Skip to main content
facts & arguments

First Person guidelines

Dear Globe and Mail reader,

We want you to write for us! The daily First Person essay is a great forum for you to share your own experiences, viewpoints and writing flair with other Globe readers. Whether you are young or old, female or male, newly arrived in Canada or deeply rooted here, we want to be inspired by your unique perspective.

So what makes a good essay?

A few things we look for are: an original voice; an unexpected view; an unfamiliar perspective; humour; vivid details that show us rather than tell us; anecdotes that illuminate a wider theme.

A successful essay may be funny, surprising, touching or enlightening – or all of these. It may present a slice of life or a powerful experience that changed you in some way. It may be a meditation on something that matters to you. It goes beyond a rant, and it is deft in moving from the particular to the universal.

Above all, an essay should be personal rather than political. It must be true, not fictional.

Here are some recent essays we thought were very successful:

  1. My wife’s affair? It’s kind of a funny story (by Sean Curren)
  2. Sex and the invisible woman (by Laurie Lewis)
  3. The maze at the end of Mom’s road (by Brian Wickers)

Here's how to submit:

E-mail your essay to firstperson@globeandmail.comIn the subject line, be sure to put "essay submission" and the topic (in 2 or 3 words). The topic is especially important if your piece is tied to an event or season.

Please submit your essay in 2 forms – as a Word.doc attachment, and copied and pasted into the body of the e-mail.

Include a contact number where you can be reached during the day.

Essays should be no shorter than 900 words.

Please don't send a piece that's appeared in any other print or online publication, but feel free to submit an essay on a topic you have blogged about.

If your piece is selected for publication, you should hear from The Globe within one month. You will not be contacted if it has not been chosen.

Seasonal essays should be submitted three to four weeks before the event.

Anonymity and pseudonyms are used extremely rarely, though requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

There is no payment if your essay is published. The Globe assumes first-print rights and electronic rights for unsolicited submissions; writers retain copyright.

If we publish your essay, we encourage you to submit again.

Thanks so much,

The editors