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Personal Essays

Am I Writing About My Life, Or Selling Myself Out?

Narcissistic, self-indulgent, worthless, cruel: criticisms leveled against social media influencers and young women who write about themselves sound a lot alike.

Kathleen Hale Came For Her Goodreads Critic. Then The Internet Came For Her.

Five years ago, Kathleen Hale wrote an essay for the Guardian — about targeting a Goodreads reviewer — that nearly ended her career. Now, she’s back with a new book that some people say never should have been published.

I Said Goodbye To My Grandfather When My Family Left Peru — But This Blanket Keeps Him Close To Me

When I was born, my grandfather gave me an alpaca blanket to keep de por vida. Nearly 40 years later, it’s one of the only things connecting me to the man who was, in many ways, my first father.

The 2 Best Times I’ve Fainted As A Grown Man

I picture myself as a detached intellect, cool under pressures both real and imagined. My history of infrequent but unavoidable fainting proves that definitively untrue. (An essay from Josh Gondelman's Nice Try.)

Beauty Tips From My Dead Sister

When it comes to beauty, nature gave us a lot but not everything.

Crying At The Playboy Office

I remember it the way a criminal might remember a crime, the where and when more accessible now than the why — the time I cried on the job at Playboy.

I Don't Write BDSM Erotica, But Try Telling My Mom That

I am not the Samantha Hunt who wrote Extreme BDSM for Sexual Freaks, but neither my mother nor my brother-in-law fully believe that.

How Can We Expand The Way We Write About Our Identities?

It’s important to consider what kinds of stories we keep asking writers of color to tell, and that those stories go beyond performing suffering on the page.

How Joan Didion Became Joan Didion

"Didion was one of the boys, clearly, in the sense that men had noticed her writing and wanted to publish her. But she also couldn’t quite fit into their regime." An excerpt from Michelle Dean's new book, Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion.

How To Pitch To Dialogue

Interested in writing personal essays or cultural criticism for BuzzFeed India? Here's everything you need to know.

The Most Moving Personal Essays You Needed To Read In 2017

Here are some of the most beautiful and insightful personal essays written by BuzzFeed News staff and contributors this year (in the order they were published).

Who's Afraid Of The Personal Essay?

The conversation over the viral New Yorker short story “Cat Person” is reiterating the same old bias against personal essays as a frivolous, artless, and feminine form of writing.

23 Fascinating Memoirs You Probably Haven't Read Yet, But Should

Because other people's lives are so much more interesting than your own.

18 Essays About The Immigrant Experience You Need To Read

These stories illuminate what it takes, and what it means, to uproot your life in one country and begin it again in a new one.

How To Pitch Essays To BuzzFeed READER

Interested in pitching personal essays or cultural criticism? Here's how.

The Most Moving Personal Essays You Needed To Read In 2016

Here are some of the most beautiful and insightful personal essays that BuzzFeed staff and contributors wrote this year (in the order they were published).

28 Essays And Stories That Made Sense Of Trump's America This Year

These essential pieces of writing on the presidential election help explain how we got here in 2016, and imagine where we go now.

16 Personal Essays About Mental Health Worth Reading

Here are some of the most moving and illuminating essays published on BuzzFeed about mental illness, wellness, and the way our minds work.

How To Plan For The Worst Day Of Your Life

My life is ruled by order, but when my sister died, I realized there are some things you can never plan for.

I Don't Owe Anyone My Body

My Tinder date stopped seeming like a nice guy the second he couldn't hear me say "no."

20 Essays You Need To Read From BuzzFeed Life This Year

A look back at some of the brightest ideas and most beautiful writing about food, health, style and more that we published in the past year.

The Most Moving Personal Essays You Needed To Read In 2015

In no particular order, here are just a few of the many fantastic personal essays we published across BuzzFeed in 2015.

A Black Woman Walks Into A Gun Show

The gun show loophole allows shoppers to buy guns from private dealers without a background check. I stared down a sea of Confederate flags to find out what that's like.

I Used To Be An Alcoholic. Now I'm A Stoner Who Has A Drink Sometimes.

For me, marijuana wasn’t a gateway to harder drugs. It was an exit ramp from my addiction to alcohol.

The Year I Stopped Celebrating Father's Day

When I was a teenager, my family left my father and refused to look back.

The Time I Dabbled In Do-It-Yourself Dentistry

Two of my adult teeth never showed up. Until I could afford fake ones, I got creative.

Mormon, Childless, And Constantly Condescended To

In my secular life, I'm a marathoner and stand-up comic. In the eyes of the church, I'm a charity case.

7 Personal Essays You Need To Read This Week: "Asian Accents," Microaggressions, And Rihanna

This week, BuzzFeed Ideas shared a series of essays from actors of color on their casting experiences. Read those stories and others from Medium, Jezebel, Pitchfork, The Atlantic, and more.

17 Of The Best BuzzFeed Books Essays We Published In 2014

Exploring subjects from skateboarding to Sylvia Plath, and attempting to write your first novel to jumping into the sea, these are some of our favorite essays we published this year. *Ranked in no particular order*

13 Of Our Favorite Personal Essays We Published This Year

A woman who confronted her abusive stepfather. A man who bought a house in Detroit for $500. A 33-year-old who suffered and survived a stroke. Reflections on love, loss, and life in these great essays.

I Was Sure Freezing My Eggs Would Solve Everything

When I was 35 and single in New York City, I was convinced I'd be alone forever. Undergoing a costly procedure to buy myself time seemed like the right choice.

How A Breast Reduction Helped Me Love My Body

Making the decision to have the surgery was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Now I'd never go back.

17 Personal Essays That Will Change Your Life

Think essays are just something boring you write for class? These masterpieces will make you totally reconsider.

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