7 Magazines That Pay Writers for Personal Stories By Rajeshwari Kumari

7 Magazines That Pay Writers for Personal Stories By Rajeshwari Kumari

Today we will look at a list of markets that seek your personal stories.

Make sure you go through the writer’s guidelines, and take your time reading their back issues, prior to submitting. If it’s a pitch you want to send, focus on the whats and whys of your story; tell them how it’s personal to you.

The below list will save you some time and research and help you find the right fit for your work.

1. Guideposts Magazine

Guideposts is devoted to publishing all things inspirational. According to their website, they look for “true stories about people who have attained a goal, surmounted an obstacle, or learned a helpful lesson through their faith.”

Note: Including a takeaway for the readers will be a plus. Send your nonfiction work of about 1500 words or less.

How to submit: Submit your story (full-length works in Word format, 12 points, Times New Roman, double-spaced) to submissions@guidepostmag.com. Visit their writer’s guidelines (https://guideposts.org/writers-guidelines/) for details.

Rate: Starts at $250 per accepted piece.

2. The Smart Set

As their website says, The Smart Set is a journal dedicated mainly to arts and culture. They are looking for your original and outstanding nonfiction pieces on a wide array of topics, from critical essays to food and travel writing, political commentaries, personal essays, memoirs, and book reviews.

How to submit: Send your pitch or complete work (1500–3000 words) to the editors directly via email at smartsetmag@drexel.edu. Check out their submission guidelines (https://www.thesmartset.com/submissions/) to get a feel for their writing style.

Rate: They offer a broad pay category.

3. Vox

Vox is not fixated on covering a single style, tone, or genre of writing, and strives to publish works on a wide range of topics, including technology, politics, health and wellness, philosophy, and more.

For their column called Even Better, they want personal stories that “strive to answer the questions readers have about living better lives.” They want to hear your stories about parenting, work and money, health, and relationships.

How to submit: Send your pitch for work of 1000–2000 words via email to evenbetter@vox.com. Read their guidelines (https://www.vox.com/pages/how-to-pitch-vox-pitching-guidelines) for details.

Rate: Varies based on the amount and type of work.

4. HuffPost personal

HuffPost is dedicated to publishing writing from a wide range of backgrounds, including but not limited to BIPOC writers.

For their Personal column, they are seeking stories on a variety of topics, from sex, love, and relationships to physical and mental health to identity, work, career, and money. In their own words, they want “great stories about unique life experiences that can change the world”.

How to submit: Send your pitch directly to the editor at pitch@huffpost.com. Check out their guidelines (https://www.huffpost.com/static/how-to-pitch-huffpost) for insights into the kind of writing they publish.

Rate: The word count and payment vary depending on the story length and depth of research required.

5. Reader’s Digest

Bringing out the good in people everywhere through their stories is the prime goal of Reader’s Digest. They publish both in print and digital.

For their True Stories section, they are looking for true stories about you and your life experiences in 100 words or fewer.

How to submit: Read their submission guidelines (https://www.rd.com/contributorsubmissions/) for further details.

Rate: a flat fee of $100.

6. The Memoirist Quarterly

As the name suggests, The Memoirist Quarterly seeks “creative nonfiction work in a sophisticated literature format” and publishes four times a year.

Note: Their upcoming submission window will be announced shortly. Send only one piece of essay or memoir, between 700 and 2500 words, at a time.

How to submit: They accept submissions via their website form. See their submission guidelines (https://www.thememoiristquarterly.com/submissions) for more.

Rate: a flat fee of $50.

7. TOLKA Journal

The Irish biannual literary journal, TOLKA, is a home for all forms of nonfiction, including personal essays, memoirs, reportage pieces, travel, and auto-fiction, among others.

At TOLKA, they are drawn to “work from a wide range of backgrounds and environments — work that emphasizes the luminous aesthetic of ordinary experiences; work which insists on its social and democratic importance in everyday life.”

Note: Try not to exceed the 2000–4000 word bracket.

How to submit: They take submissions through their website only. Check out their submission guidelines (https://www.tolkajournal.org/submit).

Rate: A flat fee of €500.


Rajeshwari Kumari is a freelance writer based in India. She subsists on two things in life: the first is writing all that she can, and the second is her favored medium-roasted coffee. Connect with her at https://medium.com/@rajeshwariwrites

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