Such exciting news: Room magazine announced the names of eight CNF writers shortlisted for their annual contest this week.

A big (and super-excited!) congratulations to two of my CNF Outliers students, Rowan Smith-McCandless and Emily Kellogg, whose essays “A Map of the World” and “A Year for Ectoplasm” were selected!

I asked Rowan to share a few words about her nominated piece, “A Map of the World”, which she wrote as one of her course assignments.

“I wrote ‘A Map of the World’ while taking the first session of Nicole Breit’s CNF Outliers e-course this past January. Before Nicole’s online course, I struggled writing creative nonfiction, to the point where I never completed anything. Nicole provided the tools and knowledge base I needed to dive into the genre of creative nonfiction. She guided and offered support from my first draft through to revision, and it was Nicole who encouraged me to submit to Room magazine’s CNF contest. I’m profoundly grateful to her for helping me discover my voice within the genre of creative nonfiction!”

I’m grateful for your kind words, Rowan — and for showing what can happen in a very short period of time when a writer nurtures her talent by committing to the work in a supportive, creative environment.

Room‘s contest winners will be announced next week. Sending you my best wishes, Rowan and Emily — and I know our supportive community of CNF writers does, too!


Big congratulations, Rowan, for winning first prize in Room’s 2017 CNF contest and Emily for the Honourable mention for “A Year for Ectoplasm“.