Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Start Here.

  • Why Creative Nonfiction?

    As the voice of the genre, Creative Nonfiction has been offering online courses on the craft of creative nonfiction since 2011. With our focus solely on the genre of narrative nonfiction, each of our courses offers quality instruction, personalized feedback from a professional writer in the field, and opportunities to network with like-minded writers. To date, we’ve helped nearly 2,500 writers tell their true stories, better—and more than 50% of our students return to take more classes. 

    At Creative Nonfiction, we believe that…

    • Your story is important, whether you’re an experienced writer or just starting out;
    • Writing is a craft, and, like all crafts, can be taught and learned; and
    • All writers benefit from feedback and a sense of connection.

  • I’m pretty busy; will a CNF course work for me?

    Creative Nonfiction’s online courses are designed to accommodate people with busy schedules and other commitments. Many students have full-time jobs or family responsibilities, while others have more free time to devote to their writing. The flexible class schedule means that you can participate in the way that best fits your schedule.

  • What are your community standards?

    Creative Nonfiction is committed to creating a welcoming and comfortable experience for all staff and participants regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, neurodiversity, physical appearance, ethnicity, nationality, race, age, or religion.

    We expect that staff and participants will treat each other with respect in all interactions. We will not tolerate discrimination or harrassment in conjunction with any of our programs. Harassment could include but is not limited to:

    • Repeated disruption of classes, lectures or discussion
    • Deliberate intimidation
    • Unwelcome sexual attention
    • Comments or displayed images that harmfully reinforce structures of oppression

    Community posts violating any of these guidelines can and will be removed from the page at any time. Anyone asked to stop harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately.

    Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or critique in good faith. Reading and writing, by their nature, include exposure to controversial, challenging, and sometimes offensive language. We encourage all participants to follow the peer review guidelines provided by their instructor.

    When you join a course you agree to…

    • respect others and respect their writing;
    • maintain the privacy of all submitted work;
    • treat others with respect;
    • not infringe on anyone’s copyright;
    • not harass, abuse, threaten or impersonate another user; and
    • not use libelous, obscene, or abusive work.

    Online Communication Guide

    Online communication happens without the benefit of body language and tone. Therefore, it can be easy to misinterpret. The following tips may help participants engage in civil, intelligent, vigorous discourse without impugning the personal dignity of others:

    1. Start from a position of generosity (i.e. assume that people mean well)
    2. Address your post to someone or to the group. Instead of “Hey” or just jumping in to your post, try “Hi All” or “Hi [Name].”
    3.  Don’t be afraid to use emoticons and/or exclamation points! 🙂
    4. Please avoid ALL CAPS whenever possible, as they tend to come off as RUDE or YELLING.
    5. Avoid harsh or offensive language of any kind. If you’re in doubt, try rewording or reconsidering your post.
    6. Sarcasm is very difficult to convey in writing — best to avoid it.
    7. When interacting with your peers, please consider that some may have limited experience with English, online education, and/or creative writing. It’s a good rule of thumb not to write anything you wouldn’t say if that person were standing in front of you.
    8. Often writers from underrepresented groups are asked to explain everything for an assumed monolithic audience (often cis/white/hetero/masculine/able-bodied, etc. etc.). As you respond to peers’ work, keep in mind that you may not be the writer’s intended audience, and leave room for the possibility that the writer is writing for a group of which you are not a member. (For more on this, listen to this episode of Code Switch for an in depth conversation.)

    See your course for additional feedback guidelines provided by your instructor.

  • How much do education programs cost?

    Our online courses are priced according to how many weeks they run. 5-week courses cost 310.00 and 10-week courses cost 485.00. Early registration provides a 50.00 discount. Our self-guided courses are 29.99 (no early registration discount) and our webinars range from free to 25.00.

  • Do you offer any scholarships?

    Unfortunately, we do not offer scholarships at this time. However, most programming has an early registration price. Sustaining and Supporting subscribers receive an additional 10% discount. You can learn more here.

What’s the Story from Lee Gutkind, Founder

Read on to hear from Lee about current happenings with Creative Nonfiction.