10 Calls for Essays (Up to $1 Per Word)

Dear Writers –

Here are ten publishers of essays, memoir, and/or narrative non-fiction. All of these publishers pay for the writing they publish.

For more opportunities be sure to see this list of 19 Calls for Pitches.


Jacob Jans

Thanks to Fatima Saif and S. Kalekar for their research on this article.

Babbel is a language learning app. Their senior content manager is seeking pitches for Babbel Magazine. She wants personal essay pitches on the topic of “How I Learned a Language” and/or transformational language experiences. Pay will be €1/word for pieces of 1,000 to 2,000 words. Contributors can be based anywhere.  She is looking to assign these pieces in the next few weeks. If interested, email your pitches to mno@babbel.com. To learn more, refer to this Twitter thread. To read Babbel Magazine’s articles, refer to this page.

Vulture is an entertainment news website for the culturally obsessed. They cover TV, movies, comedy, music, theater, art, books, and more. Their newly appointed recommendations editor is accepting pitches for “streaming guides, recommendation essays, rankings, etc.” According to payment reports, they pay an average of $0.24 per word. Email your pitches to emily.heller@vulture.com. To read their recommendations editor’s Twitter thread, click here. To visit their website, click here.

Penlight Magazine is an ad-free, Canadian publication that showcases “personal stories from people from all walks of life.” They welcome personal essays from writers of all levels of experience and from anywhere in the world. They want full drafts, not pitches. They pay $100 (CDN) per story (at least 700 words). They aim to publish 1 to 2 stories per month. Send your draft to submit@penlightmag.com. For details, visit this page.

You and Me Magazine publishes personal essays about experiences as a medical patient. They also publish some articles from provider’s perspectives. They pay 4-5 cents per word for articles 1,000-2,500 words. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

Business Insider is a website that covers business, financial, and technology news. Their senior personal finance editor is “looking for essays about savings tricks your family members used to achieve specific goals: comfortable retirement, healthy emergency savings, major debt payoff, early mortgage payoff etc.” Pay is $200 per essay. Email your pitches to shallett@businessinsider.com. For details, refer to their editor’s Twitter thread. To learn how to write for them, refer to this page.

HelloGiggles is looking for pitches for their lifestyle series How I Bought That, which focuses on big or unique purchases. Pay is “around $100”. Details in the Twitter thread here.

StarTreck.com: This CBS Entertainment-owned website accepts pitches for essays, reported work, features, and more. There are some evergreen topics they always look for pitches on, which include timely responses to recent Star Trek episodes, interviews with one-off Star Trek guest stars, Trek related essays, personal essays that relate back to Trek, any reported work that ties current events back into Trek, deep dives, and listicles. For December 2020 and January 2021, they are interested in several themes (as they relate to Star Trek), including:
Fan profiles – profiles and interviews of interesting fans;
Timely responses to weekly Star Trek: Discovery episodes (48-72 hour turnaround);
Holiday traditions (related to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Solstice, Boxing Day, New Years, etc.);
Star Trek tabletop RPGs;
Time travel (fact or fiction!); Human Rights;
The Wright Brothers and modern aviation technology; Homelessness;
Convention culture;
National Science Fiction Day (January 2).
See guidelines for the full list of themes. Details here. – S. Kalekar

High Country News is looking for “original personal essays & perspectives (800-1600 words long) … We publish engaging writing about the Western U.S. from diverse perspectives.” This magazine focuses on the modern American West. They also accept pitches for in-depth reportage, analysis, opinion, essays or criticism under a number of broad frameworks, ranging from science and nature, conservation and preservation, food and agriculture to environmental justice and racism, and economics. FOB stories include in-depth news and analysis. Features include investigations, long-form narrative, deep-dive explainers, or big-idea essays. The back of the book is where they explore the ideas that shape the West, through reviews, criticism and short essays. For the current call (see this Twitter thread), they will pay $0.50/word. Their general pay rates are $0.25-1.50/word. Details here (general guidelines). – S. Kalekar

Pitch Deadlines TODAY (November 24th!)

Sorry for the late notice on these – however, we thought some of you may be interested in putting together a quick pitch, despite the tight deadline.

The Good Trade is “a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living, and self-love.” They are accepting essay pitches on topics related to bodies. They are “excited to publish unique and fresh perspectives on personal topics, including body autonomy, repro rights, infertility, sexual health, inclusive sizing, ableism, and aging.” They will pay $200 for 800 to 1,000 words. Send pitches to kayti@thegoodtrade.com. To learn more, refer to their editor’s Twitter thread. To contact them, refer to this page.

Deadline: November 24th, 2020

COMPOST is “a magazine about the digital commons.” They are looking for creative pitches for their first issue. The theme is Fertile Grounds. They have tweeted, “As large swathes of the Web decay, we want to explore how its remains can help new networks flourish. We invite you to help us take stock of where we are today. What are the raw materials we can work with? What tools can we employ? What worlds can we shape together?” Your final work could be a short-form written piece (around 2,000 words of fiction/non-fiction, personal essay, profile, interview, poem etc.). You will also participate in strategic decision making and share in the financial success of the magazine. Payment: “USD $300 flat fee for participation in development of this project; and an additional USD $300 ~ $800 for creative work, to allow for a range of pieces.” Send pitches to hello@compost.digital. For more information, read their Twitter thread and call for pitches.

Deadline: November 24th, 2020


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