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Online Essay Publications

  • 2 Elizabeths

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction

    Subgenres: Commercial Fiction, Feminist, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Historical, Humor, Literary Fiction, Love, Poetry, Prose Poetry

    We aim to publish a rich variety of short fiction and poetry, penned by both emerging and established writers. We tend to select work that reflects positivity and kindness, and while we publish several genres, we have a soft spot for both romance...

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  • 2River View

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry

    We prefer poems with these qualities: image, subtlety, and point of view; a surface of worldly exactitude, as well as a depth of semantic ambiguity; and a voice that negotiates with its body of predecessors. Before submitting,...

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  • 3Elements Literary Review

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    3Elements Literary Review is a quarterly, online literary journal founded in Chicago in 2013, now based in Des Moines, IA. We publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and photography. Each issue begins with the posting of three elements, and...

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  • 5x5 Literary Magazine

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    5×5, which borrows its title from the concept of clear radio transmission, is an online literary magazine that aims to publish both established and emerging writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that is of no more than 500 words in length....

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  • 32 Poems

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry

    At 32 Poems our bias is for inventive language complicated by music, form, and feeling. As a rule we publish shorter work that can fit on a single page (32 lines or less), but we sometimes make exceptions to accommodate particularly exciting...

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  • 34THPARALLEL INDIE LITMAG DIGITAL & PRINT

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Experimental, Graphic/Illustrated, Literary Fiction, Love, Narrative Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Prose Poetry

    It's all about getting your story out there looking good. This mag’s fans can be your fans too!!
    Your nonfiction & fiction (as well as your straight-out journalism, essay, screenplay, greatest tweets etc), your poetry (...

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  • 50 Haikus

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry

  • 95Notes

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

    95Notes is a platform designed to showcase quality creative writing and artwork. 95Notes is an independent literary magazine started by Chicago State University writers to represent creative writers within their literary community.
    All...

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  • 100 Word Story

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Fiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Experimental, Prose Poetry, Narrative Nonfiction

    The whole is a part and the part is a whole. The 100-word format forces the writer to question each word, to reckon with Flaubert’s mot juste in a way that even most flash fiction doesn’t. At the same time the brevity of the form allows the...

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  • 580 Split

    Reading Period: Oct 15 to Dec 15

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    TRANSCENDENCE. Beyond. Beyond the physical. Beyond normal. Beyond what’s believed possible. Beyond even our conception of reality. This is the work of the Artist. Ever striving to see the world from outside the world to stretch the bounds of what...

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  • 805 Lit + Art

    Reading Period: Aug 1 to Apr 30

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    805 publishes debut and emerging writers, poets, photographers, and artists in our quarterly, online journal. Enjoy our issues for free. We seek writing and art that is unexpected, striking, and moving.

  • 1966

    Reading Period: Aug 1 to May 1

    Genre: Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Graphic/Illustrated, Nature/Environmental, Narrative Nonfiction

    1966 is a literary magazine that celebrates research-driven creative nonfiction — prose that turns information into story and facts into art. We are published with the support of Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and its English Department...

  • The 3288 Review

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Experimental, Feminist, LGBT, Historical, Humor, Formal, Nature/Environmental, Prose Poetry, Regional, Narrative Nonfiction, Literary Fiction, Journalism/Investigative Reporting, Translation

    The 3288 Review specifically focuses on writers and artists from (or associated with) West Michigan. This doesn’t mean we don’t accept submissions from the world at large; we consider submissions from anyone, and from anywhere.

  • A-Minor Magazine

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction

    Subgenres: Cross-genre, Experimental, Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, Literary Fiction

    Flash Fiction, Poetry, Mixed-Genre Works, Art/Text and Artwork. Tastes lean toward surreal, experimental, ambivalent, darkly lyrical and wildly imaginative. The magazine was a weekly publication from May 2010 to Feb 2013. Check out our archives...

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  • The A3 Review

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Commercial Fiction, Cross-genre, Erotica, Experimental, Feminist, Flash Fiction, Graphic/Illustrated, Humor, LGBT, Literary Fiction, Love, Micro-poetry, Narrative Nonfiction, Nature/Environmental, Prose Poetry

    The A3 Review is a literary magazine that behaves like a map, made by the folks who make Writing Maps. Prose and poetry pieces are written with a 150-word limit in response to a themed monthly writing contest. Twelve winners are published in the...

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  • AADOREE

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Cross-genre, Experimental, Feminist, Flash Fiction, LGBT, Literary Fiction, Prose Poetry

    AADOREE (pronounced the same as “adore”) is a tiny online/print literary journal edited by JD Scott and Alia Tsang. AADOREE aims to publish those voices who are pushing boundaries of writing with an emphasis on interdisciplinary work, formal...

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  • aaduna

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Cross-genre

    To identify new and emerging writers and visual artists who have a particular focus on re-defining the landscape of their artform. Artists of color and those others who are traditionally underrepresented in the field are...

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  • Aberration Labyrinth

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Cross-genre, Feminist, Humor, Love, Micro-poetry, Political, Pop Culture

    This is a publication that plans to blur the lines of traditional poetry. Too many publications have a narrow definition of what poetry is or what it should be. We don't. In fact, we treasure poetry that strays from the path. We want raw,...

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  • Able Muse

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

    Able Muse predominantly publishes metrical poetry complemented by art and photography, fiction and non-fiction including essays, book reviews and interviews with a focus on metrical and formal poetry. We also welcome exceptional free verse. We...

