Contributor's Guidelines: The Home Forum

E-mail address for queries and submissions:


The Home Forum is searching for upbeat personal essays of from 600 to 1,000 words. We recently began accepting short poetry submissions, as well. All material must be original and previously unpublished. We do not accept multiple submissions or hard-copy submissions. For time-sensitive material (seasonal, news-related, holiday- or event-themed), you must submit at least SIX WEEKS in advance. 

More on essays

These are first-person, nonfiction explorations of how you responded to a place, a person, a situation, an event, or happenings in everyday life. Tell a story with a point; share a funny true tale. Describe a self-discovery. The humor should be gentle.

We accept essays on a wide variety of subjects and encourage timely, newsy topics. However, we don't deal with the topics of death, aging, medicine, or disease. We do not publish work that presents people in helpless or hopeless states.

Some examples:

A disturbing encounter on a subway becomes a lesson in “neighboring”

A Jewish woman heeds her rabbi’s exhortation to practice blessing others

Why his favorite coach wasn’t a coach at all, but his eighth-grade math teacher

In Germany, a woman witnesses commuters come to the aid of an immigrant in trouble

The mystery of knitting, from a confirmed non-knitter

Only digital submissions can be reviewed. We no longer accept hard copies. Digital submissions may be in the form of text pasted into an email or as Microsoft Word attachment (preferred). We are not able to open any other kinds of attachments. No links, please.  

How to pitch and follow up

Submit finished work only – no outlines or proposals – to Type "Submission" or "essay" into the "subject" field of your email. You will receive an acknowledgment via autoreply. Note: If your email account has a spam filter to block unauthorized senders and you have not added Home Forum to your authorized list, you will not hear from us. 

We ask for four weeks to consider a submission exclusively, starting with the date on which you receive an autoreply acknowledgment (see above). We are not able to respond to work that we do not accept, as a rule. We respond with acceptances ONLY. If after four weeks you have not received an acceptance via email, you can conclude that you are free to submit your manuscript elsewhere.  


We pay $400 for an essay, and $200- $250 for poetry submissions, upon publication. The preferred method of remuneration is via bank transfer. We will provide digital forms for you to complete upon our acceptance of a piece. 

Please note

Be sure to include your contact information (email address, daytime telephone, postal address), and a word count with your submission. Please do not contact the editor via their personal email account, as this will delay or derail consideration of your submission.

We are unable to accept:

Faxed submissions.
Telephone queries
Hard copies. 
Simultaneous submissions.
Previously published material.
Articles that result from a press trip, free lodging or meals, etc.

We look forward to working with you.