Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction

We invite you to experience Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, a journal devoted to publishing notable, innovative work in nonfiction. Given the genre’s flexibility and expansiveness, we welcome a variety of works ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism. The editors invite works that are lyrical, self-interrogative, meditative, and reflective, as well as expository, analytical, exploratory, or whimsical. In short, we encourage submissions across the full spectrum of the genre. The journal encourages a writer-to-reader conversation, one that explores the markers and boundaries of literary/creative nonfiction.

Editor: Laura Julier, Michigan State University

Current Issue: 21.2 (Fall 2019)


Featured Essays from 21.2:

Editor’s Note, “Silences

Writing about Others: A (Continued) Convesation,” featuring Dawn Davies, Maribeth Fischer, Vince Granata, EJ Levy, Kathleen
Livingston, Kerry Reilly, Sheryl St. Germain, Marin Sardy, and Melissa
Stephenson, “Writing about Others: A (Continued) Conversation”

Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Contest

Deadline: March 15, 2020

The Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Contest welcomes unpublished submissions via Submittable. The winning author receives $1,000 and publication in Fourth Genre 23, no. 1, which will be featured at AWP 2021. $20 fee per entry. Length limit: 6,000 words. Nonfiction only, please. See the detailed submission guidelines on the prize page.

Our 2020 contest judge is former editor Laura Julier. Read an interview with Dr. Julier on Duotrope.

We congratulate Marco Verdoni, author of “When to Tell Someone You Went to Prison”, on winning our 2019 contest. His essay was selected by Brenda Miller, former editor of the Bellingham Review and co-author of the well-known Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction.

Brenda said about Marco’s essay, “we become privy to a life formed behind bars that bears little resemblance to our preconceptions. The author elegantly describes his experience from the perspective of release, his feeling that ‘I’m somehow always behind and that I’ll never catch up.’ His story is important and illuminating.”

Visit the Prize page to see judge Brenda Miller’s comments about the winning essay.


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