Since 2004, the popular Modern Love column has been a weekly fixture in the Sunday New York Times, spawning countless memoirs, a TV show, a very popular podcast, and more. It’s also one of the few genuine meritocracies in publishing–editor Daniel Jones is looking for great stories, not connections or credits. As a result, Modern Love is popular with aspiring and accomplished writers alike.
Writing a great Modern Love column can be surprisingly straightforward if you have the right tools and techniques. After reading hundreds of Modern Love columns over the years, publishing my own in 2015, and talking with past contributors, I’ve distilled the essential elements of a successful Modern Love essay.
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Writing coach and developmental editor, PETER MOUNTFORD is the author of the novels A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Washington State Book Award), and The Dismal Science (NYT editor’s choice). His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, The Atlantic, The Sun, NYT (Modern Love), Granta, and The Missouri Review. Peter teaches at the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.
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