Creative Nonfiction Essay Publishers

Written by S. Kalekar | September 18, 2017

Several prestigious literary magazines have opened their reading periods for submissions. This list has a mix of well-known and little-known or new magazines that welcome creative non-fiction: memoir, personal essays, lyrical essays and more.

There are some themed calls: about community, mental health, candy, Canadian women and the vote and Indigenous writers, writing related to womanhood, environmental justice and on contemporary themes.

Several also accept fiction, poetry and translations.

Many of these pay writers; apart from cash and contributor copies, some also give magazine subscriptions.


This is an annual journal of writing on environmental justice. They want essays that are more creative than journalistic, as well as fiction (at least a bit speculative) and poetry; work that is a personal, visceral understanding of the world and the people in it as it has been, as it will be and as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with earth. They particularly welcome work from Indigenous writers, writers of color, queer and transgender writers. Query for reprints.
Deadline: 22 September 2017
Length: Up to 45,000 words; for poetry, send multiple short or one long
Pay: $0.06/word for prose; $20/page for poetry
Details here.

Tin House: Candy

The theme for their Spring 2018 print issue is Candy – what is the sweet thing you crave that also may be ruining your life? They are also reading for their unthemed Summer 2018 issue, and accept non-fiction, fiction and poetry.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Length: Up to 10,000 words of prose and up to 5 poems for print; various for online
Pay: Unspecified for print, none for online content
Details here.

Nashville Review

They accept creative non-fiction, fiction, translations and poetry, and publish both established and emerging writers.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Length: Up to 8,000 words for prose; 3 poems of up to 8 pages
Pay: $100 for prose; $25 per poem or song selection
Details here.


This is a new zine that publishes writing about mental health (MH). They accept poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. They want work that is anti-stigma, innovative or comical, and writing from those with and without MH diagnosis.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Length: Up to 3 poems (2 pages per poem); up to 5 pages of prose
Pay: None
Details here.

Gordon Square Review

They want non-fiction, fiction and poetry for their inaugural issue. They welcome writing from women, writers of color, writers with disability, LGBTQ writers, and previously unpublished writers. See guidelines for their preferred aesthetic, and editorial mentorship details.
Deadline: 15 October 2017
Length: One prose piece of 5,000 words or three pieces of up to 1,000 words each; up to three poems
Pay: $25 for prose, $10 for poetry
Details here.

Ninth Letter: Community

They publish non-fiction, fiction and poetry, and want both experimental and traditional writing. For the web edition, the theme is Community.
Deadline: 5 November 2017 for the web edition; 30 November 2017 for fiction and 28 February 2018 for essays and poetry, for the print edition
Length: up to 3,500 words for prose and up to 3 poems for the web; non-fiction or fiction of up to 8,000 words, 3-6 poems (max 10 pages) for the print magazine
Pay: $75 per story or essay and $25 per poem for the web; $25/page for the print edition
Details here.


They want personal stories and welcome both new and established writers, and seek original perspectives on both common and uncommon topics. They publish essays, memoir, humor, fiction and poetry.
Deadline: 15 November 2017
Length: Varies for each section; see guidelines
Pay: $20
Details here.

Baltimore Review

There is no fee to submit creative non-fiction for their regular, non-themed submissions. They regularly nominate work for prizes. See the editors’ tips to writers for their preferences.
Deadline: 30 November 2017
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $40 Amazon gift certificate or via PayPal
Details here.

The Iowa Review

They publish all kinds of creative non-fiction, including personal and lyric essays, memoirs and literary journalism. Submissions may be one long piece or multiple short pieces. They also publish poetry, fiction and translations. Mailed submissions are not charged.
Deadline: 1 December 2017
Length: Up to 25 pages of prose and 8 pages of poetry
Pay: $0.08/word for prose ($100 minimum); $1.50/line for poetry ($40 minimum)
Details here.

Prairie Fire: two themed calls

Their current submission calls are for Canadian Indigenous Writers (where they also call for experimental work), and for Canadian Women and the Vote 1918-2018.
Deadline: 1 December 2017 for Canadian Women and the Vote; 15 December 2017 for Indigenous Writers
Length: Up to 5,000 words; up to three poems, no more than 10 pages
Pay: CAD0.10/word, up to CAD250 for prose; CAD40/poem
Details here.

The Southern Review

They publish essays, including creative non-fiction and literary essays, as well as fiction and poetry. Submission fee will be waived during University Press Week, 6-11 November 2017. There is no fee for mailed submissions.
Deadline: 1 December 2017 for non-fiction and fiction; 1 February 2018 for poetry (postmarked)
Length: Up to 8,000 words for prose; up to 5 poems or 15 pages
Pay: $25 per printed page, up to $200
Details here.

