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$29,455 pledged of $27,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Creative Nonfiction
$29,455 pledged of $27,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

100% FUNDED!!

To all of our backers—THANK YOU! Because or your generosity, we have exceeded our goal. Let's keep it going!

There are still four days remaining before the campaign concludes at 8 pm EST, Tuesday, November 21st. We have a plan to keep the momentum going.  

When we reach $37,000—that’s a stretch goal of $10,000—we’ll use the funding to double payments to our True Story writers.  

If we reach this stretch goal, we’ll be able to increase our per essay payment from $300/essay to $600/essay.  

As a a smallish, independent literary organization, it's important to us to pay writers for the work we publish—and we always do. But we want to do better, and reaching this stretch goal will help us better support our writers.

We hope you’ll consider helping us get to $37,000. And don’t forget about our backer challenge (details below). Again, thank you so, so much.

To celebrate the milestone of reaching 500 backers, we treated every backer who pledged at the $8 level and above by adding an extra issue  to their subscription or back issue bundle (so, a 3-issue sample bundle became a 4-issue sample bundle; a 1-year subscription became a 13-month subscription; and so on).  

For every 50 additional backers we get from now until the campaign concludes at 8 pm EST on Nov 21st, we will add another issue to every subscription and back issue bundle.  

We will update the space below as the number of backers increases. 

CURRENT STATUS:

  • 550+ Backers (2 extra issues added) // 1-year subscriptions = 14-month subscriptions

If you’ve already backed this campaign—THANK YOU—your pledge will count toward the backer challenge. Your support at any level means the world to us, and in this case it might also mean an extra issue or two (or twelve) for yourself. 

 Help us spread the word, and let’s keep True Story going!

P.S. We've also expanded our add-on options. See full pricing guide below

 

 

TRUE STORY is a new home for longform narrative nonfiction. Published monthly by the editors of the award-winning quarterly magazine Creative Nonfiction, each compact issue of True Story is designed to be portable, shareable, and read in a single sitting.    

From issue to issue, True Story is a small celebration of the larger-than-life stories and experiences that make us think differently about what it means to be human.  

Big stories. Small size. Delivered monthly.  

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True Story may be small in size, but the stories are big—vivid, immersive reports from real life. From the Bronx Zoo tiger pit to a bus route in Pittsburgh; from Fort Massac, Illinois, to Fruitland, Washington; and from death row to maladaptive daydreams, True Story features the widest possible variety of voices and styles and subjects. 

The first year of True Story featured new work by: 

STEVEN KURUTZ, New York Times features reporter // STEVEN CHURCH, memoirist + founding editor of the Normal School // GABRIELA DENISE FRANK, writer + artist // JOY POPE, first publication! // EDWARD MCPHERSON, author of The History of the Future // PHYLLIS BECKMAN, poet // ANDREW MAYNARD, second grade teacher // RENÉE BRANUM, former historical reenactor // REBECA DUNN-KRAHN, travel + food writer // SONJA SWIFT, writer + social artist // BRIAN BROOME, creative writing student // JILL CHRISTMAN, teacher + writer 

True Story launched in October 2016 with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. This initial funding helped cover some of the costs of starting a new magazine, but the goal is for True Story to be a self-sustaining, subscriber-supported publication ... just like Creative Nonfiction.

Two magazines, one goal: To publish + share true stories, well told.
Two magazines, one goal: To publish + share true stories, well told.

 

Our world moves fast, and it can be hard to keep up with the onslaught of information and news, memes and Twitterstorms, clickbait and listicles—all flashing by on our tiny screens, all the time.  

True Story is an antidote for our hurried world.  

There’s something special—luxurious, even—about taking the time to sit down with a print story and immerse yourself in a single narrative. There are no ads, no pop-ups, no interruptions—just a simple, uncluttered layout and one narrative. The kind of story that rewards focus and encourages contemplation, and blocks out the noise of the world for at least a little while.  

True Story is also a one-of-a-kind home for writers. There aren’t that many outlets for longform nonfiction these days. And there certainly aren’t many paying outlets for nuanced literary narratives.  

These aren’t the kind of stories that an editor assigns because they’ll help sell glossy magazines and make advertisers happy. True Story is a place for writers to stretch out, to pursue the obsessions they can’t shake and dig deep into stories that are richly layered and full of meaning. Stories that matter.

It's not just the stories in each issue of True Story that are big. Producing a single issue of True Story is a big job that requires a lot of people ... and a lot of money.  

The cost per issue—when you factor in staff time, author payments, copyeditors, fact-checkers, designers, printing, and postage—averages $3,500.  

