just the bar. Unless you say, "I told her I bench pressed 200 pounds, but really it was just the bar." That's okay.
DONNA: I love the term "perhapsing"! I've practiced doing it but I just learned a new word for it! Thanks, Sarah! I agree on taking creative liberties when you can, but as long as the authenticity is preserved.
The biggest misconception I see is that new writers will think that a deeply personal piece will matter to everyone as much as it does to the writer. Writing to get things off your chest is one thing, but if someone is looking for editors and an audience to care -- as in being published -- well, that's where the hard work comes in. I'll share an example. At Hippo, like other mags, we try to give constructive feedback on stories or writers with promise when we can. Once, I replied to someone that we needed more showing, more detail. I received a message back, and I'll share some of the writer's reply because I think this illustrates perfectly what I said before, about who creative nonfiction is for, in this case a personal memoir: "A memoir is very different from a novel, and from your comment, I do not feel that you understood that basic fact. It is not written to entertain the reader."
A good memoir, in fact, has a lot in common with a novel. But think about that last line. It is not written to entertain the reader? That is a misconception. To be published is to entertain--or at least interest--a reader.
SARAH: I wish I could claim "perhapsing" as my own, but I learned it from Brevity's blog and this lovely article on craft by Lisa Knopp.
Also, "I do not feel that you understand..." fill in the blank. What a great writer I am. What a mistake you are making by not publishing me. What an opportunity you are passing up by not publishing me. etc. Are all my favorite emails to get in response to rejection letters.
How has creative non-fiction evolved in your time in the field?
DONNA: My full-time job is in marketing and communications and, while storytelling has in some ways always been part of that world, we've seen a huge shift in using stories to build a brand, adding narrative instead of regurgitating facts. In the higher ed conferences I go to, I learn (and later presented) on using stories as an effective means of communicating with your audience. One of the best books I've read recently was Lead with a Story by Paul Smith. This book focuses on telling the company's story, and using story telling in training and even in disciplinary settings. I think people--not just readers, but any consumers--are affected by stories. Information is more memorable when told as a story rather than a straight lecture. While my answer here seems a bit like a tangent, it comes back to the lig mag world. What this revived focus on story telling in many outlets -- not just in literature -- shows is that, at the end of the day, people love stories. And this means wonderful things for creative nonfiction. Our audiences can grow. And we can do new and different things, while remaining true to our missions, to appeal to this audience that loves stories. And all of this story telling, no doubt, is inspiring more to tell their own.
DINTY: I've noticed two significant changes, from the perspective of someone who regularly teaches creative nonfiction writing (first in an undergraduate program and now in a PhD program.) One change is that a body of craft instruction and scholarship has begun to form helping to define the often-invisible borderlines between literary journalism, memoir, the personal essay, the lyric essay, the humor essay, the hermit crab, and other forms. See for instance the journal that launched in September 2014, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, a new home for critical scholarship of creative nonfiction. I'm not a huge proponent of literary scholarship -- too often it becomes an exercise in obfuscation and brain-preening -- but sorting out distinctions between these sub-genres and how they work for writers and readers allows us to see how many options we have: to write different sorts of work or to combine forms within one bit of writing.
I'm fond of pointing out that the personal essay is different from memoir and they are both different from journalism, but Joan Didion did all three, sometimes within the same sentence. The second change I've seen is the growth of thoughtful experimentation in the genre, in the sub-genres, across the board, including digital work by Eric LeMay, graphic work by Kristen Radtke, videos by John Bresland, the border-bending of Eula Biss, Jenny Boully, or Ander Monson. I could easily name another fifty names of younger writers out there doing outstanding, solid work that looks nothing like the nonfiction that flourished prior to 2000. That's a healthy genre.
HATTIE: I think the biggest shift, for me, is that it's become less necessary to explain/defend/justify the term "creative nonfiction." Ten years ago, when I started working at Creative Nonfiction, that conversation (not internally, but externally) seemed to take up a lot of our time and energy, and then there was what you might call the Year of Scandals--technically, it was more than a year, I guess, or at least it felt that way. But now, although I suspect we'll never quite shake the "creative nonfiction--it's an oxymoron!" conversation, it seems like the genre has reached a sort of tipping point, which lets us have some more interesting, nuanced conversations. So I'm very encouraged by the development of a sort of scholarship in the field, and excited to have some dedicated spaces for those sorts of conversations. I think that's a real sign of maturity for the genre, which is terrific. And the sort of experimentation and flexibility Dinty and Sarah describe is related to that maturity, too, I suspect. It's pretty clear at this point that "creative nonfiction" isn't just some crazy literary fad.