The New Quarterly

They publish non-fiction that explores both the craft and the writing life. They also publish fiction and poetry. They have a range of regular features on the writing life, and their non-fiction is a mix of creative writing, researched essays and discussions. Their writers have been cited for major literary prizes, including the Man Booker and the Journey Prize.
Deadline: 28 February 2018
Length: Up to 6,000 words for prose; up to 3 poems or postscript stories
Pay: CAD250 per prose piece; CAD40 per poem or postscript story
Details here.

Copper Nickel

They publish essays, fiction and poetry, as well as translation folios.
Deadline: 15 March 2018
Length: Unspecified for prose; 4-6 poems
Pay: $30/page for 2017; two editor prizes of $500 each for poetry and prose per issue
Details here.

West Branch

Apart from creative non-fiction, they also publish fiction, poetry and translations.
Deadline: 1 April 2018
Length: Up to 30 pages of prose; up to 6 poems
Pay: $50 per poem, $0.05/word for prose, with a maximum of $100
Details here.

Colorado Review

They want short fiction and essays with contemporary themes (no genre fiction or literary criticism), and consider poems of any style. They do not charge a fee for mailed submissions.
Deadline: Rolling for non-fiction; up to 30 April 2018 for fiction and poetry
Length: 15-25 pages of prose; up to 5 poems
Pay: $200 for short stories and essays; $10 per page for poetry
Details here.


This journal has published important new writers early in their careers, and they also publish fiction, translations and poetry. They pay the same rates for web and print editions.
Deadline: 31 May 2018
Length: One story, essay or 5 poems at a time; no word limits
Pay: $10/page for prose, $20/page of poetry, $150 maximum
Details here.


They want work that is raw, honest, intimate and vulnerable for their first issue. They publish non-fiction, fiction, cross-genre work and poetry, including short videos of performance poetry.
Deadline: Now open
Length: Up to 6,000 words for prose; up to 5 pages of poetry Pay: None
Details here.

the Same

This is a literary journal by women, for women. They want topics related to womanhood, and accept non-fiction, fiction and poetry.  Deadline: Now open
Length: 1,000-3,000 words for non-fiction; up to 4,000 words for fiction; no line limits for poetry
Pay: None
Details here.


They accept creative non-fiction (not essays), fiction and poetry suitable for all age groups. Submission by writers aged 10-18 are strongly encouraged.
Deadline: Unspecified
Length: 400-12,000 words for prose; 500-1,500 for flash fiction; 3-100 lines for poetry, up to three poems
Pay: $0.02/word or $20 for the work, whichever is more
Details here.

filling Station

They publish critical and creative non-fiction, fiction and poetry. They like innovative work.

Deadline: Unspecified
Length: Up to 12 pages of non-fiction; 10 pages of fiction; 6 pages of poetry
Pay: CAD25
Details here.

Creative Nonfiction: True Story

Each issue of True Story, a new monthly magazine from Creative Nonfiction magazine, will feature one work of creative non-fiction. There is no fee for mailed submissions.
Deadline: Ongoing
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Pay: $300
Details here.


Below is a list of more than 100 literary journals and magazines that publish personal essays and other creative nonfiction. Some pay. Some don't. I plan to update this list and add to it, so if I missed anything, let me know. Happy publishing!

AARP The Magazine

Adult Magazine


AGNI Online
Reading Period: Sept. 1 to May 31
No word count limit

The Archipelago

Submissions currently closed

Atlas Review
Essays no more than 5,000 words

The Austin Review 

The Believer

Black Fox Literary Magazine
Submission periods are Jan. to June and July to Dec. for summer or winter issues
Essay submissions no longer than 5,000 words

The Boston Globe
Connections column: 650-word essays
Perspective column: 800-word essays

Submissions not received between May 1 and Oct. 1
Nonfiction submissions up to 8,000 words

Brain, Child
Personal essays between 800 and 4,000 words

Essays that are 750 words or fewer

Submissions under 2,000 words

The Butter
No steadfast guidelines


Cleaver Magazine
Accepts submissions year-round

Coachella Review
Read year-round
5,000 word limit

Creative Nonfiction
4,500 word limit for nonfiction

Dame Magazine “First Person” column

2,000 words or fewer

Dirty Chai
Creative nonfiction under 3,500 words
Submission period ends 1.31.15

Not currently taking submissions
5,000 word limit

Drunken Boat  

Nonfiction submission period ends 1.1.15
5,000 word limit

Eleven Eleven
Reading period Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
7,000 word limit


Submission period is Jan. 15 to Mar. 15

Eunoia Review
Not currently taking submissions

Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction
General submission period: August 15 to November 30
8,000 word limit for general submissions

Fringe Magazine

The Frisky

Submissions accepted Sept. 1 to May 1

Full Grown People
Essays 800 to 4,000 words

Gloom Cupboard
Prefer nonfiction submissions of 2,000 words or fewer

Usually publish pieces that are 3,000 to 6,000 words
Accepts nonfiction submissions between Oct. 1 and Apr. 1

Nonfiction submissions 3,500 to 7,000 words


Hippocampus Magazine
Essays and memoirs should be no longer than 3,500 words.