True Story is ad free and 100% subscriber supported. As of this writing, we have ~1,500 subscribers. That's terrific for a new magazine, and we are so grateful for every single one of those readers. But ... it's not enough.  

Most of the magazine's expenses—author payments and postage and staff and freelancers—are fixed, so the only way to make True Story sustainable (short of charging more per issue and/or per subscription, which we do not want to do) is to take advantage of the economy of scale as it relates to the cost of printing an issue.  

In short, for True Story to remain an affordable publication for our readers—and to be a sustainable publication—we need to double our current number of subscribers.  

Basically, the NEA helped True Story get off the ground. This Kickstarter will help carry True Story though year two. And then, we hope, our subscribers will propel True Story through year three and beyond.

Kickstarter requires a financial goal, which we've set at $27,000. This amount would help guarantee that True Story can keep printing for a second year.    

But the real goal is to solidify our subscriber base by adding 1,500 (or more) new subscribers.  

Regular price for a 1-year subscription (12 issues) is $18.
$18 x 1,500 = $27,000.  

Your support at any level will go a long way toward ensuring that True Story can continue to grow and mature—and every dollar donated beyond our initial goal will be reinvested into True Story.

 

Perks range from subscriptions to swag, from signed books to manuscript reviews, and issue sponsorship to original artworks.  

If you're already a subscriber, you can extend your subscription or gift one to a new reader (or both!). Or, load up on True Story swag or original art. You can even sponsor an issue, helping to underwrite the expense of producing a single issue—or pay a writer.  

Most perks will be fulfilled in November and December, just in time for the holiday season.  

The complete list is to the right and some images are below, but you'll get more than just stuff.  

Every pledge, no matter the amount, is helping to sustain the movement that is creative nonfiction (and Creative Nonfiction ... and now True Story) for another twenty years.

Where it all began. True Story issues #1-3. Yours at the $8 level.
Where it all began. True Story issues #1-3. Yours at the $8 level.

 

Expanded single issue bundle. Six issues (#2, #4, #6, #8, #10 & #12) of True Story. $12 level.
Expanded single issue bundle. Six issues (#2, #4, #6, #8, #10 & #12) of True Story. $12 level.

 

A full year of True Story. Yours at every level $15 and above.
A full year of True Story. Yours at every level $15 and above.

  

The best essays from the first 20 years of Creative Nonfiction magazine. $22 level.
The best essays from the first 20 years of Creative Nonfiction magazine. $22 level.

 

Set of four True Story 4.25" x 6.75" notebooks. $25 level.
Set of four True Story 4.25" x 6.75" notebooks. $25 level.

 

The official True Story T-shirt in heather-red triblend. $32 level.
The official True Story T-shirt in heather-red triblend. $32 level.

 

A freshly pressed copy of Donnie & Joe Emerson's "Dreamin' Wild" LP or CD. Plus the issue the music inspired (True Story #1). $35 level.
A freshly pressed copy of Donnie & Joe Emerson's "Dreamin' Wild" LP or CD. Plus the issue the music inspired (True Story #1). $35 level.

 

A not-quite-complete set of the first year of True Story. (Sorry, issue #9 is sold out.) $33 level.
A not-quite-complete set of the first year of True Story. (Sorry, issue #9 is sold out.) $33 level.

  

Seth LeDonne designed True Story painted word T-shirt in triblend oatmeal. $38 level.
Seth LeDonne designed True Story painted word T-shirt in triblend oatmeal. $38 level.

 

Seth LeDonne "R.I.P. Vapid B.S." pin included with painted word T-shirt + "Childhood" poster perks.
Seth LeDonne "R.I.P. Vapid B.S." pin included with painted word T-shirt + "Childhood" poster perks.

 

True Story + Creative Nonfiction magazine combo subscription. $42 level.
True Story + Creative Nonfiction magazine combo subscription. $42 level.

 

Tote bag (featuring the chicken illustration from True Story #9: "Resurrection"). $45 level.
Tote bag (featuring the chicken illustration from True Story #9: "Resurrection"). $45 level.

 

Seth LeDonne "Childhood" drawings. Limited print. $50 level.
Seth LeDonne "Childhood" drawings. Limited print. $50 level.

  

Contributor book bundle. Signed copies of books by Steven Church (TS #2), Edward McPherson (TS #5), and Jill Christman (TS #12). $60 level.
Contributor book bundle. Signed copies of books by Steven Church (TS #2), Edward McPherson (TS #5), and Jill Christman (TS #12). $60 level.

