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The Creative Nonfiction Podcast with Brendan O'Meara
Conversations with the world's best artists about creating works of nonfiction.
Category: Literature
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by Brendan O'M...
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November 16, 2018 08:16 AM PST

"I never try to write a valentine. I always try to tell the story straight," says Glenn Stout, who makes his third visit to the podcast.

Buckle up, CNFers, I’m Brendan O’Meara and this is my podcast, the show where I speak to the best writers and filmmakers, producers and podcasters about the art and craft of telling true stories. I try and extract habits and routines around the work so you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, steam on Spotify, find the show and do it up. If you dig the show, if there’s a tasty nugget you know will help a fellow CNFer, pass it along to one person. Share it with you dozen Twitter followers, or your 300 Twitter followers and if you have a moment, consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Head over to brendanomeara.com for show notes and to sign up for my monthly newsletter where I give out reading recommendations, writing tips, and what you might have missed from the world of the podcast. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.

So it’s Glenn Stout this week author, at last count, of 3,000 books, go look it up. His latests is the most comprehensive history of the New England Patriots to date titled The Pats: An Illustrated History of the New England Patriots. He put this book together with his long time collaborator Richard Johnson, who handled much of the curating of the art you’ll find in this gorgeous book.

So Glenn came back for his third trip to the show. We talk about shotgunning ledes, chain smoking book projects, rationing out energy and, of course the Patriots, my home team, being a New England boy.

Thanks to out sponsors in Goucher College's MFA in Nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction Magazine.

Glenn is @glennstout on Twitter. Go buy the book for the Pats fan in your life. I’m @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on Twitter. You can follow along on Facebook @CNFPodHost/The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. I’m also @brendanomeara on Instagram if you like rando pics, drawings, and audiograms.

Is that it? I think that’s it. Happy Thanksgiving, gobble gobble mofos.

And remember, if you can’t do, interview, see ya!

November 09, 2018 06:00 AM PST

Brin-Jonathan Butler has the world record for appearances on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast at four times.His new book The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match that Made Chess Great Again is a masterpiece.

Be sure to visit Brendan O’Meara.com for show notes and to sign up for my monthly newsletter. If you want to connect on social, I”m @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on twitter. On Facebook you can search for the podcast by name and the hanlde @CNFPodHost. If you’re an Instagrammer, I post drawings I do and audiograms from the show.

Got any questions or concerns? Ping me on social or email me creativenonfictionpodcast@gmail.com. Maybe I’ll answer the question on the show.

Thanks to our sponsors in Goucher College’s MFA in Nonfiction as well as Creative Nonfiction Magazine. Go check them out.

November 02, 2018 05:41 AM PDT

Natalie Singer, author of California Calling: A Self Interrogation comes by the show this week.

So here we are again. Happy to say last week’s episode was featured in Creative Nonfiction Magazine’s November newsletter as a “distraction,” meant only as flattery, of course.

Jane Friedman, THAT Jane Friedman, also gave us a great shoutout in a blog post a few weeks ago. That’s riff worthy…

Oh, you didn’t think I was gonna drop that hammer did you, sucka?

Hey, this is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the best artists about the craft of telling true stories. I’m Brendan O’Meara (hey, hey) and this is what we do. Today I welcome Natalie Singer, author of California Calling: A Self Interrogation to the show.

We talk about confidence, or the lack thereof, books as mentors, and day jobs and feeling shame for day jobs. I hope to change that perception over the next six million episodes, but shame is real, man, it is real.

Well, are you subscribed to the show? You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and just about anywhere else you get your pods. If you like this episode, tell one friend. Hand the show off like a baton and let them run with it. I’d love to see the show grow. It’s getting there. We march on.

Got a newsletter you should consider subscribing to. I give out reading recommendations, but I’m also thinking of sprinkling in some other cool stuff I’ve stumbled on over the past month in the vein of Austin Kleon’s newsletter. I love his newsletter. I’m gonna Steal Like an Artist. See what I did there?

