Fourth Genre’s Writer as Reader features essays that are first and foremost essays. We’re looking for an essay that engages with a work of creative / literary nonfiction. It should engage the work around some matter of craft, especially in how some aspect of the work has influenced the writer’s own nonfiction. Successful Writer as Reader essays are neither jargon-laced nor disinterested, not literary criticism, but find a home in the personal, especially in the writing self.

Writer as Reader essays are invited as responses to . . .

  • a personal essay or memoir
  • literary journalism
  • personal cultural criticism
  • another work commonly classified with creative nonfiction

Writer as Reader essays may focus on nonfiction that . . .

  • has influenced the author’s own writing
  • provides an example of the genre’s possibilities
  • has come to be reevaluated over time
  • is widely influential
  • is challenging due to its form, innovation, content, history, or politics
  • may be contemporary or from another historical period

Submit essays to be considered for the Writer as Reader feature at during the regular fall submission period (Aug 30 – Nov 30). Please identify in your cover note that the editor should consider your essay for this feature.

Queries welcome at