Creative Nonfiction Stories & Essays  >>  Jason Schwartzman

"Is that what happens on a set? The proximity to a larger fiction inspiring smaller ones? Everyone fancying herself a storyteller? Or is it just what happens anywhere, inventing yourself over and over again? " 

The Shape of a Story — Hobart

"When there are no more details, when you’ve given them all up, they aren’t yours anymore. Your memory is no longer your own."

The Rules of Getting to Know Someone — Human Parts

"After a while, he’s anyone else and so am I. I still don’t know for sure that it is him, if he too has traced the zigs and zags of such a small history. All I know is that each game is its own."

Which World We're in — Hippocampus Magazine

"From far off, I see a solitary figure coming toward me — the distance gives us time to contemplate each other."

Encounter #1: Souls on a Road — Medium

"From a distance the crown almost looks like solid gold. But as I walk farther up 30th Avenue in Astoria, I can tell there is something not quite right about it."

The King of New York — Mr. Beller's Neighborhood

"Is this the work of the bridge, you wonder, expunging parts of itself it doesn’t need, littering out its life? Or is it full of holes?"

The George Washington Bridge is Breaking — River Teeth

"He decided not to tell her, to keep it, a memento of their night, one where there might not be another. In fact, he never told her, perhaps concerned the evening had not appreciated in value for her the way it had for him."

The Things that Fall Between — Claudius Speaks


"Like Blanche DuBois, exit pollers depend on the kindness of strangers." 

A Vulture on Broome Street — New York Times

"Rubbing alcohol pools into centimeter-deep crevices in his palms. But it’s the best way he knows how to get clean—vital after hours of rummaging in vast networks of garbage."

How Franklin Joshua Gets By — Untapped Cities


"Eventually we stopped going, stopped guessing, we all got older. But it made its imprint as a kind of magic, as elemental as the heat of the bonfire once we finally arrived, its charring, burning wood alongside the coldest air I’d ever known up till then."

Driving to Darmouth — The Rumpus

“His tours get at the idea that “history” is too often taken to mean large, distant events and not the fabric of everyday life. But history is everything—it is us."

New York's Walking, Talking Encyclopedia — Narratively

"Before they were sold, the men and women in shackles had to turn their backs to prove they bore no marks — no one wanted a defiant slave."

Ghosts of Charleston — Nowhere Magazine

"At its highest level—not just fans wearing dry-cleaned jerseys to games but the brand-building superfans in greasepaint and foam rubber and such—NFL fandom is brutal, almost Hobbesian, and both trivial-seeming and wildly grandiose."

Ram Man: the Construction of a Superfan — The Classical​​​​

"When I ask what he’s worried about, he gruffly replies that I might want to put a hit on Lucky, that he might owe me money and I’m seeking him to smash out his knees with a baseball bat."

Chasing the Triple Crown in the Back Room — SportsGrid

I’m the Senior Editor of True.Ink, a revival of a heritage adventure magazine. My writing has been published in the New York Times, New York Magazine,, The Rumpus, River Teeth, Nowhere Magazine, Hobart, Newtown Literary, Gothamist, and Untapped Cities, among other places. I was also a ghostwriter for a recent celebrity memoir, and currently am on StoryTerrace's roster of biographers.

For True, I’ve interviewed bison herders, hot air balloonists, ice sailors, flame dancers, herring scholars, high divers, butterfly guides, Roughwater racers, tango composers, Tusheti seekers, historic boat captains, professional table tennis players, mountain climbers, backgammon masters, among other unusual folks.

Contact: jdschwartzman [at] gmail [dot] com

Blog >> Unknown Index

Instagram / Twitter

Fanfiction >> Biography of the Batman: Stories We Tell Ourselves

Interview I did with Newtown Literary

Some Awards  >>

"No One You Know," Semi-Finalist, Gold Wake Press, 2019

"The World We're In," Short List for 2018 Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction, Hippocampus Magazine

“The Shape of a Story," Semi-Finalist for the Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize, 2017

#GWstorieseverywhere, Contest Winner, Gotham Writers Workshop, July 2015

Boysko Prize for Literature, 2012

An Index of Myself >>

200,000 >> number of subscribers to True's newsletter

10,000 >> readers logged for my most-read story (The Rules of Getting to Know Someone)

1,146  >> movies I've seen (much less now than I used to, but I've always made notes on them, and the doc reads as an illuminating chronicle of my life — who I was seeing movies with at a given time, what types of things I'd notice, what changed if I liked one more on a second viewing, a journal of sorts)

25 >> estimated hours I’ve spent trying to rediscover my once-formidable backhand (finally succeeded thanks to a deeply sunburned, criminologist-turned-tennis instructor named Mitch)

18 >> kids on the high school soccer team I coached at Columbia Secondary School (we won the DIII title!)

7 >> number of students that were in my New York Writer’s Coalition workshop for the visually impaired 

3 >> number of lucid dreams I’ve had (I started doing reality tests to increase this. It's a way to live twice, as an old dream weaver once told me)

2 >> cactuses I’ve owned; Natalia (RIP), Bunny (very much alive)

1 >> times I’ve found a gold ring in a pond, a la Frodo

0 >> places dearer to my heart than St. Louis