Written by A Guest Author

15 Markets for Personal Essays

By Alex J. Coyne

Do you have a personal story to tell? Personal essays are those with an author’s own experience woven into the piece, and it’s a particularly lucrative niche market for opinionated writers. I have collected some popular markets, both paying and non-paying, for your personal stories and essays.


Reader’s Digest is a longstanding publication seeking submissions of anecdotes, jokes and other stories. Pay varies depending on which you submit. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul seeks inspirational stories for their blog and book series. They pay $200 a month after the book’s publication if your story is accepted. 

Greatist is looking for personal essays of greatness. They pay $125 and up, and their guidelines note that first drafts should fall between  1,000 to 1,500 words. 

The Sun Magazine is looking for writers’ thought-provoking personal essays. Their guidelines recommend that readers pick up a copy before they submit to familiarize themselves with style. For nonfiction essays, they pay $300 to $2,000 per piece. 

YourTango is looking for personal stories about love, sex and relationships. 



The Penny Hoarder pays for personal stories and essays relating to personal finance. Word count is 800-900 words per piece on average, with payment between $50 and $75 with bonuses for articles that get a certain amount of shares and readers to the site. 

Doctor of Credit looks for stories relating specifically to credit cards.



A Fine Parent is a parenting magazine seeking personal essays from parents. See their guidelines for their current topic schedule. They pay $75 for articles accepted for publication.

Brain, Child Magazine is a child and development magazine taking submissions of essays 1,500 words to 4,500. 

Scary Mommy accepts submissions from mothers on parenting issues and how they’ve handled them. 

Her View From Home is a parenting publication written by mothers. Their payscale is based on the amount of views your piece gets on the site. 



Backpacker pays for travel-related stories, and – buying all rights to your personal essay – they pay between 40c and $1 per word depending on the piece.

Great Escape Publishing seeks stories about travel writing – particularly the business-related end of it. They pay $50 to $75 for articles featured on the website, and $100 to $150 for your interviews and personal stories.

GoNomad is another great market for starter travel writers, and they pay $25 per personal essay.

Go World Travel accepts submissions from travel writers and pays $30 to $40 per submission. See their submission guidelines here.




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