Thursday, June 12, 2008

Personal Essay Markets

What I am currently reading: Into Thin Air

Everyone has a story to tell, which is probably why personal essays are so popular to write. I have written and published a few myself and have to admit, I do love to write them. I don't have to research anything or interview anyone. All I have to do is relax and travel to the part of my brain that stores all my memories and experiences and play around in there until I find the story I want to tell.

Then once I write it, it is like the icing on the cake to try to find a market to sell it to. Here are some publications that accept personal essays. Please share if you know of any more.

Good Old Days seeks personal experience pieces about life in the 1950s and before. These run from 500 to 1,500 words. Payment is $15 to $75. Pictures help you break in here. Send submissions to them at 306 East Parr Rd., Berne, IN 46711 or email them at

Guideposts wants true, first-person stories about how people have overcome difficulties, gained courage, or developed positive attitudes through faith in God. Payment is $200 to $400.

Literary Traveler, a web-based e-zine that draws over 50,000 readers per month, features high-quality writing. They pay $25 for personal essays that focus on creativity and have a travel tie-in.

Marriage Partnership seeks essays from 1,000 to 2,000 words on marriage from a Christian perspective. They pay $.15 a word. Challenging, practical and query first are the bywords here.

The Sun pays from $300 to $750 for essays. They buy 60 manuscripts per year

Threepenny Review pay $400 per story and $200 per poem.

Travelers' Tales considers personal, nonfiction stories for publication. They pay $.10 per word. Issues are themed. Upcoming themes are posted on their guidelines page.

Cup of Comfort, the bestselling anthology series, features creative nonfiction stories and narrative essays about the experiences and relationships that comfort, inspire, and enrich our lives. Submissions currently sought for three new volumes: Faith, Love, Spirituality. Additional volumes planned. 1,000-2,000 words. Payment: $500 grand prize (per anthology); $100 each, all other published stories ; plus copy of book.

Underwired, publishes personal essays (800-1200 words) every month and is always looking for new contributors. Essays should somehow relate to the chosen theme for the month and be on topics of interest to women. Underwired buys one-time rights, and payment is $100. All essays are considered on spec. Please be familiar with personal essay style of writing. Check website for themes.

Imperfect Parent
Anything that deals with any aspect of the lighter side of parenting -- parody, satire, a funny anecdote, an "open letter", take your pick. And if you are questioning if your humor crosses the line, then definitely send it in -- we don't want "safe". We are a gloriously independent site that doesn't answer to a board of directors or a huge corporate sponsorship. Use that to your advantage. We certainly aren't afraid of offending some people, and you shouldn't be, either. Anecdotal essays/humor pay $15.

Happy Writing!


Jeanne Dininni said...


It seems as if someone has hijacked the Cup of Comfort website. Your link (which is correct) seems to be redirecting to an entirely different website. (In fact, even the Google search engine link is redirecting to the same incorrect site.) Hope that will be corrected soon!

Great list of essay markets!

Kerrie said...


I am glad you enjoyed the list. It looks like the Cup of Comfort link is working now--at least from my computer.

Have a great day,

Lisa Vella said...


What a helpful post and blog! I have added you to my list of favorites, and thank you for adding me, as well!

Have an awesome day!


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