Seeking altered states might be one of the oldest human hobbies—for better and for worse—and we’re looking for stories that capture the widest possible range of experiences and voices. Whether you (or someone else) were tipsy or wasted, soooooooo drunk or just a little high—on life, or love, or power, or something else—we want to hear your story about being under the influence.
As always, we’re interested in stories that are more than mere anecdotes, and we love work that incorporates an element of research and/or makes a connection to a larger story or theme. We welcome personal stories as well as profiles, and above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that offer a fresh interpretation or unique insight into the theme.
If we’re being honest, we’re also especially hoping for some happy (or at least lighthearted, if not downright funny) stories—a mix of uppers and downers, as it were.
CNF editors will award $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up. 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Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words.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 subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US addresses only). Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay, becoming a subscriber is recommended instead) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs the rate will be higher if you choose to include a subscription–$43 to Canada or $60 elsewhere).
To submit by regular mail:
Postmark deadline: Monday, February 26, 2018. Mail the essay and cover letter 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 26, 2018.
**Please note that we will check all submissions against our subscriber database. Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read. If you are not a subscriber, proceed to fill out the form below—you will have the opportunity to subscribe on the next page.