Manuscript Review

Year Round

If you have a piece you’ve been working on but don’t know how to finish, or you want some valuable feedback before submitting your work for publication, the CNF manuscript review program is a great opportunity to get insight from a working professional writer or editor.*

Additional Information

This program is designed to help you with a project that needs an honest read, an unbiased opinion, and a healthy dose of constructive criticism. Each manuscript review includes:

  • Page-by-page margin comments on your manuscript
  • A written critique of the overall manuscript
  • Complimentary CNF Wet Ink community page membership

For additional details about the kinds of feedback you will receive, how the program works, our cancellation policy, and more, please review our FAQs.

Have a manuscript that exceeds our 10,000-word limit? Please contact senior editor Chad Vogler at [email protected] for information on alternative programs and rates.

To avoid a potential conflict of interest, manuscripts evaluated by a CNF writing coach cannot be considered for publication in Creative NonfictionTrue Story, or any In Fact Book.

To enroll

Select from the dropdown menus at the left to select the length of your manuscript and your preferred writing coach and proceed to checkout. You may also add a 30-minute follow-up video conference with your coach. Within one business day, you will receive a confirmation email with additional instructions on how to access the Wet Ink website, upload your materials, communicate with your writing coach, and more.


Our writing coaches

Kurt Caswell has published widely in journals and magazines and is the author of four books of nonfiction, most recently Laika’s Window: The Legacy of a Soviet Space Dog (2018), which tells the story of the first animal to orbit the Earth. His other books are Getting to Grey Owl: Journeys on Four Continents (2015); In the Sun’s House: My Year Teaching on the Navajo Reservation (2009); and An Inside Passage (2009), which won the 2008 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. He has worked as a teacher in Hokkaido, Japan, on the Navajo Reservation, and at schools in Arizona, California, and Wyoming. Caswell is currently a professor of creative writing and literature in the Honors College at Texas Tech University.

Lisa Catherine Harper is the author of the award-winning memoir A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood (U Nebraska, 2011) and coeditor of The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat (Roost/Shambhala, 2013). Her essays and stories have appeared in a range of journals, newspapers, and anthologies. She holds an MA in fiction and a PhD in American Literature, and has taught graduate-level fiction and creative nonfiction for over a decade in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Anne Horowitz is an independent book editor based in Brooklyn. She works on a range of projects including creative nonfiction and memoir, in both a developmental and line editing capacity. Her clients include independent presses such as Tin House Books, Milkweed Editions, Seal Press, The Experiment, Grove/Atlantic, Ig Publishing, and CNF’s In Fact Books imprint; literary agents; and independent authors. She works part-time as an editor with the literary agent Renée Zuckerbrot at Massie & McQuilkin, and is an editor with the New York Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers Fellowship. She was a mentor in the 2016–17 Think Write Publish program, a collaboration between Arizona State University and Creative Nonfiction. She is a member of PEN and the Editorial Freelancers Association. Until 2010, she was associate editor at Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press, where she worked for five years.

Jessica Kehinde Ngo is a memoirist and writing professor based in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesHarvard Review OnlineEntropyArtillery, Hippocampus Books, and the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. She studied creative nonfiction at the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing Program. She has taught writing at Pepperdine University and is currently an associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design, where she teaches writing and food literature. She also teaches an online course called Honest to Goodness: Introduction to Writing the Food Memoir for the Creative Nonfiction Foundation.

Meghan O’Gieblyn is the author of the essay collections God, Human, Animal, Machine, and Interior States. Her essays, memoir, and criticism have appeared in Harper’s, the New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, n+1, the Point, the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and The Best American Essays 2017. She received her MFA from University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she won the Jerome Sterns Teaching Award. You can read some of her work at her website.

Kelsey Osgood is a graduate of Columbia University and Goucher College’s creative nonfiction MFA program. She is the author of the memoir How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. She has contributed to the New Yorker’s Culture Desk/Page Turner blog, Salon, New York, and Time, among other places, and has written on subjects as varied as Hasidic punk rockers, python hunting in the Everglades, and Icelandic liquor. Kelsey was also a consultant to former head of the FDA David Kessler, MD, on his book Capture: A Theory of the Mind. Her interests include religion, psychology, and literature. For more information, visit her website.

Leslie Rubinkowski directs the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at Goucher College. She has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University, and has lectured at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. The author of Impersonating Elvis, her essays have appeared in Harper’sRiver Teeth, and Chautauqua.

Course Registration

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories

Testimonials

I’ve recommended Creative Nonfiction classes to several friends. Great classes!

Kathy Haaga

Education FAQs

  • What’s the difference between Self-guided and Online Courses?



    Online courses are 5- and 10-week courses that offer firm deadlines, a flexible schedule that fits your needs, and instructor feedback to help you keep writing and improving your work. Terms start quarterly, and sections are capped at 14 students to help foster community and connection. 

    Self-guided classes are 4-week courses and differ from our other online courses in significant ways. There are no due dates, no cap on enrollment, and no instructor feedback will be provided. However, you can post questions for your peers and give and receive feedback on writing posted in the classroom.

     

  • How do I find my course archive?

    All course work is saved in Wet.Ink. When the course closes, you can find the archive by logging in to your account, and choosing “Past Classes.” Archives include course content (lectures, readings, writing prompts, etc.), your posts and writing submissions, and any feedback given on your writing. The course archive will not include your classmates’ writing submissions.

  • What do the course levels mean?

    FUNDAMENTALS—open to all levels.
    Our fundamentals courses are designed for those who are new to writing or new to creative nonfiction, as well as those who could benefit from a back-to-basics review on how to effectively and intentionally use elements of the writer’s craft.

    INTERMEDIATE—prerequisites suggested. 
    Our intermediate courses are designed for writers who have some experience either in the genre or CNF’s courses. Past course participation is not required, but we do recommend starting with one of our fundamentals courses, especially Foundations of Creative Nonfiction.

    ADVANCED—prerequisites for enrollment. 
    Our advanced courses are for writers who have completed two previous online courses (not including self-guided courses) with Creative Nonfiction (one must be an intermediate level course).

  • What do you mean by “self-guided”?

    Self-guided classes differ from our other online courses in significant ways. There are no due dates, no cap on enrollment, and no instructor feedback will be provided. However, you can post questions for your peers and give and receive feedback on writing posted in the classroom.

  • What makes CNF’s online courses different from other online programs?

    Flexibility
    Some online programs work on a “synchronous” model, which requires you to be online at an assigned time each week. The asynchronous model used in our classes means that you do not have to be online at any particular time of day, and can approach the class assignments at your own pace throughout the week based on your schedule. While some optional events, such as class video conferences, do take place at a specific time, the majority of class activities can be completed according to your schedule.

    Intimate Classes
    Classes are small—limited to 14 students per section—which means you’ll receive individual attention and feedback on your work.

    Experienced Instructors
    Good writing instructors not only need to be skilled writers, but also need to have experience in teaching what they know to others. That’s why all of our instructors are professional writers with extensive teaching experience.

    Substantial and Meaningful Writing Assignments
    Many online writing programs ask you to complete short writing exercises each week, and only near the end of the class are you invited to write a single essay or chapter. At Creative Nonfiction, we recognize the value of exercises, but also believe that completing an essay or chapter is the best way for developing writers to really explore how all the elements of creative nonfiction work together. Writing complete pieces also leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and with work that you can share when the class is completed. For this reason, in our classes you are invited to submit longer essays multiple times during a course. See course syllabus for more information.

    Sense of Connection
    We realize that it is difficult to find one’s writing community—which is why we now offer every new student membership to a Community Page where you can meet with other CNF students, during and after class.