19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays

19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays

They’re all over your Facebook feed, and for good reason. Personal essays by popular authors and novices alike are relatable, engrossing reads.

Sometimes, their heart-wrenching reflections stay with you for days.

For reporters or academics, it can be hard to step back from research rituals and write from personal experience. But a personal essay can endear you to an audience, bring attention to an issue, or simply provide comfort to a reader who’s “been there.”

“Writing nonfiction is not about telling your story,” says , an essayist who emphasized the importance of creating a clear connection between your personal experience and universal topics. “It’s about telling interesting and worthy stories about the human condition using examples from your life.”

But don’t worry if your life doesn’t seem exciting or heart-wrenching enough to expound upon; think of it as writing through yourself, instead of about yourself. “There are few heroes and even fewer villains in real life,” she said. “If you’re going to write about your human experience, write the truth. It’s worth it to write what’s real.”

Where to submit your personal essays

Once you’ve penned your essay, which publications should you ? We’ve all heard of — and likely submitted to — The New York Times’ Modern Love column, but that’s not the only outlet that accepts personal narratives.

“Submit to the places you love that publish work like yours,” Ford advises, but don’t get caught up in the size of the publication. And “recognize that at small publications you’re way more likely to find someone with the time to really help you edit a piece.

To help you find the right fit, we’ve compiled a list of 19 publications that accept essay submissions, as well as tips on how to pitch the editor, who to and, whenever possible, how much the outlet pays.

We’d love to make this list even more useful, so if you have additional ideas or details for these publications or others, please leave them below in the comments!

1.

The Boston Globe Magazine Connections section seeks on relationships of any kind. It pays, though how much is unclear. Submit to [email protected] with “query” in the subject line.

Must-read personal essay:,” by Art Sesnovich

2.

about breakfast, brunch, or the culture of mornings to [email protected] or the editor of the section you’re pitching. Average pay hovers at .

Must-read personal essay: Gina Vaynshteyn’s “

3.

“Incisive. Irreverent. Curious. Provoctive. .”

If that’s you, too, send your pitch to [email protected] Aimed at women in their 30s, the publication covers politics, sex, reproductive rights, LGBTQ issues and more. Pay varies.

Must-read personal essay: By Ann Votaw

4.

“The conversation is much more interesting when everyone has a voice,” according to this progressive, women-focused publication.

To add yours, send a 2-4 paragraph pitch to [email protected] with the word “pitch” in the subject line. Pay is $125 for op-eds and personal essays between 800-1500 words, and $500 for longer, reported pieces. See the submission guidelines for full details.

Must-read personal essay: by Your Fat Friend

5.

Want to write for this Jewish parenting site? To submit, email [email protected] with “submission” somewhere in the subject line. Include a brief bio, information, and your complete original blog post — you can either attach it as a Word document or paste it into the body of the email. Suggested word count: 500-1000. Per a well-loved private Facebook group for freelance writers, pay is about $50.

Must-read personal essay: B.J. Epstein’s “

Not sure where to share your personal essays? Here’s your list of sites to target.

6.

Publications in have won Pushcart Prizes and been selected for Best American Essays — so if your story gets chosen, you’ll be in good company. And since the editors “tend to favor personal writing,” that I-driven nonfiction essay might just be the perfect fit. (Fiction and poetry are also accepted.)

Pay ranges from $300 all the way up to $2,000 for accepted prose. The easiest way to send your story is .

Must-read personal essay: by Barbara Ehrenreich (Editor’s note: The Sun puts its stories behind a paywall…which is why they can afford to pay their writers so handsomely!)

7.

This U.K. magazine has a helpful . Unsolicited submissions, while rarely accepted, are paid; if an editor likes your pitch, you’ll hear back in 24 hours. Email [email protected] to get started.

Must-read personal essay: ,” by Dave Eggers

8.

The popular Modern Love feature accepts submissions of 1,700 words max at [email protected] Include a Word attachment, but also paste the text into your message. Consult the Times’ page on first, and like Modern Love on for even more insight. Rumor has it that a successful submission will earn you $250. (Correction added Oct. 9, 2014: Payment is $300, The New York Times writes on its .)

Amy Sutherland’s column, “,” which ran in 2006, landed her a book contract with Random House and a movie deal with Lionsgate, which is in preproduction. “I never saw either coming,” Sutherland said.

Another option is the Lives column in the New York Times Magazine, which is “open to anyone with a good tale to tell.” Better yet: the encourage writers to “embrace your own strangeness.” To submit, email [email protected].

Must-read personal essay: ” by Nina Riggs

9.

*Editor’s note: As of December 2018, Salon is .

Salon to the appropriate section with “Editorial Submission” in the subject line and the query/submission in the body of the email. Include your writing background or qualifications, along with links to three or four clips.

