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Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction (Literary Journal)

From the inaugural issue's Editor's Notes:

Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, is devoted to publishing notable, innovative work in nonfiction. The title reflects our intention to give nonfiction its due as a literary genre -- to give writers of the fourth genre a showcase for their work and to give our readers a place to find the liveliest and most creative works in the form.

Given the form's flexibility and expansiveness, Fourth Genre welcomes a variety of works--ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism. We invite submissions across the full spectrum of the genre, from exploratory, lyrical, meditative, self-interrogative, reflective and whimsical to analytical and expository.

The journal encourages a writer-to-reader conversation, one that explores the markers and boundaries of literary/creative nonfiction. In addition to contemporary nonfiction, Fourth Genre features interviews with prominent nonfiction writers, roundtable discussions of topical genre issues, mini-essays by selected photographers and visual artists, comments on the form, and reviews and capsule summaries of current books.

Michael Steinberg, Founding Editor

Selected Reviews and Comments:

“A journal equal to Prairie Schooner or Missouri Review. Readers (and writers) who care about current writing in the United States should know about this wonderful journal. ….A landmark in the world of writing, …. “Fourth Genre” is filled with stories that must be told, stories which enlighten, stories that make us better for the experience of having shared in the telling.” -- Literary Magazine Review.

”Literary journals have notoriously small readerships, with only a few venerated juggernauts-the Paris Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, to name a few—standing out from a profuse field that seems to grow exponentially every year. Fourth Genre, is another name that deserves inclusion on the reading lists of literary journal devotees…. Handsomely assembled, meticulously edited, and densely packed with good, diverse prose. Fourth Genre stands as a excellent bellwether for the current state of creative nonfiction….” -- Utne Reader

"…a satisfying balance between the personal and worldly, intimately felt and broadly observed. If you don’t have time for more than a few literary magazines these days…don’t skip this one.” Sima Rabinowtiz,

“The pieces of nonfiction in Fourth Genre are about journeys, inward and outward and the people and sights which are recorded and told with brilliant and sparkling detail in writing which rises with luminosity from the page.” -- TEXT

Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction a new and very wonderful journal is a substantial and artful magazine…it’s a new treasure for our nonfiction program.” –Bonnie Sustein, University of Iowa, Graduate Program in Creative Nonfiction

Here is a note we received from a writer who submitted a piece.

"Fourth Genre are my new friends.... Why are they my friends? Well they sent me two comments in a nice letter, from readers, about the first literary essay I’ve ever sent out. One said, 'There is some interesting architecture and insight displayed here.' The other said, 'An authentic piece that draws me in as a reader. However, I wonder if the italicized segments are too much of a literary device.' I’m working on digesting that one, since I think I might agree but can’t think what to do about it….I was really encouraged by FG’s letter…. So, FG rules."