NonfictioNOW gathers leading writers from around the world to converse with emerging peers and audiences on the intricate challenges and intriguing delights of writing and reading nonfiction NOW. The growing success of NonfictioNOW highlights the great energy and interest in the art of nonfiction storytelling in all its forms, from literary and political essays and memoir to reality TV.

NonfictioNOW was founded by Robin Hemley at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 2005, and has since been staged in Melbourne, Australia, Flagstaff, USA, Reykjavik, Iceland and Phoenix, USA.

Panels, roundtables and readings highlight the myriad forms of nonfiction, from the video, graphic, hybrid, lyric and personal essay, to nonfiction poetry, memoir, travel, science and ecocritical writing, literary journalism, and more. They address topics of contemporary concern; the intertwining of politics and poetics, histories, bodies, influences and concepts. NonfictioNOW panels are typically lively, discursive, playful, and interactive events, as opposed to the reading of a succession of individual papers. Experimental and performative panel formats are welcomed.

Past keynote speakers have included Karl Ove Knausgård, Maggie Nelson, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, Alison Bechdel, Rebecca Solnit, Wayne Koestenbaum, Pico Iyer, Margo Jefferson, Richard Rodriguez, Tim Flannery, Helen Garner, Ross McElwee, Gretel Ehrlich, David Shields, and Philip Lopate among others.

Visit the main NonfictioNOW website »


  • Nicole Walker (Co-President)
  • David Carlin (Co-President)
  • Patrick Madden (Vice-President)
  • Robin Hemley
  • Ingrid Horrocks
  • Tina Makereti
  • Elena Pasarello
  • Heidi Stalla
  • Wendy S. Walters

NonfictioNOW 2021
Aotearoa Conference
Steering Committee

  • Ingrid Horrocks (Co-chair)
  • Tina Makereti (Co-chair)
  • Thom Conroy
  • Gigi Fenster
  • Jenny Lawn
  • James Hollings
  • Laura Jean McKay
  • Julieanna Preston
  • Bryan Walpert