Creative Nonfiction Magazine
(Fall 2010 – Issue 39)
Yet another litmag appeared in my mailbox recently – I’d entered a contest the magazine sponsors, and a subscription came along behind. This was my first exposure to the magazine, and since I’ve been doing some serious dabbling in nonfiction writing (and historical fiction), I decided I’d give the magazine much more than a glance.
I like it.
There, I experienced a tribute to Norman Mailer and his nonfiction books and a peek into Gay Talese’s writing regimen via his papers. But best of all were a series of essays, memoirs, reflections, and other creative nonfiction pieces by up and coming writers.
For the writers among us, I note a mote of encouragement here – several writers showcased in this issue were having their first-ever pieces published. As with fiction, one’s skills never seem to be complete – there’s always refinement of tone and voice, if not sentence and paragraph construction and structuring of the piece as a whole. These pieces display good, journeyman writing, all with interesting if not always spectacular stories to tell. A few were overlong – a sin one overcomes as one learns that succinctness is a virtue.
My most memorable pieces were:
“Why I Run,” by Rachael Button. This piece takes on the mystique of running in general, running in a natural setting – sometimes barefoot – in particular. It’s a well structured piece, cool in tone, with an amazing anecdote about a woman who once ran with wild wolves.
“End of the Line,” by Jim Kennedy. This piece is the reflection on a son’s death, set metaphorically against Boston’s rail line – and one of its termini. It’s an emotional piece, but the author has put enough distance between himself and the incident to reflect on it – and so his readers might learn from his experience.
Yet another article – an instructional article on how to consider structuring such pieces - edified this writer/reader.
All in all a fine experience in true stories. Looking forward to the next issue.