Tuesday, October 10, 2006

LJ vs. CNF

I never want a boring job either, though I don't have an answer to this reader's question. Anyone want to weigh in on the literary journalism vs. creative nonfiction debate? Thanks in advance.

Hi Tom,

I was wondering what you might know about "literary journalism" (also
known as "creative journalism and "narrative journalism". This is a
new term for me. Wikipedia and other online sites define it as being
synonymous with "creative non-fiction". However, I do think that it
typically entails more traditional reporting and applies more to
newspaper and magazine writing than "creative non-fiction". I don't
know for sure though…do you?

I have come across very few graduate programs in literary journalism.
The curriculum for ordinary journalism programs appear far too dry for
me (originally, I wanted to get my Masters in poetry). Mi vision is
not merely to report world events, but to interpret them with poetic
eyes, much like in publications such as National Geographic. If you
have ay information concerning graduate programs in this field, I
would appreciate it if you would pass it along. Thank you.

Sincerely,
I never want a boring job

4 comments:

Peter J Gloviczki '06: CIS Journalistic Ethics said...

A literary journalist tends to recount (report) events that occur, while a creative non-fiction writer takes more creative license to shape the story, keep the narrative going, etc.

The difference is slight, but it is there: especially when I think about the literary journalist as foremost a reporter.

I hope this helps!

K. Peaquah Shaw said...

Once of my professors once said literary journalism is going out into the world with the intention to write about it. So, going someplace or interviewing someone planning to write it all down in a way that wasn't just the facts. Think Truman Capote. Non-fiction is more trying to interpret your world or the events that have happened to you to get them to make more sense.

Sarahlynn said...

We discussed some literary journalism in the creative nonfiction workshop I took last summer. There are some great pieces in the Creative Nonfiction anthologies. Literary journalism is definitely a sub-genre within creative nonfiction.

Have you read Susan Orlean's Lifelike, originally published in The New Yorker?

Also, an interesting LJ blog: http://acephalous.typepad.com/lj20/

Maggie Kate said...
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