I’m admittedly biased in this: we get nicer when we learn more about each other. A quote that periodically circles the webworld: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” (source debated). Creative/literary nonfiction (or “true stories well told,” as Creative Nonfiction exquisitely defines the genre) often invites readers to observe such a battle, identify an adversary (a debt, a disease, a conundrum, an idea, a thief, a prejudice, a loss, a question, an untenable situation, a meanie) cheer for a champion, and learn a few maneuvers to help us with our own troubles. I loved CNF when I was 13 and I love it now.
So to learn more about each other and get nicer, we need more venues for creative/literary nonfiction.
Through a mutual friend, I met Elizabeth Damewood Gaucher, a West Virginia writer now living in Vermont. Elizabeth’s creative and critical work has been widely published, and she is a serious literary editor as well. Five years ago, she founded Essays on Childhood, a mentorship project that “supports, nurtures, and promotes writers of creative nonfiction to reveal both personal and universal childhood experience.”
Now, Elizabeth has created a new online market for creative nonfiction: Longridge Review.
“Our mission is to present the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over a lifespan. We are committed to publishing narratives steeped in reverence for childhood perceptions, but we seek essays that stretch beyond the clichés of childhood as simple, angelic, or easy. We feature writing that layers the events of the writer’s early years with learning or wisdom accumulated in adult life. We welcome diverse creative nonfiction pieces that depict revealing moments about the human condition.”
My involvement in LR is an enriching pleasure. Writers, consider submitting creative nonfiction during the September reading period. Visual artists will be featured as well.