Origins and Submissions

Annotations of the writers, by the writers, for the writers.

Welcome to Annotation Nation, Creative Non-fiction!

Annotation Nation was founded in 2009 by fiction writers Kate Maruyama and Diane Sherlock. In annotating books for our MFA program in Creative Writing, we learned to examine books in terms of craft. These aren’t reviews (although you will hear definite opinions expressed) or critical essays, but a closer look at writing, answering questions such as, “What made that so great?” “Why didn’t this work for me?” or, more importantly, “How’d they do that and how can I use it in my own writing?”

You can look up by title or by author or find the link. We will continue to post and invite you to submit your own annotations (see guidelines below). We are hoping to amass a comprehensive and diverse look at literature through the eyes of writers looking more closely at the tools of the craft.

Please feel free to share annotations in any genre of creative non-fiction, particularly those you found useful; we don’t promise to post everything, but we will post what we can. You don’t have to love every book. We certainly don’t! Sometimes the most useful annotations are those of flawed books or those not to our taste. We want to read everything out there, but simply don’t have the time. Sound familiar?

Then welcome to the Annotation Nation, creative non-fiction.

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Subject Matter These aren’t book reviews. We are interested in your response to the work as a writer.  If you loved it, (and “it” can be anything from POV, character development, narrative, dialog, setting, sentence structure to use of metaphor and so on) how do you think the writer did that? How can you learn from his or her technique? If you hated it, what has reading this work taught you to avoid? How did the experience of reading the book inform your own writing?

Length 1-3 pages is a general guide (250-1,000 words). Keep in mind that most people will not read long pieces online.

Genre Please note whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, include the title and author’s name.

Annotations may be edited We may edit annotations submitted for language, content or length. You retain the copyright on your annotations. If you would like to view your edited piece before we post it, just let us know.

Thank you!

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