The Humber Literary Review
Essays between 2,000 and 6,000 words


No word limit
Reading period is year-round

Online submissions: no guidelines. “Send whatever you want.”

Prefer essays fewer than 1,500 words

Literal Latté
Accept submissions year-round
Essays up to 6,000 words

Literary Mama

The Literary Review
Essay submissions deadline is 5.31.2015

Submissions no longer than 3,000 words

Los Angeles Times – "LA Affairs",0,992682.htmlstory
Essays: Submission word count is 700 to 900 words.

The Los Angeles Review
Reading periods: Apr. 1 to Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 to Mar. 1
Essays up to 4,000 words

The Louisville Review

Prose up to 5,000 words

Lunch Ticket
Reading period is Feb. 1 to Apr. 30
Nonfiction pieces up to 5,000 words

The Magnolia Review

The Manifest-Station
Essays up to 3,000 words

Marie Claire


Midnight Breakfast
1,000 to 10,000 words

Modern Loss
Personal essays 600 to 800 words

Monday Night New Lit
Reading period is Sept. 15 to Dec. 15
Prose up to 5,000 words

Monkey Bicycle
Nonfiction pieces up to 2,000 words

More Magazine

Narrative Magazine
Accept submissions year-round
Essays: 2,000 to 15,000 words


The Nervous Breakdown

New Pages – Call for Submissions

New York Times – "Modern Love"
Essays: Submission word count is 1500 to 1700 words.

The Normal School
Reading period is Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 and Jan. 15 to Apr. 15

Orion Magazine 
Submissions open in spring
Pieces under 5,000 words

Pacific Standard

Nonfiction submissions up to 4,000 words

The Pinch Literary Journal
Accept submissions between Aug. 15 and Mar. 15
Creative nonfiction no more than 5,000 words

Reading period is June 1 to Jan. 15 for journal submissions.
Nonfiction fewer than 6,000 words

Post Road Magazine
Submission periods are Feb. 1 to Apr. 1 and June 1 to Aug. 1

A Public Space
Submissions accepted from Sept. 15 to Apr. 15

Put A Egg On It

Review Review

Revolution House
Submissions currently closed

Ricochet Magazine
Submissions currently closed

River Teeth
Submissions are accepted Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 and Jan. 1 to May 1

Role Reboot
Essays between 600 and 1,200 words

Pieces are 800+ words

Rosebud Magazine
Accept submissions year-round

The Rumpus
Essay submissions of any length

Reading period is Sept. 1 to Apr. 30


Santa Monica Review

Features are 500 to 1,500 words

Essays 800 to 1,100 words
Accept submissions year-round

Next reading period is Jan. 1 to Mar. 1 (Theme: “Desire”)
Maximum word count is 5,000

Small Print Magazine
Submissions up to 8,000 words

Sonora Review
Submissions accepted from Sept. 1 to May 1
Pieces under 10,000 words

So to Speak
Reading periods are Aug. 20 to Oct. 25 and Jan. 1 to Mar. 15
Essays up to 4,500 words

Southern Humanities Review
Reading periods are Aug. 1 to Dec. 1 and Feb. 1 to May 1

Star 82 Review
Pieces up to 1,000 words

Pieces 1,500 to 3,500 words


The Sun
Word count: under 7,000 words

Sundog Lit
Nonfiction contest deadline is Jan. 1, 2015
Essays should not exceed 3,000 words.

3:AM Magazine

Teen Vogue
Pitches to
Pieces 700 to 2,000 words

Tin House
Submissions accepted Sept. 1 to May 31
Deadline is Mar. 15, 2015 for “Theft” theme
10,000 word limit for essays

The Toast

Under the Sun
Short essays
Reading period is Aug. 15 to Jan. 2

Essays 2,000 to 6,000 words

Word Riot
Accept full-length personal essays (1,000 to 6,500 words) and short nonfiction pieces (650 words or fewer)


The Yearbook Office

Accept submissions Jan. 1 through May 31 and Aug. 1 through Nov. 30
No maximum word count

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