Welcome to The Real Story

The Real Story is a celebration of creative nonfiction. Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction. Look, we like making stuff up as much as anyone else does, but we’re more excited about the creative possibilities of telling the truth. We love true stories (and even mostly true stories), personal essays, memoirs, diaries, sketches and literary journalism. Reality is so much stranger than fiction. Tastes better, too.

The River and Two Uncles by David Day

October 14, 2011
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Several years ago, I was standing in the market place of the small South Lincolnshire town where I was born and grew up. It was Thursday, market day, though it was no longer possible for a relaxed sociable crowd to meander through the stalls.

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Slaughter by Shabnam Younus

October 14, 2011
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I saw a flash. It was the metal of a knife. The biggest blade I’d ever seen in my six years on earth, in the hands of one of the men surrounding the cow. It was black and white, just like the cows in England. They held it with strong arms. I thought they...

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Sheer Genius by Melanie Amri

October 14, 2011
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It’s unusually warm for December, as though the season’s made a mistake and is surprised to be here. Someone’s dropped a red rag over Mum’s fence. It bleeds into her lawn, like a wound. I let myself in. “Mum!” No reply, just a muted rustle. I eventually find her, upstairs in her bra and...

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Hanging On by Nija Dalal-Small

October 14, 2011
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He volunteers with the organization I work for, and that’s where I meet him: a late night meeting in the glass lobby of a sleeping dark office building ends later than it should. I’ve just started this job; it should be perfect, but I don’t think it’s right for me, because my boss doesn’t...

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Drinking Coffee with My Father in the Most Expensive Cafe in Manchester by Benjamin Judge

October 14, 2011
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I am not in a cafe. I am not with my father. I am not even drinking coffee. My peppermint tea cools on the windowsill in a Very Hungry Caterpillar mug. I am sat in the study (a rather grandiose term for the second bedroom of a two bedroom house which before long will...

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