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The Creative Nonfiction Podcast with Brendan O'Meara
Conversations with artists about creating works of nonfiction.
Category: Literature
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by Brendan O'M...
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June 23, 2017 08:16 AM PDT

Andre Dubus III, author the memoir Townie and the novels House of Sand and Fog and Dirty Love, stopped by the podcast to talk about memoir, the essay, and writing in general.

"The truth is, if you want to write or create anything worth a damn, you better embrace failure or you're not going to get to the good stuff. You gotta learn to love how hard it is," he says.

This episode is so packed with great, actionable, and inspiring material from a "made" writer, meaning he built himself into the writer he wanted to be. If you think you don't have time to write, just wait until you hear him talk about how he found the time to write his breakout novel House of Sand and Fog. Talk about rigor.

Please review the podcast and pass it along to a friend!

Thanks for listening!

June 16, 2017 05:47 AM PDT

Jessica Abel is a cartoonist, a teacher, a writer, and a podcaster and her latest book, Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You're Drowning in Your Daily Life, is her latest project.

I came across her kick-ass, 200-page, black-and-white graphic book Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio and reached out to her. 

So in this episode we talk a lot about what makes for great radio/podcasting, how to obtain creative focus, the power of reviewing your projects and processes, and much, much more.

If you dig the show, share it with a friend and leave a review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you found this. The five-star ratings keep coming in and I'd love to have more that way I can reach more people just like you, people who dig what the best artists are doing in the genre of creative nonfiction. 

Thanks for listening!

June 09, 2017 08:11 AM PDT

I'm not sure where to begin if I'm being perfectly honest. Joe Drape (@joedrape on Twitter) is a New York Times sports writer and the New York Times bestselling author of Our Boys and American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise.

He wrote the 80,000-word manuscript in six weeks without a book leave.

How are you feeling about your productivity?

"When you say, 'Ok, I've got six weeks to write 80,000 words,' it freaks you out," says Joe. "Sometimes 1,500 words goes to 3,000 or 6,000. Sometimes 1,500 becomes 300, and you shut your computer and go to a movie."

I love it, baby.

Joe is the author of these six books:

American Pharoah
Black Maestro
Our Boys
The Race for the Triple Crown
In the Hornets Nest
To the Swift

In this episode he talks about how to write a book under tight deadline pressure, the power of reporting, and the power of listening.

And thank you for listening! And if you have a moment, please leave a review on iTunes. Nine (and counting) five-star reviews! Thanks so much!

June 02, 2017 08:38 AM PDT

Jessica Lahey, author of the essay "I've Taught Monsters" and the NYT best seller "The Gift of Failure," came by the show to talk about teaching and getting the work done.

"The work of being a writer means you get words on the page. It's as simple as that. I means you read, you write, and get words on the page."

We talk about her approach to teaching and language, and also how Stephen King's "On Writing" influenced her style. We also talk about what it means to work hard as a writer.

Dig the show? Give the podcast a nice review. You won't be alone. Several people have done it, so join them!

Thanks for listening!

May 26, 2017 11:59 AM PDT

For the 50th episode of The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, we had to go big and that's what we did.

Ted Conover, author of so many books (Rolling Nowhere, Coyotes, Newjack) including his latest "Immersion: A Writer's Guide to Going Deep," joined me to talk about why he wrote the book and how he has employed those tactics for the past 40 years.

"The research you do is determinative, right?" Conover says. "It defines what you're going to be able to write in many ways."

Thanks for listening. Please share, subscribe, and leave a review on iTunes.

May 19, 2017 10:59 AM PDT

Dinty Moore runs the creative writing program at Ohio University. He founded Brevity Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to short (<750 words) nonfiction. He's written a dozen books.

Phew.

"I don't spend a lot of time lingering over breakfast," he says.

His latest book, "The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir (Ten Speed Press)," will help diagnose—and cure!—common ailments in your project, whether you're far along in a book (as I am) or you're just getting starting.

Check this. When dealing with early drafts (and Dinty writes as many as 40), he says, "I don't think, 'Oh, God, I hate myself. I'm a horrible person.' I think, 'You know what? I can actually FIX this.'"

Great advice for patience and kindness to you and your work.

Please leave a review on iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, and share with a friend.

Thanks for listening!

May 05, 2017 05:49 AM PDT

This week on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast decided to revisit my episode with Roy Peter Clark (@RoyPeterClark on Twitter), this time condensing that two-hour interview and pulling out the best moments.

In it we hear Roy talk about how he learned to swim in the language, the moment he learned the true meaning of literacy, and when research can become crippling.

I'm experimenting with the form and making it more like a mini one-source profile. Let me know what you think. I think it makes for a better overall listen. Ping me on Twitter @BrendanOMeara with thoughts, or to say hi.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple podcast app and on Google Play Music. Leave a rating if you're feeling extra kind. Those help.

Thanks for listening!

April 28, 2017 08:31 AM PDT

Shawna Kenney, author, writer, teacher, coach, editor, joins me on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast to talk about her origin story as a teenage fanzine founder, punk rock, and her delightful short essay “Never Call Yourself a Writer, and Other Rules for Writing,” a brilliant piece of satire.

She grew up in a conservative family in small-town Maryland, so the nearby punk scene in Washington D.C. held tremendous appeal. “I always wanted to be Hunter S. Thompson without the drugs,” Shawna tells me.

Her work has such an edge that I was surprised that she didn’t have that edge in conversation. “I’m much better on the page than I am verbally,” she says, which isn’t true at all. She’s great on the page, and she’s a great conversationalist.

Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the New York Times, Vice, and Playboy, just to name a few. Be sure to follow Shawna on Twitter @ShawnaJKenney and go to her website to read more about her and her work.

Thanks for listening!

April 21, 2017 10:49 AM PDT

Creative Nonfiction's managing editor Hattie Fletcher sat down to talk about the art of editing.

April 14, 2017 08:16 AM PDT

My good friend (can I say that? I think so) Bronwen Dickey returns to talk about the paperback release of "Pit Bull: Battle Over an American Icon," Troll Culture, and how Perfectionism Kills You.

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