The New York Times "Modern Love" column on Feb. 8, 2015 may surprise you. Written by the column's editor, Daniel Jones, it explains at length what does and doesn't work for a "Modern Love" pitch, a highly coveted essay market. Take a look, as Jones analysis of submitted essays causes him to consider the concept of good writing. His response is beneficial for all writers.
There is also a notice of a call for stories from college students, with a $1,000 award to the winning writer, for an essay to run in May 2015.