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Creative Nonfiction

A Topic Guide relating information about Creative Nonfiction and pointing students toward resources available in Zondervan Library

Guide Title

About Creative Nonfiction


Creative Nonfiction (CNF) is a form of writing set apart from other nonfiction works by its focus on storytelling. Because creative nonfiction is a vast, multi-faceted genre, it can be difficult to nail down a straightforward definition of precisely what it is.

Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) identifies two major aspects of the content of  creative nonfiction: first, it relays events honestly, and second, it reflects on how those events impacted the writer. Unlike authors of works of history or biography written with the intent of informing a reader, creative nonfiction writers do not seek objectivity; rather, the events depicted in their pieces are typically meant to convey a broader message, be it about their emotional connection to the subject, a note about the workings of society, a theme in their lives, or some other meaning they identify with those events.

The efforts of creative nonfiction writers to accomplish the communication of meaning are assisted by careful use of words and voice, a practice reminiscent of that of poets. Just like poets, creative nonfiction writers consider both the sound and meaning of the language they use and structure their thoughts carefully in order to evoke strong images and emotions in their readers.

Creative Nonfiction Resources

Resources / Books

Tips On Writing Creative NonFiction

On Writing CNF

General Research Tools

General Research Tools

Google Scholar

Google Scholar 

Google ScholarIncludes journal articles, book chapters, essays, and entire books. Text is frequently not available for free, but can be accessed using WorldCat or Interlibrary Loan.

WorldCat Research Station

WorldCat Research Station 

WorldCat Research StationExplore the holdings of the Zondervan Library as well as libraries worldwide using WorldCat. 

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