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Examples: Some of the best essays don’t fall neatly into either of these two genres; you can feel free to pitch or submit a piece that blends the personal and critical, or one that involves original reporting or more extensive research, as long as it’s still anchored by a strong thesis.We’re also open to comics, visual and photo essays, or other creative formats.
Personal essays can deal with almost any topic; some to think about are money, family, food, religion, sexuality, relationships, disability, illness (mental or physical), hormones, race, body image, drugs, travel. What does it illuminate about humans and the world we live in?
The bottom line is that you should know why you’re writing about whatever you’re writing about. Not every personal essay needs to have a tidy ending.
And writing doesn’t have to be sad to be profound; funny is great!
But the piece should crystallize a clear main idea that feels really fresh and meaningful.
Please email [email protected] a concise note that explains the core of your idea, how you’ll support it, and why it matters — or, even better (particularly for personal essays), send a full first draft of your piece.
Please attach drafts as Word files or Google docs, rather than pasting the text in the body of the email.
Ultimately, we want you to say something we haven’t heard before, and make sure your piece has clear stakes.
Consider: What would happen if you tell this story? And to that, why are you the only writer uniquely equipped to tell the story?
If you’re a writer interested in submitting or pitching yours, here’s what we’re interested to see: With personal essays, we’re looking for writing with a strong voice that doesn’t just describe your own experience, but builds on it to create something deeply valuable and compelling to readers. It might be writing about something other people haven’t experienced and will be fascinated to understand better, or a discussion of something tough or taboo that isn’t talked about enough, or an aspect of your own life that sheds light on a current news story.
Whatever that experience is, it should offer insight into an ongoing and relevant cultural conversation for readers.