Where do you hope to see creative nonfiction evolving in the future?
SARAH: I think one of the exciting new developments in nonfiction and publishing in general are these new content delivery options available in places like Shebooks and Pshares Solos and Amazon Singles, platforms that allow for publishing essays and nonfiction that are too long for most print journals to publish and too short to be full-length collections, but just right for reading in one sitting. This and the increase in opportunities to publish nonfiction lately are both excellent for the genre. I hope that nonfiction maintains what seems to be a camaraderie among writers of nonfiction, a we're-all-in-this-together mentality that has so far resisted an edgy competitive conversation and instead encouraged and supported one another, celebrating our differences in style and form rather than wrinkling our noses at variety.
DINTY: I agree with what Hattie said about creative nonfiction practitioners appreciating the opportunity to have conversations about subjects more interesting than, "What does that mean, actually?" I agree with Sarah, too. Writing and reading are changing. Literature is changing. Book delivery is changing. The whole context for storytelling in written form is in rapid evolution. So the big changes in creative nonfiction will happen alongside major changes in technology and information consumption habits. I know that scares a lot of people -- "what will happen to the book as we know it?" -- but for myself, I'm excited to see where we go.
HATTIE: To circle back just a bit, I do think a bit more of a body of scholarship and a slightly more formal conversation around the genre will be helpful. I sort of feel like if creative writing is going to have a home in the academy, let's embrace that and do it up right. Dinty's right, of course, to point out some pitfalls of literary scholarship … but I don't think I'd be the first person to point out that creative writing courses can sometimes lack academic rigor. And while I don't at all want to suggest that we limit the possibilities of the genre or define things too stringently, maybe having a little more of a framework and a canon would be helpful in that regard.
As to where the writing itself goes? I'd like the genre to be less confined to academia, and--as a general rule, though of course we could point to many counter-examples, and of course it's also possible to find the world in a grain of sand—less concerned with small things. I think all the publishing opportunities Sarah points to will help with that, no doubt. I know there's a lot to worry about in the publishing industry at the moment, but for those of us a little outside the system, it's a really exciting and interesting time, and I see a lot of possibility.
DONNA: I agree with so much of what the others said already. Things are changing more rapidly than ever in publishing. I think we're going to find we're listening to the audience--the readers--a lot more. Paying attention to their trends--as Dinty said, how stories are consumed. I think there's just going to be a lot more demand for real stories by real people, no matter what the delivery method. Other areas of nonfiction--the more prescriptive kind--I think also are booming--Time Life just relaunched its book program. That's exciting to me to see books come back into print--so while there's a strong move to digital delivery, I also think we'll see a resurgence of print.
Donna Talarico is the founder/publisher and managing editor of Hippocampus. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and is the director of integrated communications at Elizabethtown College, a small, selective liberal arts school in south-central, Pa. She speaks regularly at industry higher education web/marketing conferences, and she authored a chapter in mStoner's Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #Social Media to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students, and Get Results. Donna lives in downtown Lancaster, Pa. with her husband, Kevin Beerman and her teenage cat, Spectra. She loves tasting microbrews, eating cheese, enjoying local arts and culture, traveling to national parks and playing Scrabble.
Dinty W. Moore is author of the forthcoming collection of humorous essays, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: An Unconventional Writing Guide, or Curious Meditations on Life, Love, Cannibals, and the Imminent Polar Bear Apocalypse, as well as the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, and edible dandelions.
Sarah M. Wells is the author of the poetry collection Pruning Burning Bushes and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce. Essays published in Ascent, Brevity, and River Teeth have been honored as Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2012, 2013, and 2014. She is in the process of finishing a memoir-in-essays about men, marriage, sex, God, parenting, temptation, love, attention, and everything else she's currently pondering. Wells is the administrative director of the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and managing editor of River Teeth and the Ashland Poetry Press.
Hattie Fletcher has been the managing editor of Creative Nonfiction since 2004. She has been a coordinating editor for the Best Creative Nonfiction series, published by W.W. Norton, and is co-editor, with Lee Gutkind, of Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction, and of True Stories, Well Told … from the first 20 years of Creative Nonfiction magazine, a new anthology published by In Fact Books this fall.