2018 CONFERENCE NEWS

Creative Nonfiction Collective Society 14th Annual Writing True Conference PosterPlans for the CNFC’s 2018 Conference at the University of Toronto are well underway! Featuring Kamal Al- Solaylee, Lee Maracle, Dinty Moore, Carol Off, Evany Rosen, Naben Ruthnum, Tanya Talaga, and more, with workshops, interviews, and panels on topics ranging from writing humour to grappling with difficult material, this weekend of lively conversation and craft will offer plenty of prompts to writers of all levels.

The conference kicks off at 2 pm on Friday, May 4, with a publishing panel featuring three highly experienced Toronto professionals, followed by “First Page” — an opportunity for volunteer members to hear how the pros respond to their work.

Award-winning journalist and memoirist Kamal Al-Solaylee, author of Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (To Everyone) will deliver our keynote address on the evening of May 4. Saturday will include a whirlwind of fascinating panels, interviews, workshops, and opportunities to network, and the gathering will culminate in our annual AGM and a literary Jane’s Walk through the Annex on Sunday, May 6.

Join us earlier for a book launch on Thursday evening, and Master Classes (at a small extra charge) on Friday morning!

Stay tuned for more details here and on Facebook.

CNF tip of the week: lyric essay

The CNFC and carte blanche want your writing! Send your best, previously unpublished nonfiction piece of 3,000 words or less—  whether it’s literary journalism, memoir, personal essay, or lyric essay — by November 30th, 2017. For more information about these subcategories, read on. Today, we feature…

Lyric Essay

A lyric essay uses the techniques of poetry, including compression, sound play, white space, formal innovation, non-linear narrative, and juxtaposition to explore an idea or an experience in the writer’s life. Lyric essays may be structured as collage or mosaic, as braided or woven narratives, as “flash” snapshots, or wedged within the carapace of other forms such as instruction manuals, rejection letters, lists, or maps, and they may also make use of images. They often rely on research in addition to personal experience. Typically, they make greater demands on the reader than other types of creative nonfiction, so for some, they are an acquired taste—but those who love them can’t get enough!

A few examples

Brenda Miller: “36 Holes.”

Nicole Breit: “Spectrum.” (CNFC award winner!)

Eula Biss: “The Pain Scale.”

Judith Kitchen: “On the Farm.”

To learn more

http://benmarcus.com/writing/on-the-lyric-essay/

https://www.hws.edu/senecareview/dagata_le.pdf

http://theessayreview.org/bodies-of-text-on-the-lyric-essay/

http://www.maryheathernoble.com/on-the-lyric-essay/

http://brevitymag.com/craft-essays/the-shared-space/

https://harpers.org/archive/2016/05/note-to-self/

http://www.portyonderpress.com/the-lyric-essay.html

CNFC member Janet Wilson takes a stand

At the 2016 CNFC conference in Banff, our sponsor Fitneff generously donated an adjustable standing desk to be given away to one lucky member at the annual general meeting — something they’ve agreed to do again this year in Vancouver.

Janet Wilson tells us more.

I pumped my fist into the air and yelled, “Yes!” I had won the prize at the 2016 Creative Nonfiction Collective Conference — a brand new Fitneff Sit Stand Desk.

At the end of a great weekend in Banff, the staff loaded the desk into my car and I headed home. My husband was as excited as me. He saw potential for his use and so hijacked my prize. Fortunately, the ease of adjusting the desk height, raising it to his or lowering it to mine, was a marriage saver. We now share the desk.

The work area is stable and large and can accommodate a computer and all the notebooks that writers are known to collect. Because we have laptops, I use the keyboard shelf below to hold papers, a thesaurus and dictionaries.

Most writers spend a lot of time sitting, so having the ability to change position regularly is beneficial. While writing, I probably spend half my time sitting and the other half standing. The question I am asked is, does it make me a better writer? That I don’t know. However, I can definitely write for longer periods.

My restless nature is totally compatible with the ability to both sit or stand while being productive!

Janet Wilson’s insatiable curiosity about people and her drive to understand the world has taken her to over eighty-five countries. In her forty years as a health professional, she has witnessed the commonality of the things that unite all humans across the globe.

An enthusiastic and entertaining storyteller — she has presented to thousands who share her passion for travel and adventure — Janet is currently writing a travel memoir.

Find out more about Fitneff, and be sure to attend the 2017 AGM on May 6 in Vancouver for a chance at your very own standing desk!