Thanks to our sponsors in Goucher College's MFA in Nonfiction as well as Creative Nonfiction Magazine.

So, the show is @CNFPod on Twitter and I’m @BrendanOMeara on Twitter. I don’t know. Following either of those two would be pretty rad. The show is on Facebook too if you’re into that.

October 26, 2018 10:13 AM PDT

"I wanted to dig deeper into the essay collection AS they essay," says Elena Passarello.

Welcome wayward CNFers, it’s the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to bad ass writers, filmmakers, movers and shakers about the art and craft of telling true stories. Here you’ll learn the story, tips, and tactics that will inspire you to greater heights in your own own work. I’m your host Brendan O’Meara, hey, hey.

Yeah, it’s Elena Passarello, not only is she wicked smaht, but we had a super fun, loose, entertaining conversation about her essays from Animals Strike Curious Poses, as well as the writing process, Metallica, and a host of wide-ranging topics. This was one of the rare in-person interviews so we had a ton of fun riffing (hey, hey) with each other.

I probably talk a little too much about myself in this show, but that was the nature of the conversation, so do with that what you will.

You can follow Elena on twitter @elenavox. Feel free to follow me as well @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod. FWIW, I always respond to tweets.

Since you’re here, why don’t you consider A)Subscribing to the podcast wherever you jam and B) Subscribe to my newsletter over at brendanomeara.com (hey, hey). It’s once a month, no spam, can’t beat that.

Hey, if you dig the show, consider sharing it with a CNFin’ buddy. Why? Because I don’t want to rely on social networks to do the work. We are the social network and if we email and share with friends we are tethered by something more than algorithms. Right?

Don’t forget about my newsletter. It’s a fun bit of monthly goodness. Head over to brendanomeara.com (hey, hey) and subscribe. You can unsubscribe at any time, but know that I take it wicked personally if you do. No pressure.

Remembah! If you can’t do….interview! See ya!

Thanks to today's sponsors Goucher College's MFA in Nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction Magazine for the support!

October 19, 2018 09:00 AM PDT

"The possibilities of doing something similar [to fiction] in nonfiction really did appeal to me," says Tracy Kidder, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Are you riffin’ kiddin’ me!?

By virtue of today’s guest I’m assuming there might be a new CNFer or two to our little marauding gang of turbulent souls in this corner of the Internet.

Welcome. We play heavy metal music, we kick maximum ass, and we will, we will rock you. This is the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to bad ass tellers of true stories about where they came from, what and who inspires them, and how they approach the work, so that you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work. I’m your mutha-riffin’ host Brendan O’Meara, hey, hey.

Today’s guest is none other than Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder, author of take a deep breath Brendan… Soul of a New Machine, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, My Detachment, Good Prose, Mountains Beyond Mountains, Strength in What Remains, A Truck Full of Money, and House.

That, CNFers, is a body of work.

And who tells them better than Tracy Kidder, friends? He’s been a literary hero of mine every since I got into this mess. If you’re as big a headcase as I am, I’d go ahead and read Good Prose, the book he wrote with his long time editor and former mentor of mine Dick Todd. It lets you know that you’re not alone and these increasingly digital times, it’s easier and easier to feel, what’s the word??? Shitty...

Tracy’s an apex CNFer in a long line of them that have appeared on this show. Please enjoy this conversation with the one, the only, Tracy Kidder.

Cross that one off the Bucket List...How’d you like it? I hope you dug it. I tried my bestest for y’all. Thanks very much to this show’s sponsors Goucher College’s MFA program in nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction Magazine.

You can visit Tracy Kidder.com for more information about Tracy and his work and events and the like. I believe he has an author Facebook page.

While I’ve got your attention, I’d ask that if you dig the show, share it with a friend, subscribe, and leave an honest review over on Apple Podcasts. They’re a big, big help and I’m deeply appreciative of whatever you can do to help out the show.

Visit brendanomeara.com to sign up for my monthly reading list newsletter. Great books and great podcasts. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat that.

I think that’s a wrap. Remember, if you can’t do interview! See ya!

