Sunday, February 1, 2015

CBC's Creative Nonfiction Prize, and some science news

From CBC Books:
Send us your original, unpublished work of creative nonfiction (between 1,200 and 1,500 words) and you might win the following:
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CBC also has advice on how to write non-fiction.  From David Waltner-Toews:
2. Curate and shape your facts. "Facts are not enough! You need a great story that pulls together all the facts. This is where the aha! moments come. Without the story, a nonfiction writer or a scientist is a junk collector, picking up artifacts, bones, and bits of DNA. Without a good story to explain them, dinosaur bones are just old reptile bones. Nowadays, anyone can collect bits of data on the internet. As a creative nonfiction writer, your job is to give meaning to those data, and to instill into your (millions of!) readers your passion about the world in which we live. To write a good story, you must delight in your subject matter, no matter how banal. In fact, the more off-putting your subject matter, the more that delight matters. Believe me, having written books on diseases people get from animals, food poisoning, and excrement, I know what I’m talking about on that score!"
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Even more from CBC, this time from CBC Books.  The player is not working for me at this link, but at another, Linwood Barclay discusses the lengths authors have to go to entice readers.
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I've always been a fan of the creativity that scientists and experimenters display.  Recent Scientific American posts discuss how to photograph fire ants and how to make gardens that don't suffer from salinization.

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