For the summer 2017 issue, Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking submissions for a special issue devoted to the theme of “adaptation”—original essays illuminating the ways in which the need to keep up with a rapidly-changing world drives the work of scientists, designers, thinkers, innovators, farmers, soldiers, medical professionals, teachers, and others and affects the lives of prisoners, patients, refugees, students, travelers, and other citizens. As the world changes, so, too, do humans—whether in our approach to building things, developing new technologies (and adapting to the ways those technologies change our society), learning how to eat different kinds of foods, or learning how to dress differently. And of course adaptation is hardly limited to humanity; numerous other species—everything from viruses to plants and animals—have had to adapt to rapid changes in both global and local habitats.
The special issue of Creative Nonfiction will feature new nonfiction narratives by and/or about professionals whose work helps humans adapt to a changing world. The issue may also feature original work focusing on other, less concrete types of adaptation—for example, how changing demographics affect the development of new technologies; the personal and/or social impacts of shifting attitudes toward gender and sexuality; and the implications and possibilities of new types of media.
We welcome personal stories as well as profiles, and we’re open to a very wide range of experiences and circumstances. Above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that offer unique insight into the theme.
Creative Nonfiction editors will award $3,500 for best essay, and all essays submitted will be considered for publication.
Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process, and editors may ask for sources and citations.
There is a $20 reading fee, waived for current subscribers.* You can also submit and become a subscriber, extend your subscription, or give a gift subscription by submitting $25 to include a 4-issue (one year) subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine (US addresses only). Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay, becoming a subscriber is recommended) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs we cannot offer the $25 subscription rate internationally).
To submit by regular mail:
Postmark deadline: Monday, February 6th, 2017. Mail essay plus a cover letter and reading fee to:
c/o Creative Nonfiction
5119 Coral Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
To submit online:
Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm Eastern Time, Monday, February 6th, 2017.
*Please note that we will check all submissions against our subscriber database. If you are not an active subscriber, you can become one by submitting through the $25 option (which is a 25% discount off our regular subscription rate). Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read.