My Real-Life Story Essay 2015

“Every site seems to have a first person vertical and a first-person editor,” Bennett, who also cited Gould’s story as a turning point, wrote.One could “take a safari” through various personal-essay habitats—Gawker, Jezebel, xo Jane, Salon, Buzz Feed Ideas—and conclude that they were more or less the same, she argued.Blowback followed, and so did an endless supply of imitations.

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And placing a delicate part of your life in the hands of strangers didn’t always turn out to be so thrilling.

Personal essays cry out for identification and connection; what their authors often got was distancing and shame.

The commodification of personal experience was also women’s territory: the small budgets of popular women-focussed Web sites, and the rapidly changing conventions and constrictions surrounding women’s lives, insured it.

And so many women wrote about the most difficult things that had ever happened to them and received not much in return.

“The boom in personal essays—at Salon, at least, but I suspect other places—was in part a response to an online climate where more content was needed at the exact moment budgets were being slashed.” When I worked as an editor at the Hairpin and Jezebel, from 2013 to 2016, I saw up close how friendly editors and ready audiences could implicitly encourage writers to submit these pieces in droves.

For the first two years that I edited personal essays, I received at least a hundred first-person pitches and pieces each week.For some writers, these essays led to better-paying work.But for many the thrill of reaching an audience had to suffice.You can also write an autobiographical essay to give to family and friends, or to keep as a record of your background and accomplishments.Life-story essays are one of the easiest pieces of writing you can do, because you've lived the story. She has written for various websites, as well as National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and more than 20 fiction anthologies.Buzz Feed Ideas shut down at the end of 2015, Gawker and xo Jane in 2016; Salon no longer has a personal-essays editor.Indie sites known for cultivating first-person writing—the Toast, the Awl, the Hairpin—have shut down or changed direction.The forms that became increasingly common—flashy personal essays, op-eds, and news aggregation—were those that could attract viral audiences on the cheap.Sarah Hepola, who worked as Salon’s personal-essay editor, described the situation to me in an e-mail.Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English from the University of Wisconsin.personal: the topics seemed insignificant, or else too important to be aired for an audience of strangers.

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