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.*
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:
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 Nonfiction, True Story, or any In Fact Book.
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.
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.
Angela Chen is a journalist, editor, and the author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex, which was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, Electric Literature, and Them. Previously, she was on staff at the Wall Street Journal, Vox Media’s the Verge, and MIT Technology Review. Her reporting and essays have also appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Aeon Magazine, Paris Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, Lapham’s Quarterly, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and more. She is a contributing editor at Catapult Magazine.
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 Times, Harvard Review Online, Entropy, Artillery, 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.
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’s, River Teeth, and Chautauqua.
$140.00 – $450.00
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].
Creative Nonfiction's online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.
I liked having a structured way to engage with my own writing process, and I liked reading works-in-progress by other writers. I also appreciated the lectures and readings that the instructor put together. Everything was curated with great care.Ryan
I liked having a structured way to engage with my own writing process, and I liked reading works-in-progress by other writers. I also appreciated the lectures and readings that the instructor put together. Everything was curated with great care.
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.
FlexibilitySome 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 ClassesClasses are small—limited to 14 students per section—which means you’ll receive individual attention and feedback on your work.
Experienced InstructorsGood 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 AssignmentsMany 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 ConnectionWe 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.
After you register for a self-guided course, we manually process your information and invite you to join an online classroom where you will find the course materials. The course invite will come to your email account (please check your spam/junk folder).
Please note: if you register before the start date, you’ll receive an invite to join your class the Friday before class begins. If you register after class begins, we’ll send you a course invite within 72 hours, and you will then have access to the previous weeks’ materials.
The classroom will close a week after its end date, but if you register and accept the invite before the class ends, you will receive the course archive as a zip file at that time. That means, all lessons: lectures, readings, and assignments will be downloadable when you are ready to work through the course on your own.
If you participate while the classroom is open, you’ll be able to work with other writers enrolled in the class.
Our courses run asynchronously; meaning, you will NOT need to be online at any particular time. Assignments for CNF classes are given on a weekly basis; you should submit each assignment by a given deadline, but in most classes you will have at least an entire week to complete the assignment. We realize that our students live in many different areas and have different work schedules, so classes are designed to be flexible. Courses feature one live conference session, which does require that you be online at a particular time; however, participation in this session is completely optional, and instructors make an effort to offer times that can accommodate most students. This is scheduled by the instructor after class begins.If you are not able to participate in the live conference you will still be able to view a recording of it during the remaining weeks of the class. Please note that there are no video conferences in boot camp courses.
Memoir is not a mere series of facts; it’s a vehicle for telling a story that the author experienced, and there are many ways to evoke the truth of that story.
Writing memoir and personal essay relies on memory, so how do we account for the fact that our recall is imperfect?
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