Creative non-fiction is a growing genre in non-fiction writing. It is basically writing non-fiction, but using literary tools and conventions, things such as setting, characterisation and dialogue — but the prose must remain factually correct.
Personal essays and memoir are two of the types of writing that fall into this genre. I know a lot of writers in Botswana like to write memoir or essays about aspects of their personal lives, and I thought it might be a good idea to give you a few markets to send your writing to.
1. Chicken Soup for the Soul
Most of us are familiar with the Chicken Soup books. They publish personal essays, often around specific themes. The pay is $200 USD for any essay used. What are they looking for? (from their website) “Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have heart, but also something extra — an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A good story causes tears, laughter, goose bumps or any combination of these. The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.”
Their submission guidelines are on their website. ( HYPERLINK “http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines” http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines)
2. The New York Times- Modern Love Page
This might seem an intimidating market, but you can only succeed to the same extent that you’re willing to fail (a bit of motivation from my office wall), so try your luck. First, read some of the essays online here: HYPERLINK “https://www.nytimes.com/column/modern-love” https://www.nytimes.com/column/modern-love. What do the editors want? “The editors of Modern Love are interested in receiving deeply personal essays about contemporary relationships, marriage, dating, parenthood...any subject that might reasonably fit under the heading “Modern Love”. Ideally, essays should spring from some central dilemma the writer has faced in his or her life.” If your essay is published you earn $300USD. The essays should be between 1,500 and 1,700 words, and previously unpublished. The essay should be attached
3. The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe accepts personal essays and they advise that the best place for new writers to start are: “the Perspective column, an opinionated 800-word essay on a timely local news topic, and Connections, a 650-word first-person essay on relationships of any kind (romantic as well as those between friends, siblings, and parents and children).” You can email queries or essays to the editor, Veronica Chao, with the word “query” in the subject line at HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com. Be sure to check out the magazine so that you’re sending items with a good chance of an acceptance.
Salon accepts various sorts of essays and it is important to take a look at their website to familiarise yourself with the sorts of things that they’re looking for. From their website: “If you wish to contribute, please send us an email and tell us a little about yourself — your background as a writer and qualifications for writing a particular story. If you have clips you can send us via email, or URLs of pages that contain your work, please send us a representative sampling (no more than three or four, please).” You must check their submissions page ( HYPERLINK “http://www.salon.com/about/submissions/” http://www.salon.com/about/submissions/) to find the exact editor you need to email your query or essay to.
Motherwell is a parenting magazine. They pay for personal essays and according to their website this is what they are looking for: “Personal essays: We are looking for evocative first-person narratives that have a unique focus, or take a novel angle, on a slice of the parenting experience. We are open to a range of styles and tones: the only requirement is that the essay works on its own terms—be it lyrical, humorous, research-oriented, etc—and conveys something fundamental about its writer.” They accept submissions up to 1,200 words. You submit through their online submissions system on their guidelines page here: HYPERLINK “https://motherwellmag.com/submissions/” https://motherwellmag.com/submissions/.