It has been an extraordinary few years. Our physical presence was reduced to the footprint of our homes and our virtual presence grew as we sought community in every corner of the internet. Our emotional and physical resources stretched thin, we found new ways to collaborate and connect. We discovered new connections in our work. Amidst the chaos, we tended to ourselves, our families, and our loved ones. For many, doing this work meant letting go of other pursuits. The literary world, which relies so heavily on unpaid labor from editors and writers alike, saw the demise of many well-loved journals and online spaces for the discussion of craft.

true and Proximity were no exception.

Our literary and personal lives are on the rebound, and there is no lack of space to publish the writing that emerged from the resounding hum of our collective experience. What there is a lack of, is a space to discuss the attention we give to our true stories, to getting them just so. To our nonfiction craft. 

Please allow us to re-introduce true, a home for essays and writing on the craft of nonfiction in its many forms, as well as reviews, interviews, and criticism. Proximity remains on hiatus, but we hope that won’t always be so.

Our first issue features Parisa Saranj’s reflective essay about abandoning Persian, her first language, to write and think exclusively in English, both as a method of embracing her life in the United States and abandoning her past in Iran. Parisa is the translations editor at Consequence Forum.

In the weeks and months ahead, visit true to read co-editor Kristina Gaddy’s interview with author Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, author of Heir to the Crescent Moon, about the many possible approaches to writing a creative nonfiction book about faith and family. Cija Jefferson, author of the essay collection Sonic Memories, will interview Athena Dixon about The Loneliness Files, her memoir-in-essays forthcoming this fall from Tin House. Writer and educator Donna Lewis Johnson will offer her perspective on how teaching some of Washington, DC’s most socioeconomically challenged youth has changed her as a writer.

Our new editorial team includes Brandon Arvesen, Kristina Gaddy, and Megan Reilley. 

Brandon Arvesen is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Colby-Sawyer College. His writing, and the work he is most excited to read, explores the intersection of reporting and narrative–how those hard-to-corroborate facts build better stories. Brandon is the founding editor of 3cents Magazine, an online publication that puts three independently written pieces into thematic conversations. His reported memoir on American gambling is in process. 

Kristina Gaddy writes all kinds of nonfiction, from reportage to lyric essay, and is the author of Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo’s Hidden History and Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis. She loves thinking and talking about the craft of nonfiction—how it is and isn’t different from other genres, and how we can make true stories compelling.

Megan Reilley was an editorial professional for more than 20 years before joining the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University as an Associate Teaching Professor of English. Megan is drawn to the deeply personal stories that are the root of creative nonfiction—highly reflective, emotional, and layered work that exposes a truth about shared experiences in an exulting and punishing world. Her memoir examining societal and personal expectations of female identity, mothering, female bodies, and the bodies of our children, is in progress.

Look for announcements and calls for submissions on the website and Submittable.

true is back. We hope you’ll follow along. // @truetruetruemag on Instagram and X (Twitter)

CategoriesEditorial Notes