“I was compensated $150 for my essay,” says Alexis Grant, founder of The Write Life, “but that was several years ago. All in all, working with the editor there was a great experience.” reports average pay of about 12 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay:,” by Alexis Grant

10.

“Slate,” according to its own submission guidelines, “is known for making smart, witty, persuasive statements.” So if you’ve got something to say, email your pitch (not your drafted post) to the appropriate section editor. . Average reported pay is about 24 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay: Justin Peters’ “

11.

Each print issue has a specific cultural theme and welcomes both fiction and nonfiction — and even poetry! Stories and essays of 5,000 words max earn up to $250. Review periods are limited, so check their to make sure your work will be read with the next issue in mind.

Must-read personal essay: ,” by Christopher Locke

12.

The Billfold hopes to make discussing money less awkward and more honest — and regularly puts out . Send your pitch to [email protected]. Who Pays Writers notes a rate of about , but this writer would consider the experience and exposure to be worth the low pay.

Must-read personal essay: ,” by Paulette Perhach

13.

Motherwell seeks of up to 1200 words. Submit a full piece online via ; all contributors are paid.

Must-read personal essay: “” by Tanya Mozias Slavin

14.

This publication focuses on California’s Bay Area. Strong POV and a compelling personal writing style are key. Typical pay is , though higher rates can be negotiated for “complex” pieces. Email [email protected] with the subject line  “Pitch: [Name], [Article Title].”

Must-read personal essay:,” by Rhea St. Julien

15.

of up to 2000 words to this lifestyle site geared toward women. to read full drafts whenever possible. Pay averages about .

Must-read personal essay: by Alexandra Antonopoulos

16.

Focuses on essays that Submit finished essays in the category that fits best. Wait three months before following up. , but possible: Eligible contributors can opt in to receive an even share of the $400 budget the publication sets aside monthly.

Must-read personal essay:” by Michelle Miller

17.

This personal-finance website welcomes submissions that discuss ways to make or save money. Read the before emailing your submission. Pay varies.

Must-read personal essay: ” by Maggie Moore

18.

a story or essay of 10,000 words max in either September or March. Be prepared to hold your horses, though: Response times can be as high as six months, or even longer. Cover letters should include a word count and indicate whether the submission is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

Must-read personal essay: by Rachel Yoder

19.

Narratively that tell “original and untold human stories.” in the category that most closely fits your essay. .

Must-read personal essay: ” by Sherry Amatenstein

Still looking for ideas? ’s blog post, “20 Great Places to Publish Personal Essays,” is worth perusing. MediaBistro also offers a section called How to Pitch as part of their , which has an annual fee of $55.

This post was updated in September 2018 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers! It was originally written by Lisa Rowan and updated by The Write Life team.

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270 comments

  • Cassie M. says:

    What a comprehensive list, thanks for taking the time to put this together!

  • Diane Mahn says:

    Not to be snarky, but I was browsing some of the sample stories offered on each site, starting with the first one on Toast, about the color of your urine. SERIOUSLY? Am I the only one who noticed that the first paragraph was, in fact just
    o n e E X T R E M E L Y l o n g s e n t e n c e ? THIS is the level of “excellence” being thrown out as a pitch sample article? It’s a great example of the train wreck that writing has become since people started babbling endlessly on their phones, without regard for punctuation, sentence structure, or even using FULL WORDS.
    When I was in college taking writing classes, turning in something like this would have resulted in my instructor saying “If this is the best you can do, then GET OUT OF MY CLASS”. I would think the reaction from an editor would be pretty much the same.

    • Cathy says:

      oneExtremelylongsentense is 4 words, not one.
      Not to be snarky, but as you progress in age and experience you’ll find that real life experiences are mostly very different from the theory we learn from instructors at school etc. – because they are teachers, paid to give us a foundation to build on. They are probably not editors, and often not aware of contemporary activities going on in the real world, and it’s impossible for them to cover every eventuality…
      Good job from your instructor though…

  • I would like to add another place to submit your essays. The Boston Globe has a column titled “My First Home” which runs every Sunday. I have published two essays in that column (I was able to convince the editor that I DID have two first homes.) Length is 550 words and pays $150. Good Luck!

  • RJ Raawat says:

    thank you so much for this info
    🙂

  • shivika says:

    Hey, Hello! Everyone,

    Am from India, very much interested in writing, a Psychologist by profession having flair for writing on wide array of issues and observations like culture, arts, human mind, experiences and whatever intrigues my senses. Do help me out to know how to start publishing my writings.

    Looking forward for support and information.

    Thanks,
    Shivika

    • Brett says:

      I suggest you publish with Knowledge Snap. It is completely free and the registration process is fast. All materials are accepted so your writing won’t be denied. You can get started at knowledgesnap.com/register/.

  • NOW ACCEPTING WRITING SUBMISSIONS:

    We’re currently accepting submissions for Short Humor and Personal Essays. This is the Angry Dave Trading Post, not the Mommy Blog, so a sarcastic, sardonic tone works best. We like to look at the world through a cynical, yet funny, lens.

