R124. The Science of Story: Creative Nonfiction and Cognitive Science

Room 505, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
9:00 am to 10:15 am


New research in cognitive/neuroscience illuminates how and why creative nonfiction works. Panelists explore why our perception of time slows during crisis and how to replicate crisis on the page (showing) and why the best nonfiction engages the prefrontal cortex through introspection, reflection, and speculation (components of telling). This panel examines elements of creative nonfiction and offers suggestions on how we can use science to improve our writing and writing lives.



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 (forthcoming), and coeditor of the Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction.

Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the memoir If Only You People Could Follow Directions. Her work has appeared in the Threepenny Review, the Carolina Quarterly, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She teaches at Burlington College and in the MFA Program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Nancer Ballard is a writer, book artist, editor, and resident scholar at the Brandeis University where she leads creative projects that combine science, humanities, creative writing, and fine arts. She's the author of Dead Reckoning, and her work appears in numerous journals and anthologies.

Dave Madden


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center