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Personal Essay Submission Guidelines

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General Guidelines

With your well-crafted words, tell us your true stories of transformation and redemption. Reach down into those dark places, and tell us how you emerged into the light. Inspire us to heal, to look at the world and ourselves differently.

We like essays that lean toward some growth or insight—at least by their conclusion—but we don’t want Pollyanna stories.We want evidence of intense reflection, vivid imagery, authentic characters, and lyrical turns of phrase. You’ll have us in the first paragraph or not at all.

We know the difference between essays that have been polished and perfected from that which still need care.

1200 word maximum.

Email your submissions in the body of an email to ( If we’re interested, we’ll ask for you to send the document as an attachment. Please keep cover letters brief. Let the writing sell itself. You may include a 50 words or fewer bio of yourself and your publishing history. We do accept simultaneous submissions but appreciate you letting us know if a piece has been accepted elsewhere.


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About Amy McElroy (20 Articles)
Amy McElroy is the Essays Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, freelance editor, writing coach, and yoga instructor. In a former life, she worked as an attorney. She has published her non-fiction essays in various print and online periodicals, and on KUSP radio in Santa Cruz, California. Visit Amy’s other cyber-home at Amy is currently working on two books: Yoga for Writers and a book of essays linked by a tree theme. She now lives in yoga pants near San Jose, California, with her husband and two daughters.
Contact: Website

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