 

True Story two-tone block logo crewneck sweatshirt. $65 level.
True Story two-tone block logo crewneck sweatshirt. $65 level.

 

Signed copy of Lee Gutkind's You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between. $75 level.
Signed copy of Lee Gutkind's You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between. $75 level.

 

"CLOD" original color woodcut print, 12" x 10.25" from two woodblocks by Tugboat Printshop. $125.00 level.
"CLOD" original color woodcut print, 12" x 10.25" from two woodblocks by Tugboat Printshop. $125.00 level.

 

5-week online writing class with Creative Nonfiction. $190 level.
5-week online writing class with Creative Nonfiction. $190 level.

 

Original, factory-sealed copy of Donnie & Joe Emerson's "Dreamin' Wild" LP. $275 level.
Original, factory-sealed copy of Donnie & Joe Emerson's "Dreamin' Wild" LP. $275 level.

 

Get feedback on your manuscript from CNF's managing editor, Hattie Fletcher ($350 level) or with Brevity's founding editor, Dinty W. Moore ($500 level).
Get feedback on your manuscript from CNF's managing editor, Hattie Fletcher ($350 level) or with Brevity's founding editor, Dinty W. Moore ($500 level).

 

Your choice of one (of three) 24" x 24" original, limited-edition, wind-generated drawing by Mark Nystrom. Signed and numbered by the artist. $400 level.
Your choice of one (of three) 24" x 24" original, limited-edition, wind-generated drawing by Mark Nystrom. Signed and numbered by the artist. $400 level.

 

"OVERLOOK" limited-edition 46" x 30" color woodcut print by Tugboat Printshop. $1200 level.
"OVERLOOK" limited-edition 46" x 30" color woodcut print by Tugboat Printshop. $1200 level.

 

Original "Pile Study" painting by Seth Clark. 36" x 48" mixed media on wood. $4200 level.
Original "Pile Study" painting by Seth Clark. 36" x 48" mixed media on wood. $4200 level.

 

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation inspires and supports writers of true stories. The foundation provides publishing venues, including Creative Nonfiction and True Story magazines, for a diverse range of creative nonfiction writing and writers; serves as the singular strongest voice of the genre, helping define the ethics and parameters of the field; and aims to broaden the genre's impact not only in the publishing world but also in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation was incorporated in 1994 and is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Every donation to this Kickstarter campaign is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. 

THANK YOU! 

Risks and challenges

Publishing requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources, but we have been publishing Creative Nonfiction magazine consistently since 1993, and so we see very little risk in this endeavor. We understand what it takes to produce a quality product on time, and have the staff in place to follow through on all we promise in this Kickstarter.

That said, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. Meaning, if we don't reach our goal, none of the money will be collected.

Should we fall short of our goal (either of $27,000 or 1,500 new subscribers to True Story), we will be forced to consider raising the price of True Story or discontinuing the publication altogether.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you for the support!

    A sincere thank you email from the editors of True Story, plus your name listed on our website as an official supporter of True Story. (NOTE: This will be included at all other reward levels.)

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    True Story Sampler

    The first three issues of True Story.

    Includes:
    • "Fruitland" by Steven Kurutz
    • "Trip to the Zoo" by Steven Church
    • "Muzzled" by Gabriela Denise Frank
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    True Story Expanded Sampler

    A run of the even number issues from the first year of True Story.

    Includes:
    • "Trip to the Zoo" by Steven Church
    • "Juliet, Juliet" by Joy Pope
    • "Wider than the Sky" by Phyllis Beckman
    • "Rendezvous" by Renée Branum
    • "Tarot of Transformation" by Sonja Swift
    • "Spinning" by Jill Christman
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    1-Year Subscription

    A full year of True Story mailed directly to you every month. (Regularly $18)

    Includes:
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Book

    A full year of True Story, plus a copy of the anthology True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine.

    Includes:
    • True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of CNF Magazine
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + True Story Notebooks

    Start drafting your own true story with a four (4) pack of True Story notebooks, plus a full year of True Story mailed directly to you every month.

    Includes:
    • Four (4) True Story notebooks
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Early Bird BOGO Subscription

    Get a 1-year subscription for yourself--and give one to a friend of your choosing.

    Includes:
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
    • 1-year GIFT subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + T-shirt

    A super comfy, heather-red triblend True Story T-shirt, plus a 1-year subscription to True Story. T-shirt available in both men's and women's sizes.

