I'm excited to be editing an anthology centered on the curious sub-genre of Creative Nonfiction affectionally known as the "hermit crab essay."
Translucent Hermit Crab Shell Crab
Adorned with Cityscape
by Aki Inomata
The term "hermit crab essay" was coined by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paolo in their popular creative nonfiction text book Tell It Slant, and refers to essays in which the writer borrows an external form of some kind to use as a framework for a lyric meditation on the chosen subject. The shell or scaffolding for such an essay can be anything from a recipe to a job application, an obituary to a set of how-to directions.
There is so much exciting work of this type out there right now, and the form is quickly gaining in popularity. A whole collection of these inventive essays—always a bit of a high wire act—promises to be a uniquely playful and thought-provoking book. Several wonderful writers with great essays are on board already, including Dinty Moore, Jenny Boully, Ander Monson, and Brenda Miller. If you have written an essay of this type and would like to see it in this anthology, please consider submitting it for possible inclusion in The Shell Game. You can contact me at (kimadrian115 [@] gmail [dot] com).