Tips and Markets for Personal Essays

The last couple of weeks have been very productive and I am starting to feel more comfortable writing queries and making submissions to magazines.  Not so comfortable that I don’t want my resource books near for guidance, but more comfortable none the less.  I’ve been submitting personal essays and poetry.  Made a couple of mistakes, but I’m learning still.

One mistake was easily remedied with a quick phone call.  Not a major mistake, but accidentally left the SASE out of a submission.  Luckily just wasted one stamp.  Found out just needed to reprint my submission, pop it in an envelope with the SASE, and mail everything out again.  The other mistake was one of those lost in electronic translation ones.  A place I was submitting to needed the file in .rtf instead of .doc.  I submitted it after reviewing it looked right on my end, but found out upon opening it after it was sent that the spacing in a couple of places was off.

Thought I would share a few resources with you I’ve found useful as I’m learning about personal essays and narratives.  I’ve found I really enjoy this kind of writing and for me it flows so much more easily than fiction.  I found an article, Profitable Personal Essays by Dawn Goldsmith at Writers Weekly ezine, which includes a list of the authors five favorite places to submit personal essays.  Another useful article was Tips to Help You Publish Your Personal Essays at Writer’s Digest.  The site Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow has a great list of Paying Markets for Personal Essays.

Quick Tips for Submissions :

  • Visit the actual magazine website to make sure it is still in existence and accepting submissions
  • It is preferable to become familiar with the magazine before attempting to submit to it; some will provide a sample issue for a fee and many have links to published works on their websites
  • Check if submissions are accepted year round or there is a specific submission period
  • Read and follow submission instructions closely, may accept via postal mail and/or electronic submissions
  • Remember to include SASE if requested
  • Check if accepts simultaneous submissions; if your work gets accepted by one magazine, then politely notify the other magazine

As I’ve been researching in books and online to find homes for some of my writing, I’ve been keeping a list of places to possibly make submissions.  May be a personal opinion, but I would also say to make sure the possible future home for some of your writing is a place you feel is compatible with your values prior to submitting your work.  Here’s my list of places to makes submissions to :

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’ve learned along the way?…

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TheOthers1
    May 10, 2012 @ 04:24:54

    No tips from me. I was thinking I’d love to try submitting some poetry I’ve written though. I haven’t gone through the submission process at all. Ever. Makes me a little nervous to think about


    • creativityorcrazy
      May 10, 2012 @ 11:27:38

      I’d say go ahead and give it a try. Some magazines to submit poetry to, do not even require a cover letter and for others it can be very short. Just remember to keep trying and do not let any rejections get you down. Still waiting to hear back on some more of my poetry. Two nicely worded, one was handwritten, notes of rejection on poetry so far here. Not letting it stop me, gonna resubmit.


  2. linneann
    May 11, 2012 @ 15:10:12

    Thanks again for being willing to share the outcome of your tireless research. You are very generous.


  3. Trackback: How We Make Choices « Claudsy's Blog
  4. bridget whelan
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 12:22:46

    Yes, thanks for this – an electronic magazine I love for the quality of its writing is creative non fiction 750 words or less


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: