SPECIAL ISSUE AND CONTEST: SOUTHERN SIN
Deadline: July 31, 2012
Creative Nonfiction and the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference & Workshop are looking for essays that capture the South in all its steamy sinfulness–whether you’re skipping church to watch football, coveting your neighbor’s Real Housewife of Atlanta, or just drinking an unholy amount of sweet tea. Confess your own wrongdoings, gossip about your neighbor’s depravity, or tell us about your personal connection to a famous Southerner headed down the broad road to Hell. Whether the sin you discuss is deadly or just something that would make your mama blush we want to hear about it in an essay that is at least partially narrative–employing scenes, descriptions, etc.
Your essay can channel William Faulkner or Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker or Rick Bragg; it can be serious, humorous, or somewhere in between, but all essays must tell true stories, and must incorporate both sin and the South in some way.
Usually the wages of sin is death, but this time we’re making an exception. The selected essays will be published in Creative Nonfiction #47, and CNF and Oxford will be awarding $5000 for Best Essay.
There is a $20 reading fee (or send a reading fee of $25 to include a 4-issue CNF subscription–U.S. submitters only); multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the U.S. (though due to shipping costs, the subscription deal is not valid).
Guidelines to submit by mail:
Essays must be unpublished, 4,000 words maximum, postmarked by
May 28, 2012 July 31, 2012, and clearly marked “Southern Sin” on both the essay and the outside of the envelope. Please send manuscript, accompanied by a cover letter with complete contact information including the title of the essay, word count, SASE and payment to:
Attn: Southern Sin
5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Have an idea for a literary timeline? An opinion on essential texts for readers and/or writers? An in-depth, working knowledge of a specific type of nonfiction? Pitch us your ideas; Creative Nonfiction is now accepting query letters for the following sections of the magazine:
UNDER THE UMBRELLA – explores one subset or type of writing that falls under the creative nonfiction umbrella–dad memoir, extreme travel writing, as well as lesser-known kinds of creative nonfiction–and the patterns that connect these types of writing. Past example: CNF’s Armchair Guide to Stunt Writing.
WRITER AT WORK – an analysis of or an in-depth look into a specific writer’s writing process. Past example: Gay Talese’s approach to composition.
BETWEEN THE LINES – focuses on the business of writing and the role of the editor, agent, publisher and nonfiction writer in the contemporary publishing landscape. This section is reserved for more serious, newsy (in a general way) topics. Past examples: The future of literary magazines in America, and a defense of navel-gazing.
REQUIRED READING – catalogues and explores essential texts for nonfiction readers and writers. Pieces can be as simple as a list or as complex as a lyric essay. Past examples: David Shields’ inspirations and recommendations, and the narrative forms of Norman Mailer as recounted by his biographer.
THEN AND NOW – literary timelines or comparisons of the genre’s past and present. Past example: a history of the genre (and the magazine) from 1993 to 2009.
AFTERWORDS – the final page of the magazine. We’re open to just about any ideas that can be presented completely in one page, though we are more inclined to pieces that take a lighter look at the genre, craft, and/or industry. Past examples: First sentences from first books, and the ever-expanding nonfiction subtitle.
[Note: Nothing increases your publishing chances more than a familiarity with the magazine; we recommend you become a subscriber, but a working knowledge of our recent issues is a great place to start, too. Once you're a student of the publication, query us via email, according to the guidelines below.]
Guidelines: All queries should be sent to “queries [at] creativenonfiction [dot] org”, and the subject line should include the section you’re querying about (e.g. “Between the Lines”). In the body of the email, please include the following:
Your name; your email address; your idea (250 words or less); your bio as it relates to your idea (250 words or less); and your plan for executing your idea (250 words or less).
CONTEST: Tiny Truths: CNF’s Daily Twitter Contest
Can you tell a true story in 130 characters (or fewer)? Think you could write one hundred CNF-worthy micro essays a day? Go for it. We dare you. There’s no limit. Simply follow Creative Nonfiction on Twitter and tag your tiny truths with the trending topic #cnftweet. That’s it.
We re-tweet winners daily and republish 10-12 winning tweets in every issue of Creative Nonfiction.
Not sure what we’re looking for? Check out all of our past “Favorites”.
GENERAL (UN-THEMED) SUBMISSIONS
We try to respond to all submissions as soon as possible. We read general submissions year-round, but depending on the time of year, it is not uncommon for a response to take up to 6 months.
What we’re looking for:
- Strong reportage
- Well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice.
- An informational quality or instructive element that offers the reader something to learn (an idea, concept or collection of facts, strengthened with insight, reflection and interpretation.)
- A compelling, focused, sustained narrative that is well-structured, makes sense and conveys meaning.
Guidelines for Submission:
- Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, 5,000 words maximum (with word count clearly marked).
- Submissions to special issues should be clearly marked.
- Please do not send multiple submissions.
- Please do not send queries. We consider only complete essays.
- Faxed or emailed submissions will not be accepted.
- Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for response. We regret that we cannot return manuscripts.
- We will reply to manuscripts sent from outside the United States by email, if an email address is provided.
- We accept simultaneous submissions, but do ask to be kept informed of the status of your manuscript.
- We typically pay $10 per printed page.
- Please send unsolicited material to:
Creative Nonfiction Foundation
5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15232