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 Ashley C. Ford, 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. Boston Globe

The Boston Globe Magazine Connections section seeks 650-word first-person essays 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:  “My Childhood Seizures Could Have Been Terrifying, But My Dad Made it OK” by Hillary Mullan

2. Extra Crispy

Send your pitches about breakfast, brunch, or the culture of mornings to [email protected] or the editor of the section you’re pitching. Average pay hovers at about 46 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay: Gina Vaynshteyn’s “When Dumplings Are Resistance

3. Dame Magazine

“Incisive. Irreverent. Curious. Provoctive. That’s DAME.”

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: I Tried to Protect My Daughters from a Stalker” By Cameron Gearen

4. The Christian Science Monitor

Have an upbeat personal essay between 400 and 800 words on everyday life, like travel, parenting, home, family, gardening, neighborhood, or community? Submit to The CS Monitor’s Home Forum. Send your completed essays to [email protected]

Must-read personal essay: “Our Animal Problem Comes Home To Roost” by Stephanie Hanes

5. Kveller

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: 500-800. Per a well-loved private Facebook group for freelance writers, pay is about $50.

Must-read personal essay: B.J. Epstein’s “How I’m Trying to Teach Charity to My Toddler

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

6. The Sun Magazine

Publications in The Sun Magazine 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 online through Submittable.

Must-read personal essay: “Cleaned Out,” 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. New Statesman

This U.K. magazine has a helpful contributor’s guide. 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: The Long Ride to Riyadh,” by Dave Eggers

8. The New York Times

The popular Modern Love feature accepts submissions of 1,500 words max at [email protected] Include a Word attachment, but also paste the text into your message. Consult the Times’ page on pitching first, and like Modern Love on Facebook for even more insight. Payment is $300, The New York Times writes on its Facebook page.

Amy Sutherland’s column, “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage,” which ran in 2006 and landed her a book contract with Random House.

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 submission guidelines encourage writers to “embrace your own strangeness.” To submit, email [email protected].

Must-read personal essay: “The House Where My Husband Doesn’t Exist” by David Khalaf

9. Creative Nonfiction Magazine

One unique aspect about Creative Nonfiction Magazine is their high acceptance rate of unsolicited pitches. So it’s a great stop for blossoming writers, as well as those with more experience.

To submit online, a $3 reading fee is charged to non-subscribers (and the magazine no longer accepts paper submissions). The fee ensures you will be paid if your work is accepted, which typically adds up to a $125 flat rate $10 per printed page. Read over their submission calls before pitching since each issue sticks to a theme. 

Must-read personal essay: Caitlin Dwyer’s “Inheritance

10. Slate

“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.Send personal essays to [email protected]. Average reported pay is about 24 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay: Justin Peters’ “I Sold Bill Murray a Beer at Wrigley Field

11. Slice

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 submission guidelines to make sure your work will be read with the next issue in mind. The easiest way to send in your work is through Submittable.

Must-read personal essay: Fire Island,” by Christopher Locke

12. Skirt Magazine

Skirt Magazine is “all about women – their work, their play, families, creativity, style, health and wealth, bodies and souls.” Editors welcome pitches for personal essays of 600-800 words and give preference to Charleston-based writers. Check their submissions calendar for upcoming themes. Pay varies.

Must-read personal essay: Patricia Williams Lessane’s “Mighty Black Mothers

13. Motherwell

Motherwell is a publication that tells all sides of the parenting story. They seek parenting-related personal essay submissions of up to 1200 words. Submit a full piece online via Submittable; all contributors are paid.

Must-read personal essay:The Length of the Pause” by Tanya Mozias Slavin

14. The Bold Italic

This publication focuses on California’s Bay Area. Strong POV and a compelling personal writing style are key. Typical pay is $50 per article, though higher rates can be negotiated for “complex” pieces. Email [email protected] with the subject line  “Pitch: [Name], [Article Title].”

Must-read personal essay: “Thanks, Mom, for the Secondhand Panties”” by Linda Freund

15. Bustle

Submit essays about health, mental health, relationships, and identity to the appropriate editor at this lifestyle site geared toward women. They also are accepting pitches to their two series, Family Thread and Living With. The editors ask that you only send pitches, not full drafts. Pay averages about 10 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay: “I Snuck Into A Celebrity Wedding On Palm Beach & I Would 100% Do It Again” by Alexandra Antonopoulos

16. The Rumpus

Focuses on essays that “intersect culture.” Submit finished essays online in the category that fits best. Wait three months before following up. Payment is lean, but possible: Eligible contributors can opt in to receive an even share of the $300 budget the publication sets aside monthly.

Must-read personal essay:Not a Widow” by Michelle Miller

17. The Penny Hoarder

This personal-finance website welcomes submissions that discuss ways to make or save money. Read the guidelines before emailing your submission. Articles should be between 700-900 words. Pay varies.

Must-read personal essay: This Family’s Drastic Decision Will Help Them Pay Off $100K in Debt in 5 Years” by Maggie Moore

18.Vox’s First Person

The First Person section of Vox.com publishes personal essays “with unique perspectives on complicated issues.” Submit pitches or completed drafts to [email protected]. They are open to a variety of topics, but claim past success with pieces on parenting, relationships, money, identity, mental health, and job/workplace issues. Pay varies.

Must-read personal essay:I Was a Child of Chernobyl” by Sophia Moskalenko

19. Narratively

Narratively accepts pitches and complete pieces that tell “original and untold human stories.” Submit online in the category that most closely fits your essay, which should be between 1,500 and 4,000 words. Pay averages 9 cents per word.

Must-read personal essay: What Does a Therapist Do When She Has Turmoil of Her Own?” by Sherry Amatenstein

This post was updated in July 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers! It was originally written by Lisa Rowan and updated by The Write Life team.

Photo via Pexels

Featured resource

Essay Writing: How to Find the Story in You – and Sell It

This six-week online personal essay writing course will guide you through every step of the process, from essay idea to salable piece.


  • 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…

  • William Dameron says:

    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.


    • 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/.

  • David Todd McCarty says:


    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.

    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 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. http://antarcticajournal.com

  • 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

  • Sarah Donawerth says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Bella Grace Magazine and its blog Grace Notes are also looking for personal essays. You can see complete submission details here: https://stampington.com/calls-and-challenges#gra. Stampington’s other titles also accept artwork submissions if you’re interested.

  • Anukul Das says:

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

  • Soumik Sarkar says:

    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 http://www.headlinersmag.com

  • 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!

  • A.Sarukrishna says:

    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.

  • A.Sarukrishna says:

    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. http://www.sarupub.org

  • 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.


  • 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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