About Memoir Land

Memoir Land is the new name for a newsletter edited by Sari Botton.

There are four verticals:

  1. Memoir Monday, a weekly curation of personal essays co-curated by Granta, Guernica, Narratively, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, Orion Magazine, The Walrus, and Oldster Magazine;

  1. First Person Singular featuring original personal essays;

  2. The Lit Lab featuring interviews and craft essays;

  3. Goodbye to All That, inspired by Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving NY, and Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for NY, featuring stories about the push-pull that NYC exerts on its inhabitants.

Who am I?

Sari Botton's memoir in essays, And You May Find Yourself...Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, was chosen by Poets & Writers magazine for the 2022 edition of its annual "5 Over 50" feature. An essay from it received notable mention in The Best American Essays 2023, edited by Vivian Gornick. For five years, she was the Essays Editor at Longreads. She was a contributing writer and editor to now-defunct Catapult magazine, and an instructor in its school. She edited the bestselling anthologies Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NewYork and Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She publishes Oldster MagazineMemoir Land, and Adventures in Journalism. She was the Writer in Residence in the creative writing department at SUNY New Paltz for Spring, 2023.

Submitting *published* essays for the Memoir Monday weekly newsletter:

Recently Memoir Monday opened submissions for essays published around the web, to be considered for inclusion in the weekly curation. Here is how to submit those:

By Thursday of each week, please send to memoirmonday@gmail.com:

  1. The title of the essay and a link to it.

  2. A paragraph or a few lines from the piece that will most entice readers.

  3. Because of data limits for many email platforms, going forward we will only include artwork from our partner publications. No need to send art.

    *Please be advised, however, that we cannot accept all submissions, nor respond to the overwhelming number of emails received.

Submitting *original* personal essays for the “First Person Singular” and “Goodbye to All That” sections:

ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE CURRENTLY PAUSED. I will announce when they are open again, for limited periods.

What I’m looking for/pay rates/how to submit:

  • Completed personal essays of 1500 to 2500 words. I will not be assigning from pitches.

  • I’m interested in a diverse variety of authors subjects and voices and tones, and look generally for pieces that make meaning of deeply personal experiences. (Basically, what good first-person writing does.) Something I love but don’t see enough of: essays in which writers consider difficult experiences through the lens of absurdity.

  • The pay rate is $100. You retain all rights, but I ask that you wait 90 days before reprinting elsewhere, that you credit First Person Singular with original publication, and link to the original if you are reprinting online.

  • To submit, email the following to pitch2sari@gmail.com (*NOT* the Memoir Monday email): Your completed personal essay, with a well-written, brief synopsis of the piece (a paragraph or two) in the email. In the subject line, write “First Person Singular:” followed by the title of your piece.

Support Memoir Monday

While the Memoir Monday and First Person Singular verticals are free, The Lit Lab is mostly for paying subscribers. Memoir Land pays contributors for original personal essays and interviews. To support this work, become a paying subscriber.

You can also support Memoir Monday—and indie bookstores!—by browsing this Bookshop.org list of every book that’s been featured at the Memoir Monday reading series. It’s a great place to find some new titles to add to your TBR list!

Subscribe to Memoir Land

Four verticals edited by Sari Botton: MEMOIR MONDAY, collab w/ Granta, Narratively, The Rumpus, Orion, The Walrus, Electric Lit, LitHub, Oldster; FIRST PERSON SINGULAR original essays; THE LIT LAB interviews + craft; GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, NYC stories.


All things memoir and personal essays! Four verticals: "Memoir Monday" weekly roundup of best essays; "First Person Singular" original personal essays; "The Lit Lab" interviews and craft essays; and "Goodbye to All That" featuring NYC stories.
Sari Botton is the author of the memoir "And You May Find Yourself." She edited two bestselling anthologies: "Goodbye to All That" and "Never Can Say Goodbye." She publishes Oldster Magazine, Memoir Monday, and Adventures in Journalism.