“You write in isolation and a rejection doesn’t give you a lot of feedback.”—Kim Kankiewicz (@kimprobable)
“What I have to process is my own thoughts and experiences; does that matter to anybody else? The reason I write is to make connections with other people.” —Kim Kankiewicz
Here we are again, picking them off one by one.
Kim Kankiewicz’ essay “Rumors of Lost Stars” won Creative Nonfiction’s best essay contest for Issue 32’s theme of “Joy”. It’s an essay about communal acceptance, overreaching, and then personal acceptance and redemption. She threads this around the mythology of three stars. The parallels between the myths and her story make this essay sing.
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Melissa noted how fun it was to be edited by Maggie Messitt, a former guest on #CNF.
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“When it gets too easy, I need to challenge myself and make it harder again.” —Jen Miller
What’s this? Three weeks in a row? It’s happening, folks, and thanks for hanging in while I get my feet back under me after the big, cross-country move.
What better way to follow up that sentence than by talking about Jen Miller (@ByJenAMiller), a runner who wrote the engaging, funny, and raw memoir Running: A Love Story(Seal Press, 2016). It’s about running, love, and control and we talk about that and much more.
We also chat about freelancing and some of the more granular details of the business that I think will benefit any freelancer, novice or expert.
We made it to Episode 30 of the #CNF Podcast! It’s been hit and miss since I started it over three years ago, but the aim is to be more consistent as that’s the only way for it to reach more readers and writers. So go subscribe, if you haven’t already.
I heard somewhere that a podcast has an average run of about seven episodes, yet here we are at Episode 30 of the #CNF Podcast.
That’s on account of the people I hear from who derive some value and entertainment from the interviews. For that I say, Thank you so much. And let’s keep this thing going, let’s try and reach more writers and more readers.
So Episode 30 is a little different than the typical interview format. For this milestone episode—if you’ll indulge me—I chose to read an essay I had published this year in Chautauqua Americana, a literary journal run by Philip and Jill Gerard.
They were gracious enough to nominate this essay for a Pushcart Prize, so without further ado, here’s me reading my essay “That Pickoff Play”.
Paul talked a lot about his own process and how that has changed over the years. He also talked about some of the best advice he can give an aspiring writer: cultivating fandom.
Why don’t you just listen to him?
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“A successful writer is someone who alters me.” —Elane Johnson
“Teaching for me is writing.”—Elane Johnson
We’ve made it to 25 episodes, can you believe it?
Elane Johnson comes by the podcast to talk about her essay “The Math of Marriage,” which won Creative Nonfiction’smarriage essay contest for Issue No. 59. You’ll have to subscribe to magazine to read it.
What will be in store for the next 25 episodes of the podcast? I have no idea. I just hope you keep hanging around and listening to these often unsung writers talk about their work.
Elane also references Sarah Einstein, author of Mot: A Memoir. You can hear her episode too.
“There are all kinds of people who can easily out-write me, but there are very few who can outwork me.”—Bronwen Dickey.
“Henry Rollins said ‘Music is made by the people music saved,’ and I think stories are written by the people stories saved in the same way. And stories saved me from loneliness and boredom.”—Bronwen Dickey
It’s been a long time between episodes, but here’s a good one with author/journalist Bronwen Dickey.
We talk about her new book Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon, which will hit book shelves on May 8. The book isn’t what you think it’s about, and we dive into that and many, many other things.
The Brothers Karamazov
Slouching Toward Bethlehem
The Collected Essays of Annie Dillard
The Fire Next Time
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Butler is one of the smartest people I’ve ever spoken with. There’s a level of thinking and depth you don’t often hear from someone who’s in their mid-30s. You expect it from, say, George Saunders, but listening to Butler speak was a treasure for me and I hope so for you.
Like Holland, Glenn Stout, and Charles Bethea, Butler never studied journalism, yet he’s one of the best at his craft. I sense a theme that some of the best at this craft aren’t journalists by trade, but people who have a keen sense for language, are widely read, and think long and hard about the work. They aim for impact, not a sound bite.