What We Look For in Creative Nonfiction

A Note From the Editors

We are open for creative nonfiction submissions until April 1. Among the genres, CNF is arguably the hardest to pin down. What, exactly, is this pile of words that tells a story, attends to language, plays with form, and asserts a truth? Is it testimony, confession, ephemera? Is it a stretch for one genre to make space for so many things?

It’s a wide tent, but our CNF editors Lucy Wilde and Erin Hogarth have the following thoughts on what they are looking for when they read submissions for the review:

“At Atticus, we are looking for CNF that transcends the journalistic, expository confines of traditional nonfiction and memoir and thrives within weird, wonderful and experimental forms that serve the story and allow it to shine. We like lyrical. We like dark humor. We love surprising language and striking imagery and appreciate the use of literary devices to tell compelling true stories. We want to read writing that engages our hearts and minds. It is important to us to hear the voice of the narrator and feel why their story matters.

Creative nonfiction casts a wide net, defined only by what it is not. Although we greatly appreciate the diversity of form this freedom allows, we can’t do it all, and are not inclined to publish travelogues, academic or opinion pieces. There are lots of other great publications where these can find a good home.”

If this resonates with you, take a look at our CNF archives to see what we’ve published before, but feel free to surprise us! Make us want to reread what we just read and see something new in it again and again and again.



Swetha Amit in Conversation With Mahdis Marzooghian

"One of the things that inspired the novel's title was a poem by Rumi-only Love has power over lovers. Death has none."


D. E. Lee reviews True Fiction by Sohrab Homi Fracis

"Does emotional impact affect us more than startling fact? A story is known to be true by the reaction it engenders. The content may be irrelevant. What never happened may be true."


by Shaya Kadouri


We are able to bring you content such as this through the generous support of writers and readers like yourself. Please consider becoming a regular Patreon Subscriber today. All subscription levels include free submissions.

Our Reading List is updated each week. Go check it out! Are you a contributor to Atticus Review who'd like your book featured in the reading list? Send us an email at [email protected]

**For photo credits, follow links to stories.**