    HUMOR
    We’re looking for pieces that cover current events, pop culture, entertainment, relationships, religion, politics and lifestyle, in a satirical or humorous way. There is really no set rule on length, but generally between 750-1500 words. If it’s funny and captivating, but doesn’t quite fit that mold, that’s fine too. It’s also not Buzzfeed, or the Huffington Post. Not only do we not have anywhere near their audience, we don’t give a shit what Kanye thinks about Clinton’s email server. The style tends to be satirical, snarky or otherwise irritated, but the humor still has to be there. Nothing sexist or racist. Political humor is fine as long as it’s not mean-spirited.

    ESSAYS
    Essays can be really any length as long as they’re interesting but generally no more than 2,500 words. Just remember, this isn’t The Atlantic. We’re not doing long-form journalism here. These are short essays that have a strong personal opinion. They can be on any subject as long as you’re passionate about it and the reader is entertained.

  • James says:

    The Antarctica Journal is another online news source with an active literary section that publishes submitted works including essays, short fiction, poetry, photography, and more.

  • mannat says:

    hey Lisa
    i am indian amateur writer. i have written a lot of poetic stuff and also some writing pieces in a lot of languages. english too. do you think i would be able to get into some of these?

  • chun hin LOK says:

    I have three essays concern how to predict customer emotion to raise profit research. I plan to find different countries magazine publisher to help me to publish to earn income. How do you help me please

  • Hi Everyone,
    Bella Grace Magazine and its blog Grace Notes are also looking for personal essays. You can see complete submission details here: . Stampington’s other titles also accept artwork submissions if you’re interested.
    ~Sarah

  • Anukul Das says:

    Hi, very nice and informative post. Recenty i have founded one more website for content submission . It is also a great website for high PR content submission.

  • This is from an Indian online magazine. We accepts original article on sports, health, fitness, food, lifestyle and travel. Only online submission. Check out at

  • Israel says:

    Does anyone know where I can publish satire for a bit of money?

  • Anna Gaskell says:

    I have written personal essays over the past years and a few poems, I have a story to tell. I was just wondering if anyone knows what my next step would to get them published or just seen by an audience, they need editing and looking over before I get too serious. The idea of a novel is one of my goals, but I need professional opinions on if my story is good enough.

    If you have any tips to give me or a direction, please email me!

  • I was looking for a journal to publish research article. There are huge number of online journals. All of them charge to publish the articles on their journal. This is a journal where in they have a fee waiver option. Responded the same day. They asked me about the dataset(the used variables alone) submission alone with the paper and work on to align the paper as mentioned in the Ms word Template and few changes. Happy to see a journal that publishes good research too.

  • I was looking for a journal to publish research article. There are huge number of online journals. All of them charge to publish the articles on their journal. This is a journal where in they have a fee waiver option. Responded the same day. They asked me about the dataset(the used variables alone) submission alone with the paper and work on to align the paper as mentioned in the Ms word Template and few changes. Happy to see a journal that publishes good research too.

  • Nathan Funk says:

    Does anyone accept phrases or qoutes.

  • Tyler says:

    Hi Rinika,

    So you want to publish an essay? Sounds great!

    You can easily publish your essay with Knowledge Snap. Just go to knowledgesnap.com/register/.

    Once you have created an account you can submit your essay for review and it will be published within 24 hours.

    I hope this helps.

    Best,
    Tyler

  • Shivani says:

    Apart from articles I have some poems which I want to be published in a paid magazine… Where would i get them??

  • Terri Buzzelli says:

    I wrote an emotion piece about going to my estranged grandson’s graduation. I was a big part of his life for his first twleve years. I feel this is a timely piece with so many going through divorces. When two people part a relationship it ripples throughout the entire family. Grandparents become alienated.

    I don’t know the publication that would best suit this personal essay many would relate.

    • Amber Gold says:

      How can I get access to this piece for review?

      • Terri Buzzelli says:

        Thank you for your interest in my memior entitled: Time Evaporates. This is a heart rending story of attending my grandson’s graduation. Through divorce and games we have been estranged.

        The only way to get this memior is for me to e-mail or snail mail it to you. I don’t get to my emails often due to work and family.

      • marcelle says:

        You might try the special print issue of Brain Child called Brain Teen — For parents (and grandparents of teens)

  • Anula says:

    Can there be confessions which would be acceptable?

  • Jennica Pierre says:

    I have write a essay, and i want to publish it but I have no idea how to do that, and I think it will inspired many people to follow their dream. have any idea of how I can do that? I’m only 15 and i want to build a brand among people around me and inspired them to be what they want to be.

  • Loredana Kaminski says:

    Hi All and thanks so much for the wonderful information. I live in South African, any suggestions?

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