CNF Dishes A Few Writerly Tips

Creative Nonfiction, Summer 2013, Issue 49



This issue of Lee Gutkind’s fine nonfiction mag is thematically about “Survival and Unlikely Events,” but the most impressive bits here are some tips for nonfiction writers. But don’t surf on just yet, fiction-er; these can apply in general to you as well. 

Tim Bascomb’s piece, “Picturing the Personal Essay: A Visual Guide,” expands on the normal conflict/rising action/resolution/denouement dictum by showing the writer how to wander and circle about the subject at hand a bit in order to give background and to heighten meaning. It’s a piece I’ll cut out and save.

Also, in “Required Reading,” Beth Kephart gives some good pointers on “white-spacing memoirs,” i.e., what to strategically leave out of a memoir in order to dress a theme and entice readers. 

And Suzanne Hegland gives some very practical points on creating good, taut, dialogue in her piece, “The Spoken Word, Distilled.”

And I think the editors selected the CNF pieces in this issue to illustrate just these fine points. Good for them – this is a topical primer all prose writers can learn from.


Visit my website here, where you’ll have an opportunity to download an audio eversion of my latest, Sam’s Place, as well as select book review podcasts. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me – and possibly to you.





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