129 Comments

Great campaign speech, Ramona. May the stars be aligned.

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I am one of those who found your writing through that office hours. Before you said something, I hadn’t even seen the omission (and no poetry category, wow). Now I can’t unsee it.

But I think we’ll get there. Thanks for highlighting the issue and those of us who want to be in our stories.

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Your definition of CNF matches how I desrcibed personal essays when I recently taught a master class in that genre for Rochester (MI) Writers.

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I am pretty embarrassed to admit I never really knew what kind of writing I do (in part because it took decades to say I was writing) so I am thrilled to be able to now say I like to write Creative Nonfiction. Thank you Ramona! Even your description of it is going to make me a better writer as I keep it front of mind (that, and the class I need to take🤣 to get some skills).

I agree there needs to be CF category and am astounded they don’t have poetry!

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At least you still get invited to Office Hours. I don't even remember when the last one was that popped up inviting me.

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It's probably fair to say that I only, ever write CNF.

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Exactly. I've gone looking for it for a month and then I gave up. I know for me on the West Coast it's 10 on Thursdays. I go looking and I can't find either. Which, honestly, is kind of a relief. Instead of getting help really, I get more tempted and distracted. More fragmented and less inspired.

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Ramona, this is the first I’ve heard there’s no category for Creative Writing or Poetry - what?! I’ll have to look at the categories more closely, although I do remember thinking they were inadequate. Meanwhile, I have mixed feelings about creative nonfiction because it’s such an umbrella term - I prefer breaking things out as personal essays, memoir, or first-person journalism - each establishes a different contract with the reader regarding factual information and truthfulness. This also reflects my irritation with the way creative nonfiction is often taught vs. journalism in terms of how much it’s acceptable to massage a storyline for dramatic impact - but that’s another issue, and I don’t want to undercut your main point here 😉

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Upvoting creative non-fiction. It's why I write.

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I don't know what Notes replaces from Office Hours. Yes, I forgot about the refreshing... you're absolutely right about that!

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Huzzah! Well said. I can think of several writers who creative non fiction work stirs deep in me: Terry Tempest Williams, Anne Lamont, Barbara Kingsolver immediately spring to mind. CNF should get it's own designation here.

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Count me in a writer here who primarily writes Creative Nonfiction and would like to see a category for that genre - or simply Nonfiction would do. I think the Literature category should have three sub-categories, Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry.

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I will wholeheartedly cosign this! I saw your comment in office hours and you couldn't be more correct. Culture is not an all encompassing slot for me. I'll jump on your CNF bandwagon!

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We need this category.

I’m finally coming to terms that I’m not a writer anymore. I’m snowbound by TBI & PTSD, so I haven’t been able to write in years. Once upon a time I won six Emmy Awards. Now writing this note is literally painful. But what you’re talking about - this style - I started trying it on August 22nd and it’s helped get some of the poison out. Waking up to your post this morning was, well, good.

Your post arrives at an interesting time. I’m kinda finally done with what I’ve been working on... I think. I’m just working out the intro. It’s actually seems, at least, halfway decent. But it’s also 25,000 words and I’m realising I might not be able to post. With Substack there’s no support system. That makes it really hard to write nonfiction of the exorcism kind. It might be time to face reality (besides the aforementioned 25K).

Regardless, thank you for writing this. I know I already said it, but you’ve made me feel less floundering and alone.

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I am embarrassed to say I don't know who TerryTempest Williams is, but since you put them in a set with Barbara Kingsolver and Anne Lamont, I'm going to check them out.

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I'm glad you mentioned the Crypto category. I mean, I'm sure they have their reasons, but really? WTF? It reminds me of Sesame Street: "One of these things is not like the others."

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