I’m hugely proud to be able to say that one of my pieces, Vaseline, has been published in the debut edition of Hippocampus Magazine, a new online publication devoted to creative nonfiction. You can check out my piece HERE - it might be familiar to long-time readers as a longer version appeared on the blog last year. If you like it, please leave a comment!
While you’re there, I think the rest of the first issue is well worth a look. The range of subjects, themes and styles in there is quite something and there are some brilliant pieces, including an excellent meditation on transience and permanence ("Everlasting Gobstoppers Aren’t Really Everlasting") and a lovely vignette depicting a dysfunctional father/daughter relationship ("Rig").
Hippocampus is accepting submissions monthly from now on, and I think a lot of you write excellent stuff which could quite possibly find a home there so please consider giving it a go. They also need people to spread the word about what they are doing - aside from the magazine they can be found on Facebook here and on Twitter here. I think they definitely deserve support as there are very few websites that accept creative nonfiction submissions, and fewer still that are dedicated to this kind of writing (I can‘t think of any others).
Personally I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the term "creative nonfiction"; it’s always struck me as an admission of defeat in the face of a general assumption that the only writing of literary merit is fiction. If I had five pounds for every time someone read my stuff and mentioned the N word ("do you have a novel?" "are you writing a novel?" "you should write a novel") I could self-publish from Bermuda and get on my private jet to plant copies in bookshops around the globe. All right, that’s not true, I’d have about fifty pounds, but the general principle’s still there. The suggestion is that the only way to give validity to the sort of writing I (and many good writers who blog) do is to package it all up as fiction and turn it into a novel; all a bit depressing and unimaginative, I reckon.
Of course, the flip side is to look on the bright side - not something which comes naturally to me - and to view the creative nonfiction genre as an attempt to carve out a niche for good non-fictional writing in light of that overwhelming bias towards fiction. So I’m going to try and see it that way instead. Anyway, I’ve never been too interested in writing about writing (it’s right up there with blogging about blogging, and that’s before we get on to the unique tedium of blogging about Twitter) so let’s leave it at that: I hope you enjoy Hippocampus, and I’m incredibly proud to be part of its maiden voyage.