My new ecourse on visual art inspired creative nonfiction begins Monday! We'll be learning about the panel essay--inspired by medieval diptych and triptych paintings--as well as the visual essay (i.e. the photo essay, pictorial essay, and concrete essay), and the...read more
What is a concrete essay? Intrigued by unconventional storytelling structures? The concrete essay is an example of what can happen in the space between creative nonfiction and visual art. A subgenre of the visual essay, the concrete essay has its roots in...read more
Subject: 1955 Wandering through Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, I discovered an unframed oil painting of a young girl about the age of six or seven. She was on the ground, leaning against a wooden table leg at one of the booths selling vintage ephemera collected from God...read more
All because I clicked the shutter at that precise moment. For an eternity, the sun casts shadows that accentuate the angles hidden beneath the baby-soft curves—almond eyes, sharp cheekbones, a refined nose, and a strong, square jaw. An old artifact that...read more
1 Woman Knees bent into spring grass, lime-handled trowel turning soft black earth. Gloved hand dropping a seed here, a seedling there. This is what he sees even if he cannot say. She sees the other just as she is seen: a red fox trotting close by a woman turned...read more
Thirteen inches of agony, drops of blood painstakingly painted on side wound, wrists and ankles. I couldn’t keep that gory cross—my exact words to Rachelle, who laughed—but also couldn’t recall seeing a religious item donated to the local thrift shop. My...read more
1. I am a murky expanse. You are watery and fetal. I can taste you, Jellyfish. There is the iron smell-taste in my nose, clotted damp earth in my mouth. My body may be at sea, but my mind is a vessel. And you, over time, no longer boneless: the tiniest known chordate...read more
"Emergent writers need to keep asking themselves: what can I eliminate, what can I expand, what can I rework to get to the heartbeat of my story. Writing creative nonfiction is, after all, heart work." Today I'll be wrapping up my series of interviews on...read more
"The world is not an easy place, and sometimes it is scary, and in order for stories to have staying power, they must be true enough to reflect that complexity and darkness, out there and in ourselves." Isaac Yuen is a prolific writer of short stories and personal...read more
Yesterday I learned my lyric essay, "An Atmospheric Pressure" (winner of Room magazine's 2016 CNF contest) was selected as a Notable Essay by the good people at the Best American Essays series. It's such an honour for my name to appear on this year's Notable list...read more
I 'm Nicole Breit
- Award winning poet and essayist residing on Canada’s gorgeous Sunshine Coast, the traditional territory of the Skwx̱wú7mesh people.
- Creative writing teacher whose passion is to help writers discover new ways to shape their memories into well-crafted narratives.
Free mini e-book
Loss is a universal story theme—grief, a common block to writing our raw, vulnerable stories about loss. In this free e-book I share 9 tips for writing about grief and loss with care and intention.
"What I learned in writing the book was that my life was a story. And by extension, everyone’s life is a story. It’s how you perceive it and the extent to which you’re reactive or proactive that can make it a more or less interesting story. And even if you...