brandon r. schrand


Just back from the awesome NonfictioNow Conference in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. It was good to see friends and meet new NF junkies and practitioners, or fellow “word sluts,” as David Shields rightfully deemed our ilk. My final panel–Memoir–Contemporary Forms–was a ton of good fun. What else would you expect with the eminent Bret Lott (one of the greatest people and finest writers on the planet without question). What resulted, in part, was this little blip that pinged on the radar over at Brevity’s blog. Check it! Oh, and speaking of pre-ordering, Works Cited, you may do so now, yo.

My essay, “Growing Up Superfund,” which appeared in Columbia: A Journal of Art & Literature, has been given the Special Mention nod in the most recent Pushcart Prize anthology. This is my fourth special mention, and in 2009, I was lucky enough to win the Pushcart Prize. This year is especially gratifying as a number of my Idaho writer friends have also been given special mention. It’s nice to share this little bit of light with Joe Wilkins, Jeff P. Jones, Jerry Mathes, Daniel Orozco, Mary Clearman Blew, Annie Lampman, and Kelly Blikre. Go Idaho!

I was asked by Fugue to contribute a piece to their regional issue, which is a very handsome and impressive issue by any measure. You can read my essay, “Why I Stay,” online. Or better yet, subscribe to the journal and get the latest issue (their 20th Anniversary editon) and read works by Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Anthony Doerr, Benjamin Percy, Susanna Sonnenberg, Pete Fromm, Jess Walter, Robert Wrigley, Kim Stafford and others.

For all of you nonfiction junkies and students of the craft, you might want to check out Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism, and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers (Tarcher/Penguin 2009). I’ve got a piece in there called, “Portrait of the Past as Memory,” alongside some of my favorite nonfictioners. Happy to be in such company.

Edited by Sherry Ellis, the anthology has loads of “get you started” prompts by Gay Talease, Robin Hemley, Madeleine Blais , Jenny Boully, Honor Moore, David Gessner, Rebecca McClanahan, Robert Atwan and more. It’s like a K-Tel Hits Package of nonfiction writers all under one roof. Check it out.