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Are You a Born Storyteller?

I had a dear friend who had a gift for telling stories about her day. She’d launch into one, and suddenly everyone around her would hush up and lean in, knowing that whatever followed would be pure entertainment. A story of encountering a deer on the highway would involve interludes from the deer’s point of view. Strangers who factored into her tales would get nicknames and imagined backstories of their own. She could make even the most mundane parts of her day—and everyone else’s—seem interesting. She didn’t aspire to be a writer, but she was a born storyteller.

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Why All Nonfiction Should Be Creative Nonfiction

The term creative nonfiction often brings to mind essays that read like poems, memoirs that read like novels, a lyrical way of interpreting the world around us. But the truth is that writing nonfiction—from blog posts to routine news reports to business guides—can (and should) be creative work. And the more creativity you bring to any piece, the better it’s likely to be received, whether your target reader is a friend, a website visitor, an editor or agent, or the public at large.

The March/April 2015 Writer’s Digestgoes on sale today—and this issue delves into the creative sides of many types of nonfiction.

  • Learn seven ways to take a creative approach to any nonfiction book—whether you wish to write a self-help title, a historical retelling, a how-to guide, or something else entirely.
  • Get tips for finding the right voice for your essays, memoirs and other true-to-life works—and see how it’s that voice above all else that can make or break your writing.
  • Delve into our introduction to the nonfiction children’s market—where writers can earn a steady income by opening kids’ eyes to the world around them.
  • And find out what today’s literary agents and publishers are looking for in the increasingly popular narrative nonfiction genre—where books ranging from Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist to Susan Cain’s Quiet have been reinvigorating the bestseller lists.

Why Readers Love True Stories

“Narrative nonfiction has become more in-demand because it provides additional value; it’s entertaining and educational,” explains agent Laurie Abkemeier in our narrative nonfiction roundtable. “There are many forms of entertainment vying for our attention, and the ones that give us the highest return for our time and money investment are the ones that we gravitate toward.”

So give your readers that amazing return. The articles packed into this informative, diverse and boundary-pushing issue will show you how. Download the complete issue right now, order a print copy, or find it on your favorite newsstand through mid-April.

Jessica Strawser
Editor, Writer’s Digest Magazine
Follow me on Twitter @jessicastrawser

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Truth Denial

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Truth Denial

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character (or characters) deny the objective truth.

4 Questions To Ask When Writing Romantic Scenes

4 Questions To Ask When Writing Romantic Scenes

Whether you’re writing a romance novel or simply a romantic moment in your story, M.M. Crane poses 4 questions to ask yourself when writing romantic scenes.

Ben Acker: On Writing Scary Stories for Middle-Grade Readers

Ben Acker: On Writing Scary Stories for Middle-Grade Readers

Ben Acker discusses the joy of reading scary stories growing up that led him to write his new middle-grade horror collection, Stories to Keep You Alive Despite Vampires.

How Freelance Writers Are Using TikTok to Find Success

How Freelance Writers Are Using TikTok to Find Success

TikTok is one of the hotter social media platforms, but it's more than just BookTok. Author C. Hope Clark shares how freelance writers are using TikTok to find success.

Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman: On Trusting Each Other in the Co-Writing Process

Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman: On Trusting Each Other in the Co-Writing Process

Authors Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman discuss the experience of going from friends to writing partner with their new nonfiction book, Courageous Discomfort.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 628

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a reflection poem.

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: The Weight of Blood

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: The Weight of Blood

The editors of Writer’s Digest are proud to announce the next book club selection, The Weight of Blood, by New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson.

5 Tips for Writing a Medical Thriller

5 Tips for Writing a Medical Thriller

There are endless opportunities to build tension in medical thrillers. Here, Dr. Cristina LePort 5 tips for writing a medical thriller from the medical jargon to tying up loose ends.

Good Samaritan or Bystander?

Good Samaritan or Simply Bystander?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character witnesses something bad happening—will they intervene?