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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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August 31, 2018 11:11 AM PDT

Candice Hare, on-air talent for TVG, joins me on the show this week.

August 24, 2018 10:32 AM PDT

"The great thing is if you find the right story it often is more interesting than fiction because it's weird and quirky," says author Matthew Polly.

Today’s guest is Matthew Polly. You can find him on Twitter @MatthewEPolly or visit his website mattpolly.com. He’s the author of three books of nonfiction, most recently Bruce Lee: A Life. He’s a graduate of Princeton and a Rhode’s Scholar, so you can say my 1050 SAT score didn’t exactly level me up any in this conversation.

You think you know Bruce Lee, but you have NO idea. None. But after 500 pages about the Kung Fu master you come away knowing the whole story.

In this episode you’ll learn about Matt’s approach to writing biography, taking risks, how comedy writing helped Matt find his voice as well as who was the most influential writer to Matt as he developed as a writer himself.

August 17, 2018 11:08 AM PDT

"We're not each other's competition; we're each other's colleagues," says Jennifer Gregory.

Content marketing superstar Jennifer Gregory came by the show this week.

Her book, the Freelance Content Marketing Writer, could be a life changer for you.

@ByJenGregory on Twitter, @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on Twitter.

August 10, 2018 12:00 AM PDT

"Revision as you go along can be tremendously destructive of what you're doing," says author Paul Willetts.

I’ve had quite a run of late of guests from the other side of the pond as it were. Today is no different as I welcome Paul Willetts to the show.

Paul is very smart and he loves the work. He is the author of several books of nonfiction, most recently King Con: the Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age’s Greatest Imposter.”

Yes, that’s right. Hey, there CNFers, I’m Brendan O’Meara and this is my show... it’s the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the best artists about the art and craft of how they approach telling true stories: doc filmmakers like Emer Reynolds, narrative journalists like Susan Orlean and David Gran, memoirists like Mary Karr and Andre Dubus III, and essayists like Hope Wabuke, to tease out origins, routines, and habits, so you can improve your own work and maybe realize you’re not alone out there.

Cuz it can be a lonely, desolate, hell scape and sometimes we need some reassurance that someone who has quote-unquote made it feels the same way.

Hey, you know the drill. Reviews and ratings on Apple Podcasts, the app most of your are listening to this show on are gold. Would you consider taking a few moments out of your day to leave a review? And while you’re at it, visit brendanomeara.com for show notes and to sign up for monthly newsletters. I’ve been doing that for a few years. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.

Well...Paul Willetts, everybody for Episode 112, we talk about how he struggles with beginnings, walking as writing, revision, building scenes. I hope you like it. I know I I did. Here’s me and Paul.

August 03, 2018 09:15 AM PDT

"You're really finding the film in editing the documentary," says Emer Reynolds.

The brilliant filmmaker Emer Reynolds' documentary The Farthest chronicles the incredible story behind the Voyager Mission and the desire to seek out the unknowable while also seeking to be known. The Golden Record, Carl Sagan, the personification of this little spacecraft carrying with it everything that makes us human.

My guest today is based in Ireland and talks about the craft of making doc film, her obsessiveness with research, and how exciting and empowering making a film is. If you love film and true stories, as well as the vast reaches of space, then you’re going to love this.

If you don’t already subscribe to the podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts and do so. And consider leaving a rating or a review to help with the show’s visibility. Also, head over to brendanomeara.com for show notes and to subscribe to my monthly newsletter where I send out my book picks and other goodies from the podcast. Please share this episode across your platforms if you dig it.

Thanks to Hippocamp for the support. You only have this week to use that promo code CNFPOD, so get on it to save $50.

Be sure to head over to brendanomeara.com to sign up for the monthly email newsletter. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.

July 27, 2018 12:55 PM PDT

"I want to make something happen and I just work really hard to do it," says today's guest Scott Neumyer, a writer and host of the Anxiety Diaries Podcast.

Today’s guest has a voice as smooth as velvet. It’s a voice you want to listen to over and over again and you know what? You can!

Today I welcome Scott Neumyer to the show. Scott Neumyer is a writer who has been published by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, GQ, Esquire, Wired, Men's Fitness, and many more publications. He is a contributor to the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles, which Simon Pulse published in 2018. He is also the creator and host of the popular Anxiety Diaries Podcast. He lives in central New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and two cats. You can find his work at scottwrites.com

This is the show where I speak to the best creators about telling true stories, how they’re told, and why it matters so you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work. I’m Brendan O’Meara, and this is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast.

Scott has been working hard on his new podcast, Anxiety Diaries, and it’s raw, it’s honest, and it showcases interesting people across the mental health-sphere.

In this episode we dig into his origin as a writer, influential writers, lots about the craft of interviewing, and how to launch a successful podcast.

If you dig the show, please subscribe and leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Joe Rogan doesn’t need anymore. I need them. Me. Okay, CNFers, thanks for listening, let’s get right into it.

July 20, 2018 06:00 AM PDT

"I could leave my father as a mystery, because he was the mystery I was trying to solve," says Jean Guerrero.

Today I’m joined by a special guest. You may have heard of her, maybe not, but nevertheless her name is Jean Guerrero. She is a television reporter for KPBS in San Diego covering immigration. Too bad that’s not a topical subject.

She is the winner of the PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize and has worked for the Wall Street Journal and has won several reporting awards.

