Episode 33—Melissa Chadburn Shares All Her Secrets!

Melissa Chadburn, author of “The Readiness Assessment.”

“Being a writer is like you’re always in the hallway.” —Melissa Chadburn

“I am competing against myself in the past.” —Melissa Chadburn (@melissacahdburn)

“With all nonfiction, you need something to hang your narrative on.” —Melissa Chadburn

“I like to have emotional access to my stories.” —Melissa Chadburn

By Brendan O’Meara

Melissa Chadburn stopped by #CNF HQ to talk about her second runner-up  story (judged by Bronwen Dickey) titled “The Readiness Assessment.” 

She entered it in Proxmity Magazine’s first inaugural narrative journalism prize and it’s a good one. 

Melissa noted how fun it was to be edited by Maggie Messitt, a former guest on #CNF. 

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Episode 28—Sarah Shotland Takes Us to Prison

Sarah Shotland's essay "On Visiting Prison Again" won Proximity Magazine's personal essay contest.
Sarah Shotland’s essay “On Visiting Prison Again” won Proximity Magazine’s personal essay contest.

By Brendan O’Meara

I mean, don’t take my word for it, let Paul Lisicky, judge of Proximity Magazine’s personal essay contest tell you about Sarah’s essay:

This is a piece by a writer who’s willing to be lost a little while. As readers, we encounter a mind at work: thinking, perceiving, questioning, bewildered. We’re invited into the speaker’s contradictions—her wish to be seen and known, her wish to be invisible—and get a window into an aspect of the American prison system that’s rarely represented, especially with such nuance and intimacy.

Here’s the link to her winning essay.

Sarah talks about how she deals with self-doubt and how teaching breaks her free of it.

She’s the author of Junkette and does great work with Words without Walls.

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Thanks for listening!