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.
Fourth Genre is pleased to announce Robert Root as 2014 judge of the 10th annual Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize! Submission guidelines and information on past winners are listed on the Prize page.
“I’ve been pondering this because of an odd-seeming contradiction about reading the submissions to this journal: there are themes that repeat across the hundreds and hundreds we read each year. Themes about which we sometimes come to be a bit callous. Oh no, you might have thought as you began to read this essay, not another piece about aging parents. In fact, the shared experience is a reassurance and a comfort; we want to know we’re not alone in it. But how can it also be the case that we do not want to read about the same experiences, over and over?
Maybe, as one of our editorial staff said to me, that’s the paradox we’re working with as we nurture and develop relationships with writers and texts, which is what we keep returning to as one of our purposes at Fourth Genre. We want to read essays that say “I’ve been there, and it’s hard” because they make us feel less alone; but there’s also a part of us that doesn’t want to read about experiences that are similar to our own unless the writer transforms those experiences in some way through craft. The essay has to let us come away with something, even if it’s a hard something—something that helps us survive.
Some of the essays in this issue have helped me survive by giving me that odd sort of companionship that literature so often does—the book or essay or poem that lets us know we’re not alone. Some of the essays in this issue have given me a chuckle or a moment of awe—a break from the heaviness and the particulars of what I shoulder. May you find at least one piece in this issue that does so for you as well.”
From “Companionship on the Way,” the introduction to FG 15:2, written by editor Laura Julier
Fourth Genre is indexed or abstracted in: Current Abstracts, IBR Literary Reference Center, Literature Online (LION), Periodical Abstracts, Project Muse, ProQuest, Scopus, and Urlichsweb.
Complete back volumes of all journals are available for purchase through Periodicals Service Company.