nonfiction

Creative Writing + Nonfiction

By: Madison Larimore

My mom gets nervous at the thought of my concentration, creative nonfiction.

“Are you going to write about me? What are you going to say? Does the creative part mean you get to lie?” she asked, when I explained my degree to her for the fifth time.

I don’t blame my mom for having so many questions. I even find it difficult to answer those questions as a student who has studied the craft for three years. But creative nonfiction is not unfamiliar to us, no matter how hard to define the term may be.

The last time my mom asked me about it, I mentioned that the way we communicate on social media is a form of creative nonfiction: we use creative tools to best represent the nonfiction elements of our own personal lives.

In the craft of creative nonfiction, the creative tools are generally literary devices commonly found in fiction and poetry to tell the story well by crafting a scene, establishing character, etc. Of course, in creative nonfiction, the subject matter is true.

Creative nonfiction is not an oxymoron.

In other words, nonfiction, or the truth, does not have to be told boring and lifeless, and good writing does not have to be made up or imagined to be creative. Creative nonfiction can have literary merit, and those pieces that do represent the truth in a way that allows the reader to experience it in the most realistic, purposeful way possible. Creative nonfiction gives you an opportunity to directly expand your perspective through experiencing a piece of someone else’s.

In creative nonfiction, instead of the imagination, our main tool is memory. That’s where we get the term memoir, which is one of the largest sub-genres within the autobiography category. Another popular sub-genre is the personal essay, which commonly explores a question in the writer’s life. Sometimes you will hear both creative nonfiction and fiction referred to as prose, as opposed to poetry.

At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, students are lucky to have two departments with programs in creative nonfiction: the Writer’s Workshop in CFAM and the English department in ASH. Both of these departments are great resources to learn more. And of course, 13th Floor magazine, our campus literary magazine, publishes creative nonfiction. If you have any questions, please email me, the Lead Creative Nonfiction editor, at mlarimore@unomaha.edu.

It’s Almost Heeeeeeeere

That’s right, the deadline for the Spring edition is right around the corner!

Submitting things can be scary, whether it’s the first or four hundredth time you do it. The staff of 13th Floor would like to remind everyone that whether or not your works ends up in the edition, you will hear from us. We won’t leave you alone in the dark for all the spooks and negative thoughts to get’cha, promise.

Send your treats to 13thfloormagazine@gmail.com by October 31st!

Whether it be photography, art, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, scripts, or ravings of a madman, we’ll gobble them all!

Guidelines for submissions and frequently asked questions can be found on our site.

Don’t fear the deadline, writers!

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You’re Cordially Invited: Fall 2016 Issue Launch Party

Tuesday, September 20th, join us in the elegant Weber Fine Arts Gallery to celebrate our newest edition.

We really put a lot into this one and hope that it’s just the beginning to a beautiful new year of editions to come from our team. We want to celebrate the effort, not just ours, but of the people who were included, and of those who helped in the production (as well as our wonderful readers, of course).

The event will begin at 4 PM and last until 5. There will be short readings from some of the included authors and light refreshments will be served.

The party is free to enjoy but for those interested in snagging a lovely little copy of the Fall issue, they will be for sale for $15. Cash and credit are welcome. As always, all profits go to furthering production for future issues and we appreciate any contributions.

For any questions or further details on the event please visit our Facebook event page.

Bubblegum Cyber Punk

We are very excited to announce a new project from fellow editor and creative mind, Phil Brown!

Bubblegum Cyber Punk is a one-shot publication exploring consumer culture in technology and what fuels it. Phil and his team will be accepting original works of  short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry involving the theme.

Submissions should be sent to Phil directly at phil.brown.midwest@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.

For any further information or questions see here.