Whether you've celebrated your 50th anniversary or 5th marriage; eloped to Vegas or fought for (or against) marriage equality in DC; just filed your divorce papers or proposed to your high school sweetheart, we’re looking for well-crafted essays that truthfully portray what married life is all about.
Send us your true stories of arranged marriages or shotgun weddings; walking down the aisle or running from the altar; mail-order brides or stay-at-home dads. We’re looking for a variety of perspectives—from fiancés to florists; ministers to marriage counselors; divorce attorneys to wedding planners.
Essays must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element and reach beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning. We're looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; all essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate.
A note about fact-checking: Essays accepted for publication in Creative Nonfiction undergo a rigorous fact-checking process. To the extent your essay draws on research and/or reportage (and it should, at least to some degree), CNF editors will ask you to send documentation of your sources and to help with the fact-checking process. We do not require that citations be submitted with essays, but you may find it helpful to keep a file of your essay that includes footnotes and/or a bibliography.
Creative Nonfiction editors will award $1,000 for Best Essay and $500 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special “Marriage” issue of the magazine.
Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. There is a $20 reading fee, or $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US addresses only). If you're already a subscriber, you may use this option to extend your current subscription or give your new subscription as a gift. Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs we cannot offer the subscription deal). All proceeds will go to prize pools and printing costs.
Complete submission guidelines are available here.
Deadline: August 31, 2015.