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Writers: How To Write a Great Personal Essay—Ask Writer’s Relief

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When it’s time to write about coffee shop meet-cutes, Vikings, clever detective work, or almost any story plot, most authors roll up their sleeves and get right to work—after all, creative writing is what writers do best! But when you’re penning a personal essay, sometimes the writing gears screech to a halt. It’s not easy to write about yourself!

In this installment of our Ask Writer’s Relief series, you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks to help you write a great personal essay that will intrigue literary editors and readers alike!

Ask Writer’s Relief: Everything You Wanted To Know About Personal Essays But Were Afraid To Ask

Here are some articles to help you get started. Some were written by Writer’s Relief staff members and others were culled from great sources around the Internet.

Short Prose Genres: Defining Essay, Short Story, Commentary, Memoir, And Mixed Genre | Writer’s Relief. Make sure that what you’re writing actually is a personal essay. The different genres of short prose can bleed together sometimes, but this article will help you define exactly what you’re writing.

How To Write A Reader-Friendly Essay. Writer’s Digest offers some smart advice on how to engage your readers so that they’ll want to read your essay from beginning to end.

Tell Your True Story: Six Tips To Help You Publish A Personal Essay | Writer’s Relief. Even with a great essay, if you don’t know how to appeal to the editors at literary journals, you may find it hard to get noticed and published. Here are some quick tips to help you put your best foot forward.

How To Write The Best Cover Letter To Submit With Personal Essays For Publication In Literary Journals | Writer’s Relief. Your cover letter offers the perfect opportunity to stand out from the pile of submissions—but only if you do it right. Find out what you should—and shouldn’t—include in your personal essay cover letter.

How And Where To Submit Creative Nonfiction For Publication | Writer’s Relief. Once you’ve written your essay and perfected your cover letter, it’s time to determine which literary journals are right for your work. There are so many journals and magazines out there, it can make your head spin! Fortunately, these suggestions will help narrow your search.

25 Great Nonfiction Essays You Can Read Online For Free. When you start a new project, it’s always helpful to have a few examples on hand for reference. This site links you to a set of highly regarded essays you can read while fine-tuning your own masterpiece.

The most important thing about a personal essay is that it’s specific to you, and no one else could ever write it the way you do. That’s what makes it interesting! It’s a good idea to follow the basic rules of personal essays and learn from examples, but ultimately, you have to tell your own story.

 

Question: What experience have you had that you could write a personal essay about?

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