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Writing True Book CoverWriting True:
The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction is a new name for an old impulse: to write about the real world in a way that makes writers and readers care. The power of the genre is its invitation to all writers, no matter who they are, to speak out and be heard as individuals. Expert and novice, young and old, famous and never-heard-before, all have the legitimacy to say: “Here’s how I see the world!” And if they write well enough—combining passion, accuracy, and grace of language—others will listen. This book provides the strategies for making creative nonfiction come alive, whether one is focusing on personal experience or the world at large. Ideal for classroom or individual use.


Part I:  Writing Creative Nonfiction
1. Why Creative Nonfiction?
2. The Power of the Notebook
3. Ten Ways to a Draft
4. Taking Shape
5. Finding Voice
6. Workshopping a Draft
7. The Craft of Revision
8. Exploring the New Media
9. The Role of Research
10. The Ethics of Creative Nonfiction

Part II: Reading Creative Nonfiction
Forty of the best of contemporary short memoirs, personal essays, portraits, essays of place, stories of craft, and short shorts. Authors include Tracy Kidder, Susan Orlean, Patricia Hampl, Scott Russell Sanders, Nora Ephron, among others.

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"I'd like to take my phone off the hook, plug in an automated "Out of the Office" email message, and then take this book with me to Monhegan for a one-month writing retreat."
-Stephanie Paterson, Cal State University
"In classes that used Writing True as the basis for their curricula, the evaluations were unusually high--in fact, the highest I have ever gotten for that or any other course I've taught."
-Ann Tabachnikov, FIT

Writing True… will be indispensable for anyone drawn to trying his or her hand at creative nonfiction … a great choice for classrooms, writing groups, and the desktops of writers exploring the genre on their own."
--Lynn Powell, poet and creative nonfiction teacher, Oberlin College

Writing True is…obviously written by two practicing writers who also know more than a thing or two about teaching. Only practicing writers would have included the excellent chapter on “Finding Voice,” the common sense advice in “Workshopping a Draft,” the experienced approach to “The Craft of Revision” …and the first-rate chapter, “The Role of Research.”
-- Joe Mackall, Editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

I would urge Houghton Mifflin to… reach the many adult-education courses around the country in memoir, creative nonfiction, and autobiography .... This book should be sold in the writing and memoir sections of Barnes & Noble….”
Nancy Sommers, Harvard University