Spark Your *Visual* Story!

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...

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CNF hybrid forms: the concrete essay

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...

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Mirror Image: A Diptych by Rowan McCandless

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...

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Captured in Black & White: A Diptych by Rachel Laverdiere

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...

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Fox and Woman: A Diptych by Carolyn Moore

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...

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Diptych 1: Iconoclasts

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...

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Fish-Bird-Kite: a prose poem*

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...

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Truth, myth, metaphor: A conversation with Isaac Yuen

"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...

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Exciting and unexpected: Best American Essays Notable List

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...

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Creative writing instructor Nicole Breit.

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.
vintage typewriter

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.

Everyone’s life is a story: A Q and A with Rita Pomade

  "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...