With the surge in popularity of nonfiction books, even in children’s literature, it’s not surprising to see that creative nonfiction — also known as narrative nonfiction — is gaining traction as a genre. Writer’s Relief, a well-established submissions service, gathered advice on gaining exposure both in print and online which might be helpful to anyone who wants to find a home for their nonfiction prose:
As a first step, do your homework: Invest time and energy in identifying the niche markets that offer the best fit for your nonfiction piece. Have you written a satire or clever take on a “hot,” timely issue? Is your piece part of a memoir or a reflection on family life or contemporary relationships? Or have you penned a reflective essay that plumbs a theme with wide emotional appeal? “The tone, style, and topic of your nonfiction writing will determine your submission strategy,” notes Writer’s Relief.
Second, scope out your options. Possible outlets for your work range from traditional magazines to literary journals and everything in between. Major commercial magazines may welcome short personal essays with emotional lessons learned or humorous takes on issues of the day like telecommuting dads.
News-or-entertainment websites like “Salon,” “Slate,” or “The Huffington Post” have enormous online audiences and welcome op-ed style pieces and essays on popular themes. Print newspapers are also building online followings by creating blogs with broad appeal. “The Wall Street Journal,” for instance, has a blog called “Speakeasy” that focuses on the arts, culture,, and entertainment. Some literary journals like “Fourth Genre” focus on true stories with powerful emotional content and literary style — and can offer valuable publishing exposure. Editors may put out a call for creative nonfiction to create anthologies focusing on themes like addiction or family relationships. Online resources like Writer’s Relief and the “Poets & Writers” website can help you identify promising themes and outlets.
And finally, once you’ve gathered a list of potential nonfiction vehicles for your prose, check out their submission guidelines or craft a concise, appealing query letter to test the waters — and write on.