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How to Get Your Story Published in the New York Times Modern Love Column

by Writing Workshops Staff

3 weeks ago


How to Get Your Story Published in the New York Times Modern Love Column

by Writing Workshops Staff

3 weeks ago


How to Get Your Story Published in the New York Times Modern Love Column

Introduction to Writing for Modern Love:

The New York Times Modern Love column is a weekly series that features stories about relationships, feelings, betrayal, and revelations. It is one of the most widely read columns in the paper and has been a beloved staple for readers for many years. If you’ve ever wanted to write for The New York Times, submitting a story to Modern Love is one of the best ways to do it. Here’s how to write and pitch your piece.

Writing Your Piece for Modern Love

The first step in getting your work published in Modern Love is writing your story (you can write about your ex or write about true love; you could even write about your family). Remember that this column focuses on relationships and personal reflections, so use that as your inspiration when coming up with ideas.

Once you know what to write about, begin drafting your story. Keep it short—Modern Love essays usually range from 500-1,200 words—and make sure to focus on vivid details that bring your piece to life.

The essay should be honest and true while still entertaining and engaging. And don’t forget to make sure you’re following all the submission guidelines!

Pitching Your Piece to The New York Times

Once you’ve written your piece, it’s time to pitch it!

To do this, go to the Modern Love page on The New York Times website and click “Submit an Essay for Consideration” at the bottom. From there, fill out all necessary information (including a brief but compelling description of your essay) before submitting it directly through The New York Times website or emailing modernlove@nytimes.com with “Submission Attached” in the subject line.

Make sure all information is accurate and complete before submitting it—this will help ensure that your essay gets seen by an editor more quickly!

20 Modern Love Prompts

  1. The story of how I met my partner and the twists and turns our relationship took.
  2. The moment I realized I had been in an emotionally abusive relationship.
  3. The journey of learning to trust again after being betrayed by a loved one.
  4. The difficulties of maintaining a relationship while dealing with a chronic illness.
  5. The unexpected love that developed between two people who initially disliked each other.
  6. The decision to open up a relationship and the challenges that came with it.
  7. The story of falling in love with someone from a different culture and how it affected our relationship.
  8. The journey of rebuilding a relationship after infidelity.
  9. The realization that I was in a codependent relationship and the steps I took to change it.
  10. The story of falling in love with someone who was initially just a friend.
  11. The moment I realized I was in love with my best friend.
  12. The day I found out my partner had been cheating on me.
  13. The decision to end a long-term relationship because of differences in values.
  14. The journey of learning to love myself after a toxic relationship.
  15. The unexpected love that blossomed between two coworkers.
  16. The challenges of navigating a long distance relationship.
  17. The moment I realized I was gay and how it affected my relationship with my family.
  18. The realization that my partner and I had grown apart over the years.
  19. The unexpected joy of falling in love again after heartbreak.
  20. The realization that my relationship with my parents had changed and how we learned to navigate it.

Tips on How to Write and Pitch your Piece:

  1. Start by reading the column regularly. Familiarizing yourself with the tone and style of Modern Love will help you get a better sense of what they are looking for in a piece.
  2. Think about your story. What about your relationship, feelings, betrayals, or revelations makes it unique and interesting to readers? How can you convey your story compellingly and honestly?
  3. Write a strong and concise pitch. Your pitch should include a brief summary of your story, your credentials as a writer, and why you think your story would be a good fit for Modern Love. Keep your pitch to around 250-300 words.
  4. Follow the submission guidelines. Read and follow the submission guidelines on the Modern Love website. This includes guidelines on length, formatting, and how to submit your pitch.
  5. Be patient. The Modern Love column receives a high volume of submissions, so it may take some time for them to review and respond to your pitch. Don't get discouraged if you don't hear back immediately, and consider submitting your pitch to other publications as well.

How to Submit Your Piece

  • Modern Love has two submission periods, September through December and March through June.

  • Send submissions to: modernlove@nytimes.com. Please put the subject of your essay or a possible title in the email subject line.

  • Limit your essay to 1,500-1,700 words.

  • Attach your essay as a Microsoft Word-compatible doc and paste the text into the body of the email. If your first submission is incomplete, please resubmit one complete entry; do not submit just the missing pieces in additional emails.

  • Essays must be entirely true. Do not use pseudonyms (including for yourself), composite characters or invented situations or scenes. There are no exceptions to this rule.

  • Essays must be previously unpublished. Work that has appeared online — on another news website, a personal blog, Medium or elsewhere — is considered previously published.

  • Essays will be edited in consultation with writers, and writers will be compensated for work that is published.

Conclusion

Getting published in The New York Times can be incredibly rewarding—especially if it's in their beloved weekly series Modern Love! Writing compelling pieces and pitching them properly are important steps in getting noticed by editors at The New York Times; following these steps can increase your chances of having your work seen by them. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting out, writing for Modern Love is always an amazing experience that can give you great satisfaction once published!

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