Before I present the list, I need to issue a few clarifications and caveats.
If it doesn’t have an obvious news peg, make sure it’s clear why your idea is important right now.The bottom line is that you should know why you’re writing about whatever you’re writing about. Not every personal essay needs to have a tidy ending.And writing doesn’t have to be sad to be profound; funny is great!Poetry should display a commitment to the ultra-specificities of language, and show a refined sense of simile and metaphor. READER is Buzz Feed News’s home for cultural criticism, personal essays, fiction, and poetry, as well as Buzz Feed’s Emerging Writer Fellowship.Since we launched in March 2016, we have published new poetry from National Book Award-winning authors like Robin Coste Lewis and Mark Doty, as well as work from emerging poets such as Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, and Donika Kelly, whom we’re confident you will be reading for years to come.Alongside essays and features from READER’s staff writers, we’ve published nonfiction from contributors including Jesmyn Ward, Mira Jacob, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah and Eileen Myles. We’re thrilled to work with and publish celebrated authors, but that’s only part of the story.But unless I’ve discerned a *specific* editorial interest in shorter-form nonfiction–whether through my own research into guidelines and past issues or through sources listed at the end of the post–I haven’t included them here.I’ve also had to break my usual blog-and-newsletter-rule about limiting listings to paying journals only (and only publications that don’t require reading fees).But “criticism” doesn’t translate to having an opinion about whether something is good or bad.At its heart, a critical essay should make an informed, clear-eyed argument about what a particular person or artifact or trend shows us about the way our culture functions today.