Personal Essay Filter
  1. Home Is a Mug of Coffee

    “Just like the countless options on my office’s hot drinks machine, I fell in love with a fresh sense of possibility — that there was more than one way to live my life.” In this illustrated longread, Candace Rose Rardon reflects on coffee, life, and finding herself, no matter where she is in the world.

    Art
  2. Why I Write: A Memento Mori

    “Tomorrow, again, I’ll get up, do the Things That Are Necessary to help pay the bills and then I’ll turn to those Things That Matter.” At Parhelion, a new literary magazine, Evan Guilford-Blake reflects on why he writes.

    Authors
    Photography by Jesse Ryan Brown
  3. It’s Not You, It’s Me: A Breakup Reading List

    Experiencing heartache? At Longreads, Jacqueline Alnes compiles a reading list of essays that have allowed her to grieve.

    Essay
  4. Fifty Years of Mentoring

    “These days, there are two main populations I end up mentoring: CEOs, and kids. At some level, they’re totally different. But at some level, they’re surprisingly similar.” On his personal blog, Stephen Wolfram reflects on his role as a mentor to people of all ages.

    Academia
  5. Raising Mothers

    Literary magazine Raising Mothers was created “by and for femme identifying and NBPOC writers who parent” and is different from other publications, as it focuses on raising mothers, particularly those of color.

    Diversity
  6. Appalachian Trail Redemption

    “I’ve come to believe that a long hike has a biological cycle. Like almost everything—life, relationships, civilizations, songs, stories, stars—it is born in explosive uncertainty.” At Appalachia Journal, Ben Montgomery writes on divorce, loss, and taking his kids on a 244-mile walk to make sense of it all.

    Essay
    Photo via Ben Montgomery
  7. Nowhere

    “In an age when stories are getting shorter and content dumbed-down, we are taking a different path.” Nowhere publishes longform and literary travel writing.

    Essay
  8. The Radical Notion of Not Letting Work Define You

    “Just because something can’t be a career doesn’t have to mean that it can’t be part of your life and identity.” At Man Repeller, Molly Conway muses on imposter syndrome, work and identity, and being a playwright.

    Identity
  9. My wife donated one of her kidneys to a stranger this morning.

    “This man — sick for so long — would be receiving a kidney that should change his life. A kidney from my wife. We know almost nothing about him.” On his blog, Jeff Pearlman recounts the day Catherine, his wife, donated one of her kidneys to a stranger.

    Health
    Photo courtesy of Jeff Pearlman
  10. Respect the Intelligences of Kids with Intellectual Disabilities

    Thoughts from Heather Kirn Lanier, who is the mother of Fiona, a child with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome: “They are treated, in other words, like banks, where the teacher deposits information and then, at a later date, requests that the information be returned back.”

    Family
  11. If ‘leaving SF’ essays are mandatory, here is mine

    Jonathan Kauffman says goodbye to San Francisco: “Of the friends who packed my going-away party in 2006, less than 10 remain in town. More leave every year. The city whose culinary history and geography I know better than almost everyone has made it clear that I will never own any piece of it.”

    Essay
    Photo by Tae Fuller from Pexels
  12. The Offing

    The Offing is a literary magazine that publishes writing in all genres and art in all forms. It actively seeks out work that experiments and provokes, and supports emerging writers and those who are marginalized in literary spaces.

    Art
  13. Stranger’s Guide

    “The world is changing. So should the way we cover it.” Stranger’s Guide publishes place-based writing and is committed to “multi-dimensional views of locations, showcasing writers native to each place.”

    Essay
  14. Art
    Comic by Ray Hecht
  15. What it means to become British

    From Nadia El-Awady: “I come from a culture that tends to glorify non-elected, autocratic, all-powerful leaders. They have to. The consequences of not doing so are not pretty. So I’ve grown up with a disdain for the glorification of single human beings; even those that don’t have much power.”

    Commentary