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If you’ve ever wanted to get paid to write essays or get paid to share your true story, there are websites and magazines that will gladly pay you. Several publications look for essays and true stories they can publish and some will pay you pretty well for your story or someone else’s story you write.

Maybe you have a great true story or an essay you’d like to get paid to write. Whether it’s your story or someone else’s story, there are several places that will pay you to write essays and true stories.

It may not be an avenue that allows you to make a living from writing, but many writers get their start by publishing true stories about themselves or someone else (with permission).  Of course, your story could lead to a regular contributing position, if the publication accepts other forms of writing. Here are the sites you can submit your story to and get paid for it.

(PSSSTT! Side note: If you want my FULL List of 100+ Websites that Pay Writers $25 to $1K+ per article, click here and download my complete list FREE!)

Get Paid to Write Essays & True Stories from these 20+ Sites

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Write For Chicken Soup For The Soul

A website offering all kinds of opportunity, Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for inspirational true stories about people having amazing experiences. They want you to keep the story to 1,200 words or less and it must be true. They don’t want any fiction or creative writing.

Chicken Soup for the Soul will also accept poetry, but it still has to tell a story.

Pay Range: $200 per story + 10 free copies of the book your story was published in

Reader’s Digest

If you can write a true story about yourself in 100 words or less, Reader’s Digest might just publish it. They publish short, very inspirational stories on a regular basis.

Pay Range: $100 per story

OC87 Recovery Diaries

If you have a recovery story about mental health, empowerment, or change, OC87 Recovery Diaries is interested. They love to publish stories about people recovering from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bipolar issues, and more. Essays should be 1,200 to 1,500 words in length.

Pay Range: $250 upon publication

A Jewish website looking for first-person essays showing how Judaism is applicable in everyday life, will pay you for your work. They look for articles with 800 to 1,200 words and they do allow you to reprint the articles on other websites, as long as you link back to

Pay Range: Varies


Write For Dame

A quick-witted, opinionated publication looking for contributors with great ideas, DAME publishes essays written with a voice. They cover all types of issues including civil rights, sex, disability, class, reproductive rights, and more.

DAME publishes essays with a touch of news, especially those with a unique perspective. Along with long-form feature pieces, they also publish shorter pieces on trends, first-person essays, and interviews.

Pay Range: Varies

Eureka Street

Write up to 800 words per piece for Eureka Street and get paid to write your story or essay. Eureka Street considers articles with a humane, ethical analysis, or commentary on religions, politics, current events, or popular culture in Australia or the world. They also accept poetry submissions and creative non-fiction up to 1,000 words in length.

Pay Range: $200 per article


Stories from people that have obtained a goal or overcome an obstacle are published on Guideposts. They specifically want stories of faith written in the first-person narrative with a spiritual point. It can be your story or someone else’s story, but it needs to show a positive and specific change in the narrator throughout.

Stories should be around 1,500 words in length and they do not accept fiction, essays, or sermons.

Pay Range: Varies


Write For Light House

Specifically for blind writers, Lighthouse is a site looking to publish stories for the Blind and Visually Impairs in San Francisco. If you have low vision or you’re blind, you can contribute to this publication with a first-person story about blindness, what it takes to survive, and how to thrive in the world without sight.

Personal essays, travel writing, incisive commentary, memoirist reflections, advice, useful lists, general humor, and other types of writing may be accepted.

Pay Range: $100 per essay published


Seeking stories with the power to take readers into another life or world, Narratively doesn’t simply publish articles about a topic. They want incredible writing providing compelling narrative arcs and vivid scenes. Original, human stories are the best for this publication and they want fresh stories, not the same old stuff.

Pay Range: Varies

New York Times

Yes, you can get published in the New York Times, if you have a modern love essay to share. NYT is specifically looking for very personal essays about marriage, dating, parenthood, and contemporary relationships. If it fits under the category “Modern Love” they are interested.

Your essay should be 1,500 to 1,700 words and cannot be published anywhere else, even your own blog.

Pay Range: Varies


A Women’s Magazine seeking freelance writers to contribute on a monthly basis, Skirt wants those willing to write short features and profiles, along with the ability to pitch story ideas. If you want to write about women and women’s interests, this may be the place for you.