    Includes:
    • True Story T-shirt
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Modified Boxset

    A not-quite-complete run of the first year of True Story (issues #1-8 and 10-12; sorry, issue #9 is sold out), plus a 1-year subscription starting with True Story #13.

    Includes:
    • Boxset of True Story issues 1-8 and 10-12
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    “Dreamin’ Wild” LP + Subscription

    A freshly pressed vinyl LP reprint of “Dreamin’ Wild” (Light in the Attic records), the album that inspired True Story #1: “Fruitland,” plus a copy of the issue and a 1-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
    • Donnie & Joe Emerson "Dreamin' Wild" LP
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
    • "Fruitland" by Steven Kurutz
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    “Dreamin’ Wild” CD + Subscription

    A copy of Donnie & Joe Emerson's “Dreamin’ Wild” on compact disc (Light in the Attic records), the album that inspired True Story #1: “Fruitland,” plus a copy of the issue and a 1-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
    • Donnie & Joe Emerson "Dreamin' Wild" CD
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
    • "Fruitland" by Steven Kurutz
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    Subscription + Seth LeDonne T-shirt

    A super comfy, oatmeal-colored triblend "True Story" T-shirt designed by artist Seth LeDonne (www.sethledonne.com), plus a 1-year subscription to True Story. T-shirt available in both men's and women's sizes.

    Includes:
    • True Story T-shirt (designed by Seth LeDonne)
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Early Bird Combo Subscription

    A 1-year subscription to BOTH True Story and Creative Nonfiction magazines.

    Includes:
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
    • 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine
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    Tote Bag + Subscription

    A 16 oz cotton canvas tote bag featuring the chicken illustration from True Story #9: “Resurrection.” This super roomy bag comes complete with 22" handles with leatherette comfort grips and could easily hold 30 years’ worth of True Story magazines … or, you know, a week’s worth of groceries.

    Includes:
    • 16 oz canvas tote
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + "Childhood" Poster

    A full year of True Story, plus a signed, limited-edition poster by artist Seth LeDonne (www.sethledonne.com) featuring his illustrations from Creative Nonfiction #60: "Childhood." The posters are 16"x16" with white ink on Pop-Tone Black Licorice paper.

    Includes:
    • "Childhood" illustration poster by Seth LeDonne
    • 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine
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    Contributor Book Bundle

    Books from True Story contributors Steven Church ( #2), Edward McPherson (#5), and Jill Christman ( #12). Each one signed by the author, and you’ll also receive a copy of their issue. Plus a 1-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
    • One with the Tiger by Steven Church
    • "Trip to the Zoo" by Steven Church
    • The History of the Future by Edward McPherson
    • "How to Survive an Atomic Bomb" by Edward McPherson
    • Darkroom by Jill Christman
    • "Spinning" by Jill Christman
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Sweatshirt

    Keep warm in a gray polyblend True Story crewneck fleece sweatshirt, and keep well read with a full year of True Story magazine. Sweatshirt available in both men's and women's sizes.

    Includes:
    • True Story sweatshirt
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Both T-shirts

    Up your style game with both True Story T-shirts (red with standard logo + oatmeal triblend with Seth LeDonne design), PLUS a full year of True Story magazine. T-shirts available in both men's and women's sizes.

    Includes:
    • True Story T-shirt (designed by Seth LeDonne)
    • True Story T-shirt
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Lee Gutkind Signed Book

    A copy of Lee Gutkind's landmark writing guide, You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between, plus a 2-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
    • You Can't Make This Stuff Up, signed by Lee Gutkind
    • 2-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Writer's Bundle

    Everything an aspiring or working nonfiction writer needs to get to work on their own true story. A set of four (4) True Story notebooks, a signed copy of Lee Gutkind's You Can't Make This Stuff Up, and a 1-year subscription to BOTH True Story and Creative Nonfiction magazines.

    Includes:
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
    • 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine
    • Four (4) True Story notebooks
    • You Can't Make This Stuff Up, signed by Lee Gutkind
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    Subscription + Tugboat Woodcut #1

    An original "CLOD" 12" x 10.25" woodcut print by the incredibly talented Tugboat Printshop (www.tugboatprintshop.com), plus 1 year of True Story.

    Includes:
    • "CLOD" woodcut print
    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Original "Dreamin' Wild" LP

    An original 1978 copy of “Dreamin’ Wild,” the self-published album that inspired True Story #1: “Fruitland.” FACTORY SEALED! These sell on Discogs.com for as much as $300.

