The personal essay is its own beast in the genre of nonfiction narrative. Essay is a personal favorite of mine and for a long while, (especially while laboring towards the MFA) the main focus of my writing. Tucking away into a Best of collection is a nice way to while away a rainy afternoon and there are shelves of annual travel, science, essay, and spiritual writing best of collections about my house. The telling of a personal event or moment that was intimately individual yet with universal resonance is such an inviting medium.
Jessica Smock posted an excellent primer for how to write a personal essay in June last year that is en evergreen post if ever there was one. An editor for the HerStories Project, if you want some insight for how to get an editor to absolutely want your essay, surf on over and read her June 11, 2014 post How to Write a Personal Essay That Will Dazzle an Editor.
By the way, over at the HerStories Project, there is a call for submission for a new column called HerStories Voices for personal essays of 2000 words that will “highlight the best of women’s voices and show the uniqueness and commonalities of women’s experiences.” Here’s the link. Pays $40 when accepted for publication.