Sari Botton: On Finding Compassion Through Memoir

Sari Botton is a writer and editor living in Kingston, NY. Her work has appeared in the New York Timesthe Guardian, and other. She is a contributing editor at Catapult, and the former Essays Editor for Longreads. She edited the award-winning anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving NY and its New … Read more

A Different Angle: How To Revisit a Painful Past Without Re-Triggering Your Present

(This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of Writer’s Digest.) At a memorial dinner for my beloved, psychotically upbeat friend, Erica Chase-Salerno, mourners were invited to choose an “Affirmators!” card from her favorite silly/inspirational deck. The one I pulled read: “As I tell myself the story of what’s happening in my life, I choose … Read more

A Different Angle: How To Revisit a Painful Past Without Re-Trigging Your Present

(This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of Writer’s Digest.) At a memorial dinner for my beloved, psychotically upbeat friend, Erica Chase-Salerno, mourners were invited to choose an “Affirmators!” card from her favorite silly/inspirational deck. The one I pulled read: “As I tell myself the story of what’s happening in my life, I choose … Read more

Telling My Story: How to Work Through Painful Feelings While Writing a Memoir

In 2016 a miracle happened in my life. I heard my 49-year-old son’s voice for the first time. I had been forced to relinquish my first-born son to closed adoption in a New Orleans unwed mothers maternity home in 1967. A teenager at the time, that traumatic event sent my life into a spiral of … Read more

6 Types of Creative Nonfiction Personal Essays for Writers to Try

When faced with writing an essay, writers have a variety of options available. Beyond the basic five-paragraph essay, they can craft informational essays, persuasive essays, and more. But one of my favorites is the personal essay. When done well, the personal essay reads like a good story, a story that happens to be true. (How … Read more

Florence Olajide: On Perseverance and Persistence Through Memoir

Born in London in 1962, Florence Olajide spent her early childhood in a white foster family. At age six, she moved with her birth family to Lagos, Nigeria, where she grew up. Florence returned to the UK in 1989 with her family. She worked as a teacher before her appointment as headteacher of a large … Read more

What Is a Lyric Essay in Writing?

I saved the lyric essay for April, because April is poetry month, and the lyric essay is a little more on the poetic and experimental side of creative nonfiction writing. In fact, most places that talk about the lyric essay reference poetry. Does that mean only poets can write the lyric essay? Well, that’s one … Read more

How to Write Compelling Personal Essays: 9 Ingredients for Spicing Up Your Writing

What’s so special about you?” It sounds like a playground taunt. But if you want to write personal essays, it’s the most important question you can ask yourself. When you describe some special moment in your life, no matter how small, it should resonate with others, and in doing so, move them. That’s the writer’s … Read more

What Is a Personal Reportage Essay in Writing?

Many writers are probably familiar with how journalistic reporting reads, very fact-based with the 5 Ws and 1 H to go along with an inverted pyramid style of placing the most essential information at the top followed by other pieces of information in descending order of importance . Many writers also have a good idea … Read more

Brevity: Market Spotlight

For this week’s market spotlight, we look at Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, an online publication released three times per year and focused on extremely brief nonfiction essays. Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction publishes excellent flash nonfiction. That means, Brevity publishes nonfiction essays of 750 words or fewer. And Brevity has … Read more