Thanks to Goucher College's MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction Magazine for sponsoring this podcast.

October 12, 2018 09:41 AM PDT

Oh, hey, welcome to the show, CNFers, and, my, my, my are you in for a treat. Susan Orlean, @susanorlean on Twitter, a New Yorker staff writer and the best selling author of The Orchid Thief, Rin Tin Tin, and now her latest book, The Library Book, is out now. And it’s everything you’d expect from her work.

But before we get to that, maybe you’re new to the show. Let me tell you what me and the voices in my head are up to here. This is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to great artists about the craft of telling true stories: Leaders in narrative journalism, memoir, documentary film, essay, radio, and podcasting stop by so we can talk about their creative path and how they go about the work so you can apply those tips, tricks, and routines to your own work.

Susan Orlean, susanorlean.com, came back to the show. I recommend listening to both her shows. Episode 61 talks a lot about her origin story as a writer and running your show like a business. This time around for Episode 121, she dives into her methods of structure and what her latest book—a book she never thought she’d write—is all about.

Thanks to our sponsors, Goucher College’s MFA in Nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction magazine for the support.

Be sure to give me a fist bump over on Twitter @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod. You can like the Facebook page too if that’s where you spend your time. And if you have questions, feel free to reach out. Also, if you dig the show, consider sharing it with a friend or even write a short review over on iTunes/Apple Podcasts.

If you head over to brendanomeara.com, not only will you find show notes for the podcast, but you will also be able to sign up for my monthly newsletter where I send out reading recommendations and other CNFin’ goodies. You’d enjoy getting something tasty in your inbox from me on the first of the month, head over to the site. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.

October 05, 2018 09:10 AM PDT

Eli Saslow is a Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist for The Washington Post and author of the book "Rising Out of Hatred."

Thanks to our sponsors Goucher College's MFA for Nonfiction and Creative Nonfiction Magazine.

Lots to love in the episode. I hope you dig it, and if you do, please share with a friend and even consider leaving an honest review over on Apple Podcasts.

September 28, 2018 12:59 PM PDT

"Every project I do has made me more fit and better to do my next project," says Allison K. Williams.

It’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the very best in the genre of telling true stories, how they got to where they are and the tools, tips, and tricks that make them so good at what they do. I’m your host Brendan O’Meara.

Today’s guest is none other than Allison K. Williams. She’s @GuerillaMemoir on Twitter and you can visit her website at idowords.com. Allison is a performer, an editor, and a writer. She also hosts the Brevity Podcast so I recommend subscribing to that wherever you get your podcasts.

I mean, while you’re doing that, why don’t you consider subscribing to this show if you don’t already. Share it with your pals if you think they’ll get some value. This is our tiny corner of the Internet and we’re making it bigger each and every week. That’s on you, brah.

Oh, and you gotta sign up for my monthly newsletter. I send out my monthly reading recommendations and some other tasty goodies straight to your inbox on the first of the month. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it?

Be sure to give your buddy Brendan a follow on the socials: @BrendanOMeara on Twitter and @CNFPod on Twitter. I post cool audiograms and quote cards on Instagram @brendanomeara. One more, there’s a Facebook page for the podcast if you do most of your hanging out over there.

Remember, kids, if you can’t Do, Interview! See ya!

September 21, 2018 06:13 AM PDT

Earl Swift, author of Chesapeake Requiem, stopped by CNFPod HQ to talk about his reporting and writing life.

September 14, 2018 02:26 AM PDT

Today I present to you Steve Brusatte, author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of the Lost World. The entirety of the book is brilliant but the way Steve talks about T-rexes and the Asteroid are some of the most compelling reading you’ll come across.

What’s so great about this show is Steve’s passion for his work and the story behind the book, which is part serendipity, but more just how doing your THING, whatever that is over and over and over again SHOWING UP and what good things can come if that happens.

It’s what I like to say is BEING IN THE GAME. You can’t be noticed, you can’t be recognized unless you’re putting it out there. I love Steve’s passion and energy and I hope you do too.

Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Stitcher!

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