JOIN THE REVOLUTION. TELL YOUR STORY.

We are proud to have published stories from women all around the world. We accept all types of stories as long as they are true and about you. No topic is off limits!

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, non-binary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two-spirit. In other words,  if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.

We nominate for the Pushcart Prize and Best of  Net.

A few things we don’t want to see:

  • Tear down pieces
  • Racist material or hate speech
  • Explicitly sexual material (In other words, please don’t send us porn)
  • Overly violent material

HerStry does not accept previously published pieces.

Questions? Email julia@herstryblg.com 

We regret that we cannot offer individual feedback on submissions, but we do offer personal editorial services

About the Contest

HerStry is pleased to announce the 2023 Eunice Williams Nonfiction Prize with guest judge Brittany Ackerman. HerStry has long been a place for women identifying folks to tell their stories. We are a brave space for brave stories. Now, we’d like to amplify your stories even more with our contest and prize.

There is no theme to adhere to for this contest, simply nonfiction written by you, about you. Give us your best work, the stuff of your heart. Our stories are what make us, tell yours.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF:

  • All essays must be true and about you and previously unpublished.
  • Essays must stay under 5,000 words.
  • Essays must be submitted in a word document (please no PDFs). Must be in 12pt Times New Roman or Calibri font, double spaced.
  • All essays are judged blind, please do not put any identifying information on your document. Essays with identifying information will be discarded without being read.
  • Writers are asked to submit a third person bio. Cover letters are fine but, honestly, we don’t care. It’s the quality of the writing we are looking for, not the amount of times you’ve been published.
  • While your work is under consideration we ask that you DO NOT submit it elsewhere. Winners will be announced no later than April 3, 2023.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, non-binary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two-spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.

Prizes:

First - $400

Second - $250

Third - $100

About Brittany Ackerman, Guest Judge:

Brittany is a writer from Riverdale, New York. She earned her BA in English from Indiana University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University. She has lead workshops for UCLA’s Extension program, Catapult, HerStry, Write or Die Tribe, and forthcoming for Lighthouse Writers. She currently teaches writing at Vanderbilt University in the English Department. She is a 2x Pushcart Prize Nominee and her work has been featured in Electric Literature, Jewish Book Council, Lit Hub, The Los Angeles Review, No Tokens, Hobart, and more. Her first collection of essays entitled The Perpetual Motion Machine was published with Red Hen Press in 2018, and her debut novel The Brittanys is out now with Vintage. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.


***Contest fees go toward contest prize and paying HerStry staff and guest judge***

HerStry publishes personal essays every Wednesday. Personal essays are a way for our writers to tell the stories they want to tell. There are no rules. No themes. As long as the story is true and about you, we want to read it. Nothing is off limits (well, some things are off limits, see above).

Starting in 2022 HerStry will pay $10 for every published personal essay. Because of that, we now have a $3 submission fee to help cover costs and to pay our wonderful editors. We have a free submission period one weekend a month. Please be advised that we have a limited number of free submissions and once they are gone they are gone.

The Rules:

  • Stories must be true and about you
  • Stories must be between 500 - 3,000 words
  • Stories should be double spaced, with 12pt font, Times New Roman or Calibri (get out of here Comic Sans!)
  • Stories are read blind. Please DO NOT put any identifying material on your manuscript. Manuscripts that don’t follow this rule will be automatically disqualified without being read.
  • Stories must be submitted as word documents  of some sort. PDFs will not be considered
  • Stories must be submitted with a short bio and photo of the author
  • No poetry, please

***  In order to let as many people submit as possible please only submit one story at a time. Do not submit again until you hear from us. Duplicate submissions will be deleted without being read. ****

WANT PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK?

You can now receive helpful feedback by selecting the “Personalized Critique” option on our submissions page. While getting your work critiqued does not guarantee publication, we can help you make it great for your next submission, whether it's to us or someone else. Click the button below to get started.