They also accept personal essays and seek out those writing in the Charleston area. Essays should be 600 to 800 words in length.

Pay Range: Varies

A website looking for essays, long-form articles, opinion pieces, editorial pieces, how-to guides, product reviews, and more, loves to publish freelance work. They seek short stories ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 words, along with articles of varying lengths.

Pay Range: $50 and up (depending on length)


Write For Unemploymentville

A unique website publishing stories about people being unemployed, Unemploymentville only wants stories with a happy ending. The goal of the stories is to help others dealing with unemployment know they are not alone. They also look for stories from people earning a living through places, such as Uber, Fiverr, and other freelance jobs.

In addition, they will accept articles providing advice for dealing with the emotional and financial challenges of being out of work, along with unique job search techniques. Articles should be at least 350 words long.

Pay Range: $40 to $75 per article

Seeking non-fiction writing including essays on classic or overlooked work, think pieces, list posts, reviews, and reaction pieces, publishes work between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. They publish on a number of topics including Q&A-style interviews, Kickstarter projects, and more.

Pay Range: Varies

The Southern Review

A magazine looking for submissions throughout the year, The Southern Review accepts several types of freelance writing including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation. They don’t publish many works over 8,000 words and there is a $3 service charge for submissions.

Pay Range: $50 for the first printed page and $25 for each printed page with a maximum of $200 per article

(HEY! Don’t Forget: If You want My ENTIRE List of 100+ Websites that Pay Writers $25 to $1K+ per article – even if you have no writing experience – Click Here and download the list for FREE!)

The Bold Italic

Seeking plenty of stories from those about how life in San Francisco is changing to personal essays, The Bold Italic offers the freelance writer several opportunities. If you have an odd or weird story or you prefer to write about things not found in the mainstream, this may be the perfect match for you.

Pay Range: $50 per article and up

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Specifically, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is looking for writers for their “Women in the Outdoors” column found in Bugle Magazine. They want women with hunting stories to share for this column. Essays should be 1,000 to 3,000 words in length and should have something to do with hunting, wildlife encounters, land-use issues, conservation, or elk.

Pay Range: 20 cents per word

BuzzFeed News

Accepting both personal essays and cultural criticism pieces, BuzzFeed News is looking for freelance writers. They also accept poetry and they love to publish work from new writers. Essays should be 1,500 to 2,500 words in length with cultural criticism pieces expected to be 2,000 to 4,000 words in length.

Pay Range: Varies

The Christian Science Monitor

A website looking for personal essays from 400 to 800 words in length, The Christian Science Monitor also accepts short poems. They publish personal essays written in first-person that tell a story with some gentle humor. Subjects vary greatly and they are always looking for essays on parenting, travel, home, gardening, community, family, and more.

Pay Range: Varies


A publication all about parenting, Motherwell accepts a variety of submissions from freelancers. They look for personal essays and perspective pieces, along with other essays and posts. Essays and perspective pieces should be less than 1,200 words in length.

Pay Range: Varies

SLICE Magazine

Accepting short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. SLICE magazine is looking for anybody with a fresh voice. They love to publish new voices, as long as the story is good.

Pay Range: $250 for essays and stories, $75 for flash fiction, and $75 for poems


Yes, the site Vox, which you may have heard of, will accept your first-person essay. They accept all types of personal essays and provide plenty of examples on their submission page.

Pay Range: Varies

My Expert Advice for Anybody Looking to Get Paid to Write Essays: Be Yourself!

There is nothing worse than a fake essay. Good editors will see through the fakes and move on quickly.

If you want to write your own story or another type of essay and get paid, you need to be yourself. Let your personality shine through and the right publication will happily pay you for your story.

Most niches don’t require this type of advice because you may need to match the voice of the publication, but personal essays and true stories need to show you throughout the writing. If you want to get paid to write essays, you need to be yourself in your writing.

Maybe Essays and True Stories are just the start for your writing career. If you want to get paid to write about anything, I have compiled a MASSIVE list of websites ready to pay you for your writing.

Of course, you can also find a niche you love, such as travel, finance, business, marketing, or one of many other great niches for freelance writers, and get my COMPLETE list of 100+ Websites that Pay Writers by clicking here.

Websites That Pay Writers PROMO


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