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You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction -- from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between (Paperback)

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction -- from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between By Lee Gutkind Cover Image
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From "the godfather behind creative nonfiction" (Vanity Fair) comes this indispensable how-to for nonfiction writers of all levels and genres, "reminiscent of Stephen King's fiction handbook On Writing" (Kirkus).

Whether you're writing a rags-to-riches tell-all memoir or literary journalism, telling true stories well is hard work. In You Can't Make This Stuff Up, Lee Gutkind, the go-to expert for all things creative nonfiction, offers his unvarnished wisdom to help you craft the best writing possible.

Frank, to-the-point, and always entertaining, Gutkind describes and illustrates every aspect of the genre. Invaluable tools and exercises illuminate key steps, from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. Offering new ways of understanding the genre, this practical guidebook will help you thoroughly expand and stylize your work.

About the Author

Lee Gutkind is the award-winning author of ten books, editor of ten anthologies, and founder of the first MFA creative nonfiction program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University.

Praise For…

“Most writers interested in the [creative nonfiction] genre will want this on their shelves.” Internet Review of Books, 10/3/12“This book belongs in a writer’s library.”

Midwest Book Review, October 2012“From ethical questions on turning nonfiction into creative writing to handling the fine line between fact and fiction, this covers common pitfalls and provides concrete approaches to success.”

Milwaukee Shepherd Express, 11/1912“Students and teachers of writing will find You Can’t Make This Stuff Up instructive and inspiring…Those leery of yet another writer’s manual will likely find they enjoy reading this engaging book for the way the author weaves together true stories well told.”
Curled Up with a Good Book, 11/16/12
“Memoirists and journalists looking for a fresh approach or a change of pace would do well with You Can't Make This Stuff Up. Everyone else can enjoy a quick and enjoyable trot through an often maligned but compelling and growing literary genre.”

The Worlds of R.A. Hortz, 12/10/12
“An informative book that should be on the bookshelf of every writer.”

Kirkus Reviews, 7/15/12
“Reminiscent of Stephen King’s fiction handbook On Writing, the book will be useful to both new writers and seasoned chroniclers seeking a professional refresher course on the basics of content and continuity and on how to expand audience attention for typically esoteric material…An accessible, indispensable nonfiction guidebook from an authority who knows his subject from cover to cover.”

Booklist, August 2012“Gutkind, at once methodical and anecdotal in his instruction, offers clear and practical guidance on artistic concerns and matters technical, ethical, legal, and moral.…With expertise equaled by enthusiasm, the founder and editor of the magazine Creative Nonfiction advocates for the genre in which writers ‘can be poetic and journalistic simultaneously.’ An enlightening call for the highest of literary standards."

New York Journal of Books, 8/14/12“You will be inspired and encouraged to write your way toward the inherent power of your story—becoming a better writer in the process.”

The Writer
, October 2012
“Anyone seeking to write creative nonfiction will benefit from Gutkind’s clear and instructive voice…The many examples of great creative nonfiction he offers (and carefully analyzes in order to explain their magic) are alone worth the price of the book.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/30/12“Mr. Gutkind’s latest work…is the kind of book about mastering the writing life we’ve come to expect from him: brash, clearly written, opinion-heavy, personal anecdote-driven, and chock full of practical exercises.”
Bookviews blog, October 2012
“This is a grand tour of creative nonfiction, providing challenging writing exercises, analytical reflections on the techniques the best writers use, tips and getting published, and much more. I have been a nonfiction writer my whole life and I can confirm this book will turn you into one as well.”, 10/4/12
“A useful workbook for a specific writing niche, and people wanting to break into the field—especially those parts involving Gutkind himself or influenced by him—would do well to go through the exercises and recommendations in some detail.”

"Frank and entertaining, You Can't Make This Stuff Up illustrates each aspect of the genre with depth and clarity. In his comprehensive guide, Lee Gutkind, author and editor of nearly thirty nonfiction books, offers invaluable tools and exercises to help writers of all skill levels thoroughly expand and stylize their work."—ForeWord Reviews

"Presents general guidelines for weaving fiction techniques into factual writing along with advice on maintaining the writer's integrity and respecting narrative truth...Most writers interested in the genre will want this title on their shelves."—Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780738215549
ISBN-10: 0738215546
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Publication Date: August 14th, 2012
Pages: 288
Language: English