In the darkest and shortest month of the year, we’re looking to highlight stories about love, romantic or otherwise. Give us stories that make us feel warm and bubbly inside. Stories that give us hope in  humanity. Or, if you don’t have that, give us your anti-love story, your  broken heart, your journey to healing. Love is messy and we want it  all.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

Mental health and all the struggles that come with it are more and more becoming part of the mainstream; nevertheless, sometimes the personal  stories, the struggles and triumphs that come with taking care of ourselves, don’t make it into the general lexicon. In March, we’re asking for your stories about what it’s really like to take care of your mental health in today’s world.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

For better or worse, one of the defining factors in life is what we do  for work. In April, we’re collecting work stories, whatever they mean to you. We want stories from stay-at-home moms, pastors and pastry chefs, corporate lawyers and cattle farmers. Take us deep into the world of your work. Why do you love it? Or do you wish for another life? What do you wish you’d done instead?
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

Mothers have a lot to say about mothering. Trust us, we know. We’re  dedicating the month of May to telling those motherhood stories. Don’t sugarcoat it. We want the messy parts of mom life. The up-all-night, covered-in-poop, haven’t-showered-in-two-weeks parts. And we want the parts you love, too. The first words, the proud parent moments, the things you never imagined. Or, maybe you don’t want to be a mom, or aren’t able to be a mom. We want those stories too. The struggles that have come with it, or the freedom.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

In the past, we’ve dedicated June to coming out stories. But the queer experience is so much more than that. We’re opening this month’s theme up wide to encapsulate the experiences of all LGBTQIA+ folks. Maybe it’s a coming out story, but maybe it’s a story about everyday existence, a  story about living life on your own terms.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

Faith is a tricky business. It’s personal and it’s political and it’s sometimes the source of heartache and trauma. In July, we’re collecting your stories about faith. How it has shaped you, formed your world view or broken you down. Give us the beautiful and the messy. Break our hearts and bring us joy.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

We’re steeped in grief. Especially now, in this (post?) COVID world, when so many of us have lost so much. But this isn’t a theme about COVID grief (though you can certainly write about that), this is a theme about the grief that is with us now, the grief that was with us long ago, and the grief that grows with us. Don’t be afraid to bring us broken, heavy stories. We can handle it.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

Let’s talk periods! It’s a messy business, but not one that should be hidden away or called a taboo. Tell us about starting your period. Tell us about the time you bled through your jeans in a public place. Tell us about period sex and period pain. Give us an ode to the menstrual cup or your favorite period food. Maybe you had to work to get your period back after years of irregular cycles. Maybe you don’t have one at all; we want to read it all.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

October is a time for spooky stories. So tell us: What haunts you? It could be a real ghost, but maybe it’s an unfinished conversation or a memory from childhood. Maybe you are haunted by a place, a time, a feeling. Or maybe you are the one who does the haunting. Scare us. Give us something chilling to think about when we go to sleep at night. And remember, sometimes the scariest things are the truest things.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

In the US, November tends to be the month where we talk about thankfulness. But let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is a holiday with colonialist undertones that is getting harder and harder to celebrate, at least in its traditional narrative. So let’s talk about things we should be thankful for, but just aren’t. Or the things people expected us to be thankful for that we simply think, “Um, what?” Give us the rude, the harsh, the enduring, the funny. The things that made you say, “Thanks, I guess.”
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

Winter is both bleak and beautiful. Tell us stories that happened in the winter. About falling in love in the cold, about breaking apart, coming back together. Tell us about a silent snowfall or a snowstorm. Tell us about ice fishing with grandma or ice skating with mom. Tell us about your winter.
** HerStry is always happy to share stories anonymously—if your story is selected for publication, simply let your editor know you would not like your name shared **
The Rules:

  • All stories must be true and about you.
  • Stories must follow the theme in some way, interpretations can be wide.
  • Stories must stay between 500–3,000 words.
  • Documents should be double spaced, 12Pt font with 1 inch margins.
  • Submissions must be in .doc or .docx form—we do not accept PDFs.
  • Please do not put your name on your manuscript. We realize in personal essays, the author’s name often comes up, so just use your best discretion.
  • Please include a third person bio. Cover letters are fine, but not necessary (we don’t read them, we’re more interested in what you’ve written).
  • Please submit only once per theme.
  • We do not accept previously published stories.

HerStry centers the experiences of women identifying persons. We’re looking for work from bigender/polygender persons, cisgender women, intergender persons/intersex persons, nonbinary persons/gender non-conforming persons, transgender women/transfeminine persons, two spirit. In other words, if you are a cis man, please refrain from submitting.
$3 submission fee goes toward keeping HerStry sustainable. All accepted pieces receive $20 payment.

HerStry