Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Breaking News! Second Edition of Tell it Slant

It's here! The brand new, revised, updated, 2nd Edition of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction.

Which, lucky for you, means an opportunity for another giveaway!

You can enter to receive a free signed copy of this edition by leaving a comment below or on my Facebook page by Feb. 29 (leap year: take a chance!). I'll choose one winner at random on my birthday, March 1 (I love giving away presents on my birthday.)

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I thought you might be interested in the collaborative process that led to this most recent incarnation of the textbook.

In 2002, just a couple of years after I joined the faculty at Western Washington University, my colleague Suzanne Paola and I realized together that no really comprehensive textbooks existed for creative nonfiction writing. Great anthologies, yes. Writing instruction, no. So, being who we are, we said: "let's write it."

We really didn't know each other well at the time, which many people said would be a recipe for disaster. But we worked so well together that the book got written in a year, and a deep friendship developed too.  We each had different areas of expertise to bring to the endeavor, and we both loved good food as a fuel for writing.


This is the first edition of the textbook, which included an anthology. It quickly became a favorite for many teachers of creative nonfiction, so we decided to revise it to create a trade edition as well, geared to the general public. A year later this book was born: without the anthology and with some new material.


Last year, we heard from one of our readers that the textbook edition had gone out of print. "Really?" we exclaimed. "No one told us." But our agent checked and it was true. McGraw-Hill, for reasons that remain mysterious, allowed the textbook edition to go out of print, leaving many creative nonfiction teachers stranded. We received many messages pleading for something to take its place.

Since the trade edition was still quite popular (and remained in print), we decided to update and revise it to reflect new trends in creative nonfiction, and to create resources so the book could easily be adapted to the classroom. 

We added a chapter devoted to publishing, and we bolstered existing chapters with sections on blogging, the radio essay, hypermedia, multimedia, ethnographic research and current controversies in creative nonfiction. We moved things around a bit. We wrote a new Preface. We included two essays of our own as sample readings in the book, and the publisher is creating a website where we'll have extra readings and sample syllabi for using the book for both creative nonfiction and composition courses.

We're very excited about this new edition, and we'll be showing it off at the AWP conference in Chicago, March 1-3. If you're there, come by the Bellingham Review table in the Book Fair to say hello! We'll have sample syllabi and other goodies to give away.


24 comments:

  1. Awesome :) and I'd be keen to a free book :)

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  2. Oh, that's good news. I have not yet read this book, and maybe it's because I was destined to read the second edition.

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  3. Hey! I saw this today at the Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.
    I was quite impressed with their selection of essays and books about writing. I feel like those are usually the more underdeveloped areas in bookstores, nowadays.

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  4. I saw this in the bookcase right across from your office today!
    I loved the first edition--Lee Guylas uses it in her nonfiction classes. I think the first chapter is still my favorite one to reference. And when I get writer's block, I'll do one of your Try-its to get myself out of it.
    -Ashley

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  5. Oh, I want it! In teaching creative nonfiction, you are right, the books that are *actually* helpful are limited and I love the description of the updated material...radio essays! Excellent. I will be getting a copy of this book...one way or the other. :)

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  6. Congratulations on such a successful book, and please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks.

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  7. I can't wait to read the new edition. The old one is so good, and I'll bet this is even better. We're kindred spirits. My birthday is coming up, too, and I also plan to give away a book. Happy birthday next week.

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  8. Thrilled to hear there's a shiny new edition of this classic book. My teaching copy of the now out-of-print version is well worn after many years of use!

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  9. Our field can use more excellent books like this, and anytime you are giving advice on CNF writing, I'm listening.

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  10. Forget about teaching: I could use the book for myself! Congrats on going into a second edition. Very cool.

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  11. This is the best creative nonfiction textbook out there, hands down. I cried when it went out of print and am ecstatic to be getting it back! Thank you, thank you!

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  12. Right on, Brenda! The new edition looks great!
    :)

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  13. You are awesome, Brenda. I'd love the new edition . . . thinking of using it as as a text in my online creative nonfiction essay classes.

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  14. Way to go, Brenda! It looks great. Happy Birthday!

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  15. I don't know if I can wait until March 1 to see if I win the contest. I would like to read this book now!

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  16. How does "random" work? You'll have to describe that process for us, as you so beautifully describe and teach the process of writing creative nonfiction. For several years, I've used the first edition in my classes at Central Washington University. I enjoy its clarity and excellent selections. Thank you for your work! Please come visit--we're not that far away, and it's a beautiful drive. I'll buy the coffee.

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  17. this text looks great--would love to try it out with students. loving spa of the mind, too!

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  18. The first edition caused quite a stir when it came out. It's one of the first books to clearly describe of the process of writing non-fiction. I know the new edition would be very helpful to me as I research and write my non-fiction book. Bringing beautiful words and facts together is both a challenge and a joy.

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  19. Very much looking forward to seeing the new edition. Love your description of the process of deciding to update. --Donna Steiner

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  20. I would love to have a copy of this new edition. Especially in light of the recommendation from the teacher of the Creative Non-fiction class I just finished.

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  21. Thanks, everyone, for entering the giveaway and for the very kind comments about the book!

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  22. Pick me Brenda, pick me! Sally H

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  23. There once was a writer from the UK:
    Who wanted to write his book the best way:
    But, he said, I really can't:
    If I don't have "Tell It Slant:"
    Her new book that Brenda Miller is giving away.

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  24. Keating LockhartMarch 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    May your day be brim full of fuss and bother!

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What say you?