Most recently she is the author of Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, a story about discovering her father by crossing borders both physical and spiritual.

This is the show where I speak to the world’s best artists about telling true stories, how those stories are told, and why it matters to them.

I’m your host Brendan O’Meara and this is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast!

Hey, did you enjoy the show? Be sure to tweet us some love, I’m @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod and Jean is @jeanguerre.

If you have a moment and you made it this far, please consider leaving an honest review on Apple Podcasts and if you want more goodies, head over to brendanomeara.com to sign up for my monthly reading list newsletter. Once a month. No Spam. Can’t beat it.

The Creative Nonfiction Podcast is sponsored by Hippocamp 2018. Now in its fourth year, Hippocamp is a three-day Pennsylvania writing conference that features 50+ speakers, engaging sessions in four tracks, interactive all-conference panels, author and attendee readings, social activities, networking opps, and optional, intimate pre-conference workshops. The conference takes place in lovely Lancaster, from Aug. 24 through the 26th.

Past keynotes have been Lee Gutkind, Mary Karr, Dinty W. Moore, and Jane Friedman (all have been past guests on the podcast. Whaaaat?) This year Abigail Thomas will be the featured speaker.

Visit hippocampusmagazine.com and click the “Conference” tab in the toolbar and if you enter the keyword CNFPOD at checkout you will receive a $50 discount. This offer is only good until Aug. 10 or until all those tickets are sold. There are a limited number so act now! Like RIGHT NOW.

Hippocamp 2018: Create. Share. Live.

July 13, 2018 09:42 AM PDT

“Working outside of journalism before working in journalism can be a useful thing in terms of seeing how the world works,” says Katie Baker.

Hey there, CNFers, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the best artists about telling true stories, whether that’s narrative journalists, documentary filmmakers, essay and memoir writers and radio producers, I try unpack their lives and their work so you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work.

I’ve been a fan of today’s guest for quite some time. Today for Ep. 108 I welcome Katie Baker to the show. She’s a staff writer for The Ringer. Prior to that she worked for Grantland, so there’s a Bill Simmons continuity thing going on there.

Her work often focuses on a singular subject and she’s one of those writers that when you see her byline you know you’re in for some fun. Naturally I’ve linked to some of her work in the show notes.

She’s @katiebakes on Twitter.

Hey, if you enjoyed the show, let me know. I’m @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on Twitter. You can also email me.

I’d ask that if you like this episode and others that you kindly subscribe to the podcast and share it across your social platforms. Also, please consider leaving an honest rating or review on Apple Podcasts.

Head over to brendanomeara.com for show notes and to subscribe to my monthly reading list newsletter. Once a month. No Spam. Can’t beat it.

July 03, 2018 03:58 PM PDT

“The work that you put in is what comes out,” says freelance Seattle-based sports writer Matt Pentz.

Well, well, well, what’s going on CNFers, my CNF Buddies, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast whereby I interview purveyors of the almighty true story.

Today is no different as I welcome Matt Pentz, @mattpentz on Twitter, for Episode 107 of the podcast. Matt is a freelance sports writer based out of Seattle.

In this episode we dig into his co-written expose on the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team that he wrote with Andrew Helms for The Ringer. We get real granular on how he collaborated on that piece.

We also talk about how he handles his days as a freelancer and other influential writers.

Share the episode if you dig it and tag me on social @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on Twitter. You guys are the social network so when you share it, I know you’re digging it.

Thanks for listening everybody.

If you dig the show, consider leaving an honest review on Apple Podcasts and sharing with a friend.

Reach out on the socials if you have questions, concerns, or feedback.

Also, if you head over to brendanomeara.com, not only will you find show notes for every episode, but you can sign up for the ever-growing monthly reading list newsletter where I share my book recommendations for the month, as well as what you might have missed from the world of the podcast. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.

June 29, 2018 06:00 AM PDT

“I couldn’t, as an adult, get past the story of how her life ended. And I wanted to tell the story of she lived,” says Rebecca Fish Ewan.

And away we go, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the best artists about telling true stories.

For Episode 106, I welcome Rebecca Fish Ewan, author of By the Forces of Gravity (Books by Hippocampus 2018), a love story between friends that ends in tragedy told through free-verse poetry and cartoons. It’s a great reading experience and a wonderfully told story of adolescence in the 1970s Berkley. You can buy the book by visiting books.hippocampusmagazine.com or via Amazon.

In this episode we dig into how Rebecca chose to write the story in the way she did
The power of community
Writing from the POV of her 12-year-old-self
And dealing with self doubt

Rebecca is @rfishewan on Instagram, her preferred social network and is @rfishewan on Facebook. Go check her out.

If you’re not subscribed, be sure to hit up Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Stitcher so you get a fresh delivery every Friday. Share this with people you think will dig it. Ad let me know what you think of it, what you got out of it. I’m @BrendanOMeara and @CNFPod on Twitter and @CNFPodcast on Facebook. Pick a network, any network and let’s connect.
If you dig the show and you have a minute, please leave a review over on Apple Podcasts. If you show me evidence of your review, I will edit a piece of your writing of up to 2,000 word.

Also, show notes and the like are at brendanomeara.com. While there you can sign up for my monthly reading list newsletter. Four books and what you might have missed from the world of the podcast. Once a month. No spam. You can’t beat that.

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