PERSONAL
11/07/2019 14:01 BST | Updated 16/07/2020 09:47 BST

How To Write For HuffPost UK Personal

Got a first-person story to tell? Here's how to tell it with HuffPost UK.

HuffPost UK
HuffPost Personal

HuffPost UK Personal is our space for compelling, authentic first-person writing.

We are proud to publish a legitimately diverse range of writers, and actively prioritise the stories of those we don’t hear from enough in the media. We pay for contributions that are accepted for publication.

We feature personal testimonies from writers and contributors from all walks of life, focusing on the real-life stories behind the big news stories of our time, identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability), work/life, health and mental health, parenting, relationships of all kinds, and transformational life experiences. Beneath our pitch guidelines below are examples of strong pieces to help you understand how to frame your story, and the kind of experiences we like to tell.

An ideal HuffPost Personal piece brings our readers an honest, nuanced, new perspective on how we live life today, and give them a new take on modern life informed by personal experience. A good pitch for HuffPost UK Personal will:

  • Succinctly sum up a story, an argument and a hook. What does HuffPost’s audience need to know, and why now?
  • Explain why you’re the voice to write this piece. Do you have first-hand experience of the issue at hand? What do you want to tell our readers?
  • Explain why this piece will be a great fit for HuffPost readers. Why do they need to hear this?
  • Explain what you want readers to take away from your piece. We want HuffPost Personal pieces to challenge, educate and inspire. What do you want our readers to learn from your piece?
  • Be original. We want to hear new stories that haven’t been told anywhere else.
  • Come from you. We want to hear from real voices and work closely with writers themselves to shape their stories. We will only accept pitches from third parties such as PRs in exceptional circumstances.

To see what we’ve recently published on Personal, visit our homepage here. You can pitch to the HuffPost UK Personal team at ukpersonal@huffpost.com. 

To help you shape your pitch and understand how to tell your story with HuffPost Personal, here are some examples of pieces we’ve covered in our core topic areas:

Stories behind the headlines

We believe real life should be reflected in the news, and that news is personal. So we feature the perspectives of those at the frontline of social issues that deserve more attention, such as foodbanks. We run first-person reflections on how the news agenda is impacting real people, such as Brexit’s effect on Brits living abroad. And we feature testimony from those caught up in key events, such as life after surviving the London Bridge terror attack.

Identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability)

Personal runs honest stories of who we are and how our identity shapes our lives. Whether that’s experiencing racism in the run-up to an election, how it feels when coronavirus robs you of your first Black Pride, or how losing your eyesight at 23 changes the plans you have for your life. Our very first piece examined life at the intersection of being transgender and autistic.

Work and life

We explore what it means to be your true self at work, such as what it’s like to transition in the workplace. We have featured stories of writers motivated to make a difference through their work. And we continue to explore coronavirus is changing the very nature of work for everyone – even porn stars

Health and mental health

At HuffPost we talk about mental health compassionately, such as in this piece on living with suicidal thoughts when your religion forbids it as the highest sin. We also explore how our health changes our relationships, like how it feels when your dad’s dementia means he’s forgetting who you are. We values stories that highlight the underheard conditions impacting lives, such as how a hysterectomy designed to relieve this writer’s pain in fact changed nothing at all

Parenting

We talk openly and empathically about everyday parenting experiences like the struggle to make ‘mum friends’, as well as the uncomfortable and hard parts, like the burden of being a Muslim parent and having to explain 9/11 and islamophobia to your child. We shine a light on the universal truths of parenting even in unique situations too, such as the life of a mum in prison.

Sex, dating and relationships

On Personal we explore the complex reality of modern dating, such as in this piece on loving your new partner but missing the thrill of dating apps. We explore personal stories of boundaries and dynamics, including stories of refusing to be exclusive until your partner’s proposes. Our weekly Sex Diaries series tackles how and why we have sex (or don’t), and what our sex lives say about who we are.

Transformational life experiences

Once in a lifetime experiences, and what they teach about ourselves, are core to Personal’s mission. Whether you’re trying to find the anonymous ‘good Samaritan’ who saved your life, whether you’ve found love on a naked dating TV show, or survived five days (and one bear) in the Alaskan wilderness, we want to hear from you.