ASJA Direct - Emily McCombs, HuffPost Persona

Emily McCombs is the Deputy Editor of HuffPost Personal. She previously helped launch and served as the Executive Editor of She has been writing and editing personal essays for over a decade, and has been published in Cosmopolitan,, BUST Magazine, The Washington Post, Elle,, Maxim, Elite Daily, Yahoo Beauty and of course HuffPost and You can follow her on Instagram at @emilymccombs and on Twitter at @msemilymccombs

Click here to access the recording

In the podcast she covered:

  • Who are the readers for the Personals column for Huffington Post?
  • The kinds of essays or articles that work best for the section and why?
  • Whether she prefers pitches or complete essays?
  • What makes Huffpo Personals different than other essay columns in publication?
  • The optimum word count, the rights they hold, and the pay range.
  • Submission tips.
  • How to submit.

Read Estelle’s Supplemental Interviw with Emily

Read Estelle’s essay for HuffPost Personal- My Blind Date Took Me to A Sex Club

Follow Estelle Erasmus on TwitterFacebookInstagram and on her website for publishing advice and editor interviews

Follow Estelle on Her Personal Finance colum: The steps and stories of side hustles and second careers.

Register for Estelle’s Writer’s Digest Classes

Writing the Personal Essay

Getting Started in Writing

Bootcamp Pitching course  

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
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    – Flannery O'Connor
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    – Lawrence Welk
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    – Douglas Adams
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    – Stephen Wright
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    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson