A memoir is an attempt to make artful sense of some aspect or period of the author’s life. The facts may be unusual or traumatic, or they may be ordinary and unremarkable. “What happened” is less important in memoir than the clarity, grace, or originality of the writer’s style and the honest pursuit of self-knowledge. As V.S. Pritchett said, “It’s all in the art. You get no credit for living.”
A few examples
Joan Didion: “Goodbye to All That.”
Kevin Chong: “Every Stepfather Has His Day.”
Ayelet Tsabari: “Yemeni Soup and Other Recipes.” (scroll for PDF)
Eufemia Fantetti: “Alphabet Autobiographica.”
To learn more
The 2020 CNFC/Humber Literary Review creative nonfiction contest closes February 1. Submit today!