Common Mistakes In Essay Writing

But good writers know there are countless reasons why an editor might reject a piece.Maybe they ran something similar recently (or have something similar in the works).Give your reader a new way to look at the issue by sharing part of yourself and showing him your experience, and you may, indirectly, change a viewpoint. Christine Gross Loh’s piece on toy guns is one of my favorites.

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Despite this sobering stat, not all publications that run personal essays are this competitive.

Out of every 15 essays I draft, I usually sell about 10. While I’d like to believe each of those 10 is a masterpiece, the truth is, I’ve learned to avoid the common essay pitfalls.

An essayist’s job is to extract universal meaning from the mundane facts and experiences of life.

No matter what your story is about, it should involve some sort of personal transformation that allows you to see the world differently.

Or maybe that particular editor didn’t connect with your piece.

That doesn’t mean it won’t resonate with someone else.

Trouble is, the number of essayists lobbying for space on the page far exceeds the available slots.

For example, The New York Times’ Modern Love column sees thousands of submissions each year — of which only 52 run.

So let’s help you get an editor’s attention and land a coveted spot in your favorite publication!

Avoiding these mistakes each time you write an essay about yourself is a solid starting point.


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