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  • About Place Journal

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    About Place Journal is the literary publication of the Black Earth Institute. Black. BEI is dedicated to art serving the causes of spirit, earth and society. Issues are guest edited by fellows of the Institute. Themes (titles of issues)are chosen...

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  • Abramelin

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry

    We are a poetry journal, focusing on the highest quality literary poetry. Abramelin has been publishing since the summer of 2006. Many of the best small press writers have graced our pages. I have changed the format from one or two issues a year...

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  • The Acentos Review

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Autobiography/Memoir, Cross-genre, Experimental

    The Acentos Review publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, interviews, translations and artwork by emerging and established Latin@ writers four times a year. We welcome submissions in English, Spanish, Spanglish, Portuguese, and indigenous languages....

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  • Acorn: a Journal of Contemporary Haiku

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Mar 1

    Genre: Poetry

    Subgenres: Micro-poetry

    Acorn is a biannual journal dedicated to publishing the best of contemporary English-language haiku. In particular, it showcases the individual poem and the ability of haiku to reveal the extraordinary moments found in everyday life.

  • Adanna

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Feminist

    Adanna, a name of Nigerian origin, pronounced a-DAN-a, is defined as “her father’s daughter.” Women over the centuries have been defined by men in politics, through marriage, and most importantly, by the men who fathered them. Women are still...

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  • Adelaide Literary Magazine

    Reading Period: Jan 1 to Dec 31

    Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

    Subgenres: Translation

    We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping authors reach a wider literary audience.

  • 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 contact? 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 20 publications that accept essay submissions, as well as tips on how to pitch the editor, who to contact 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 magazine@globe.com with “query” in the subject line.

    Must-read personal essay: “Duel of the Airplane-Boarding Dawdlers,” by Art Sesnovich

    2. Extra Crispy

    Send your pitches about breakfast, brunch, or the culture of mornings to submissions@extracrispy.com or the editor of the section you’re pitching. Pay appears to be around 40 cents per word.

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

    3. Dame Magazine

    This publication is aimed at women over 30. “We aim to entertain, inform, and inspire,” the editors note, “But mostly entertain.” Send your pitch to editorial@damemagazine.com. Pay varies.

    Must-read personal essay:“I Donated My Dead Body to Give My Life Purpose,” By Ann Votaw

    4. Full Grown People

    Essays — 4,000 words max — should have a “literary quality.” Include your work in the body of your email to make it easy for the editor to review, and send to submissions@fullgrownpeople.com. No pay.

    Must-read personal essay:“Call My Name” by Gina Easley.

    5. Kveller

    Want to write for this Jewish parenting site? To submit, email info@kveller.com with “submission” somewhere in the subject line. Include a brief bio, contact information, and your complete original blog post of 700 words max. Suggested word count is 500-700 words. The site pays $25 per post.

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

    6. Luna Luna

    A progressive, feminist magazine that welcomes all genders to submit content. Email your pitch or full submission. There’s no pay, but it’s a supportive place for a first-time essayist.

    Must-read personal essay: “My Body Dysmorphia, Myself” by Joanna C. Valente

    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.

    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 1,700 words max at modernlove@nytimes.com. 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. 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 Facebook page.)

    Amy Sutherland’s column, “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage,” 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. To submit, email lives@nytimes.com.

    Must-read personal essay: “When a Couch is More Than a Couch” by Nina Riggs

    9. Salon

    Salon accepts articles and story pitches 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.” Who Pays Writers reports average pay of about 10 cents per word.

    Must-read personal essay: “I Fell in Love with a Megachurch,” by Alexis Grant

    10. Slate

    Indicate the section you’re pitching and “article submission” in your subject line, and send to slateoffice@slate.com. Average reported pay is about 23 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. 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. Submit online.

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

    12. The Billfold

    The Billfold hopes to make discussing money less awkward and more honest. Send your pitch to notes@thebillfold.com. Who Pays Writers notes a  rate of about 3 cents per word, but this writer would consider the experience and exposure to be worth the low pay.

    Must-read personal essay: “The Story of a F*** Off Fund,” by Paulette Perhach

    13. Motherwell

    Motherwell seeks parenting-related personal essay submissions of up to 1200 words. Submit a full piece; 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. Pay varies. Email info@thebolditalic.com.

    Must-read personal essay: “The San Francisco Preschool Popularity Contest,” by Rhea St. Julien

    15. Bustle

    Submit essays of 800-2000 words to this lifestyle site geared toward women. Pay averages about 5 cents per word.

    Must-read personal essay: “Is Picky Eating An Eating Disorder?” by Kaleigh Roberts

    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.

    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. 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. Tin House

    Submit a story or essay of 10,000 words max in either September or March. Wait six days before emailing to check the status of your submission. Cover letters should include a word count and indicate whether the submission is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

    Pay varies.

    Must-read personal essay: “More with Less,” by Rachel Yoder

    19. Narratively

    Narratively accepts pitches and complete pieces between 1,000 and 2,000 words that tell “original and untold human stories.” Pay averages 6 cents per word.

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

    Still looking for ideas? Meghan Ward’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 AvantGuild subscription, which has an annual fee of $55.

    This post originally ran in October 2014. We updated it in December 2016.

    Have other ideas or details to add? Share with us in the comments!