Creative Nonfiction is seeking new work for an upcoming issue dedicated to memoir.
We’re looking for stories that are honest, accurate, informative, intimate, and—most importantly—true. Whether your story is revelatory or painful, hilarious or tragic, if it’s about you and your life, we want to read it.
Submissions must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, and reach beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning. We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; all essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate.
Creative Nonfiction editors will award $2,500 for Best Essay and two $500 prizes for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special "Memoir" issue of the magazine to be published in 2020.
Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words.
A note about fact-checking: Essays accepted for publication in Creative Nonfiction undergo a rigorous fact-checking process. To the extent your essay draws on research and/or reportage (and it should, at least to some degree), editors will ask you to send documentation of your sources and to help with the fact-checking process. We do not require that citations be submitted with essays, but you may find it helpful to keep a file of your essay that includes footnotes and/or a bibliography.
There is a $20 entry fee, waived for current subscribers.* You can also submit and become a subscriber, extend your subscription, or give a gift subscription by paying an additional $5 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).
Submit your work online:
Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm Eastern Time, February 25, 2019
*Please note that we will check all free 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.