I want your essays
I'll even pay you for them
And, buddy, I meant it.
What do you want?
There are no guidelines with regard to content. Whether you want to write about the history of hot sauce, the texture of romantic comedies, the wide-eyed optimism of Michael Schur’s sitcoms, or the ways you still listen to Mariah Carey’s Fantasy (am I writing this essay? maybe!), I want to read it all!
I mean, if you’re reading this here little site, you probably have an idea for the kind of essays I’m interested in. I write the way I write on purpose, you know. Having said that, I do not want you to just attempt your best ydde impersonation. I may write this way on purpose, but I also can’t help but write this way. I have this strange condition called MY BRAIN that makes me be the idiot I am.
I want to see your writing. I want to see you write about your passions, regardless of what those passions are. My view on nonfiction is that anything can be interesting. Literally anything. You just need to write it well. Write it with passion, with curiosity, with flair.
That’s pretty broad…
Listen, buddy, I don’t know what I’ll want most from you. I don’t know what you’ll write that’ll make me laugh or cry or send me soaring into the sun, all right?
Whatever you write, try to keep it under 4,000 words. That seems to be about the length that can be sent via email. I’m not against publishing something longer, but I’ll be honest: 2,000 words is probably the right length, in general.
If you write a 10,000+ word essay that you’re really proud of, send it over. It might be exactly what I want. But the longer an essay goes, the better it has to be.
[as an aside: if I do receive some big chunky essays that are ecstatically good and could be their own books, I may have plans to work with you on making them into books, but shhh; don’t tell nobody]
Any other restrictions?
Yes. I will only accept essays from people who are signed up for this newsletter. You don’t have to be a paying subscriber, but you do need to at least be a free sign up. So if you do send me something, send it from the same email that you signed up with. This will allow me to cross reference your emails to ensure that only those following the newsletter are in consideration.
If you’re not signed up, I won’t be reading your essays, even if you send them to me very nicely.
While this is my newsletter, it wouldn’t exist if you weren’t on the otherside of your screen reading along. With that in mind, I want this space to not only reflect me as a writer, but to reflect the readers. So I only want writing from those reading.
I cringe when people talk about forming online communities, but I suppose that’s sort of what I hope to make here. While you may think I only started this newsletter because I compulsively need to write every stupid thought I think (possibly more accurate than I’m comfortable admitting), my goal has been to make something less specifically about me and more specifically about people.
Of course, right now, there’s just me. And so, for now, this place reflects exactly one voice.
I’d like to change that. And I’d like to change that by opening up this space to those who have been reading along.
What will you pay?
Right now, I can pay you $10 if I accept your essay.
I know that’s not a lot of money. I’d love to pay you more, and maybe I will be able to if this blog eventually picks up. But, right now, $10 is about what I can offer.
Payments will be made over Venmo, so…you need to have Venmo. I will not write you a cheque.
Though, if you live in Minneapolis and want to meet up, I can give you a nice crumpled ten dollar bill.
Okay, so how do I submit?
Send your essay as an attachment to ejrathke at gmail dot com. Don’t worry about a cover letter.
I intend to respond to every email with some feedback. Assuming I get a normal amount of submissions. If for some reason I get flooded with dozens of essays every week…well, I guess I’ll figure out how to address that when the time comes.
All rights are yours. Let me publish it here first for like a week, but then do whatever you want with your essays.
They’re yours, after all.
This is an ongoing call for submissions. I’m quite serious about wanting your writing here. I would love to be able to pay you more and hopefully I’ll be able to eventually.
I’ll change the text here when/if that happens.
Consider this an open invitation to people of all races, classes, genders, nationalities, and sexual orientations.