Vanderbilt Lives is an online, open access journal of creative nonfiction essays written by current Vanderbilt undergraduates and published annually at the end of spring semester. Submissions are accepted throughout the academic year with a deadline of April 1 for consideration for publication in the next issue.

What is creative nonfiction?

The content of the essays published in Vanderbilt Lives must be nonfiction, but you may be as creative as you like with the writing style. Feel free to use dialogue, rhetorical flourishes, humor, unusual sentence structure, and anything else that helps you tell your story in your own way. Here are examples of creative nonfiction essays by David SedarisJoan Didion, and James Baldwin.

Anonymous Publications

You may choose to publish your essay anonymously. You will still need to communicate with the editors using your real name and Vanderbilt email address, but this information will be kept confidential.

Multiple Submissions

We accept multiple submissions per person, but we may elect to defer publication of additional essay(s) until the following academic year.