    Includes:
    • Donnie & Joe Emerson "Dreamin' Wild" LP (1978 Original Pressing)
    • "Fruitland" by Steven Kurutz
    • 2-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Support a Writer

    Every dollar given at this level goes directly to paying a writer for their work. You'll get the satisfaction of supporting great work, plus a 2-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
    • 2-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Subscription + Wind Drawing

    Your choice of 1 (of 3) 24" x 24" digital print of an original drawing (generated with software and wind data) by Mark Nystrom (www.marknystrom.com). Each print is unique due to small variations created by the software that generates each drawing. Signed by the artist. PLUS 2 years of True Story. These are just a few of the wind-generated drawings that appeared in Creative Nonfiction #58: "The Weather."

    Includes:
    • One (1) Mark Nystrom Wind Drawing of your choosing
    • 2-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    Longhaul Subscription

    A never-ending subscription to both True Story and Creative Nonfiction magazines. (Sorry, US addresses only.)

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    Manuscript Review with Dinty W. Moore

    Get personalized feedback from Dinty W. Moore (founding editor of Brevity magazine) on up to 3,000 words. You’ll receive margin comments throughout your manuscript and a written response OR a 30- minute phone call. Work to be submitted before June 1, 2018; Dinty will turn work around in 2-4 weeks depending on his work load. Plus, a 2-year subscription to True Story.

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    Everything

    Get every perk listed above (excluding the Tugboat woodcut + Nystrom Wind Drawing).

    Includes:
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    • 1-year GIFT subscription to True Story magazine
    • Boxset of True Story issues #1-12
    • Four (4) True Story notebooks
    • True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of CNF Magazine
    • True Story sweatshirt
    • True Story T-shirt
    • True Story T-shirt (designed by Seth LeDonne)
    • "Childhood" illustration poster by Seth LeDonne
    • You Can't Make This Stuff Up, signed by Lee Gutkind
    • Manuscript Review with Hattie Fletcher
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    Subscription + Tugboat Woodcut #2

    An original, limited edition "OVERLOOK" woodcut print by the incredibly talented Tugboat Printshop (www.tugboatprintshop.com), plus 2 years of True Story. This is the illstration that graced the cover of Creative Nonfiction #59: "Marriage." It is a 46" x 30" color woodcut print on Kozo Thick Paper.

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    Sponsor an issue

    Cover the entire production costs of producing one issue of True Story. Your name (or the name of your organization) will appear in the magazine, recognizing you as the issue's sponsor. Plus a never-ending subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
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    Sponsor an issue + Everything

    Cover the entire production costs of producing one issue of True Story. Your name (or the name of your organization) will appear in the magazine, recognizing you as the issue's sponsor. Plus receive all the perks listed at the $1,000 level.

    Includes:
    • Recognition in an issue of True Story
    • A never-ending subscription to True Story + Creative Nonfiction
    • 1-year GIFT subscription to True Story magazine
    • Boxset of True Story issues #1-12
    • Four (4) True Story notebooks
    • "Childhood" illustration poster by Seth LeDonne
    • True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of CNF Magazine
    • True Story sweatshirt
    • True Story T-shirt
    • True Story T-shirt (designed by Seth LeDonne)
    • You Can't Make This Stuff Up, signed by Lee Gutkind
    • Manuscript Review with Hattie Fletcher
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    Sponsor an issue + Seth Clark painting

    Cover the entire production costs of producing one issue of True Story. Your name (or the name of your organization) will appear in the magazine, recognizing you as the issue's sponsor. Plus a never-ending subscription to True Story--AND a one-of-a-kind painting by our longtime art director, Seth Clark (www.sethsclark.com).

    Includes:
    • A never-ending subscription to True Story + Creative Nonfiction
    • Recognition in an issue of True Story
    • Seth Clark original painting
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    Early Bird Subscription

    A full year of True Story mailed directly to you every month.

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    Subscription + Boxset

    A complete run of the first year of True Story (issues #1-12), plus a 1-year subscription starting with True Story #13.

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    • 1-year subscription to True Story magazine
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    5-week Online Writing Class

    Admission to any one of the 5-week online writing classes offered during 2018 ($310 regular price). Past classes have included Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp, Digital Storytelling, Experimental Forms, Flash Essays, Food Writing, Historical Narratives, Science Writing, and Travel Writing. Plus 1-year subscriptions to both Creative Nonfiction and True Story magazines.

    Includes:
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    • 5-week online writing class
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    Manuscript Review

    Creative Nonfiction's managing editor will read and respond to your work (up to 3,000 words), plus you'll receive a 2-year subscription to True Story.

    Includes:
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    • Manuscript Review with Hattie Fletcher
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