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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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