S268. Taxonomy of Creative Nonfiction: Building a Nonfiction Glossary of Terms

F149, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


In an interview, Judith Kitchen said creative nonfiction writers “don’t quite have words for what we’re doing … With ill-defined terms, craft itself becomes sloppy.” Kitchen is right; it has been too long that CNF relies on fiction terms, starting with our name: nonfiction. Novels (not human lives) have plots. Novels (not our daily lives) have narrators and characters. Panel members will offer up terms that creative nonfiction might use and explain how and why they can replace fiction terms.



Sean Prentiss is the author of Finding Abbey: a Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, coauthor of Nature and Environmental Writing: A Guide and Anthology, and author of the forthcoming poetry book Crosscut: A Trail Building Memoir-in-Poems.

Nicole Walker is the author of Sustainability: A Love Story, Egg, Microcosm, Quench Your Thirst with Salt, and a collection of poems, This Noisy Egg. She edited, along with Margot Singer, Bending Genre: Essays on Creative Nonfiction. She directs the MFA Program at Northern Arizona University.

Lawrence Lenhart is the author of The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage. His prose appears in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and Prairie Schooner. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, teaches genres at Northern Arizona University, and rolls with DIAGRAM. He writes of islands and ferrets.

Leila Philip is the author of four books of nonfiction and poetry. She has received awards from the NEA, NEH, the Guggenheim, and others. She is a Contributing Columnist for the Boston Globe and is the contributing editor at the journal River Teeth. Philip is a professor at the College of the Holy Cross.

Wendy S. Walters is the author of Multiply/Divide: Essays on the American Real and Surreal and two books of poetry: Troy, Michigan and Longer I Wait, More You Love Me. She is Associate Dean of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, The New School.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center