If you love to write and want to earn money doing something you love, you have a few options. First, you might consider finding a client that will outsource their writing to you. Or, you might want to publish and market your own book to earn from its royalties.
But what if you would like to write but don’t want to spend all your time on your computer? Freelance writing may be a good choice for you. As a freelancer, you can choose to work only when you want to.
One option available to you as a freelancer is writing to magazines that pay for articles they publish.
Do Magazines Pay for Articles?
Yes! Although not all magazines pay for articles, many of them do. The ones that do typically have areas dedicated to contributors, and they also have submission guidelines or suggestions that you can use to decide what kinds of articles to write for them.
Writing Magazines that Pay Writers
If you want to start earning from your writing, check out this list of magazines that pay for articles they publish.
VQR is a national journal of literature and discussion, which aims to find the best works and publish them, regardless of whether they are by award-winning or emerging writers.
They only consider work that has not been published before, and currently accept poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction.
2. The Sun Magazine
Pay: $100 to $2,000
Reader-suppoted The Sun Magazine accepts poetry, personal essays, and fiction, and particularly encourages writers of color to submit their work. They currently offer $100 to $250 for poetry, $300 to $2,000 for personal essays, and $300 to $2,000 for fiction.
3. One Story
This literary magazine features one story in every issue, which subscribers receive every 3 or 4 weeks. It seeks works of literary fiction between 3,000 and 8,000 words, and offers $500 plus 25 copies of the magazine for every published work.
Pay: Individually negotiated
The Canadian publication Outpost focuses on travel journalism, particularly long-form pieces, between 800 to 5,000 words, and is on the lookout for the best insiders’ tips on different places. You can pitch your story to the magazine, and have an individualized negotiation for the payment rate.
5. Dame Magazine
Dame Magazine is a magazine “for women who know better,” and is looking for writers with original and strong perspectives who can show deep insights on stories that have not gotten much attention, and a fresh look at topics that have been done so much before.
They are looking for essays related to the news, features, think and trend pieces, interviews, and first person essays.
6. Slice Magazine
Pay: $100 to $400
Slice Magazine focuses on literary works and accepts submissions for poetry, nonfiction, and short fiction, between 500 and 5,000 words. They offer $400 for essays and stories, $150 for pieces of flash fiction, and $100 for poetry.
(Their current submission page lists guidelines for 2019 and has not yet been updated for 2020.)
7. The American Scholar
Pay: $250 to $500
The American Scholar is a quarterly magazine that features poetry, essays, and fiction, covering topics like public affairs, science, literature, culture, and history.
Although it takes them a few months to respond, they do offer a high fee of $500 for pieces published in the hard copy magazine and $250 for pieces published on their website, theamericanscholar.org.
Pay: Starts at $500 to $1,500
As its name suggests, Longreads is looking for a long-form article, between 3,000 to 6,000 words. The good thing is that you can actually pitch an article idea for critical essays and columns before you write your article.
They pay $500 per personal essay, and the rate also starts at $500 for critical essays and column pieces. For features that call for original reporting, you also need to start with a pitch, and the rate starts at $1,500.
The NYC-based NationSwell aims to publish stories that compel their readers to take action. They look for human-centered pieces that focus on solving a specific social problem in America.
10. Five Points Magazine
You can submit your poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction to Five Points Magazine, a journal of literature and art. Check out the magazine to get a feel for the kind of material that they publish.
11. Plough Shares
Pay: $45 per printed page, minimum of $90 per title and maximum of $450 per author
If you want to submit to a magazine that focuses on high-quality, refined writings, Plough Shares may be for you. You can submit fiction and nonfiction up to 7,500 words, and poetry of up to 5 pages.
Note that their submission times are open for only part of the year. If you are not a subscriber, they charge online submissions a $3 service fee.
12. Conjunctions Magazine
Submit poetry, creative non-fiction, and long-form fiction of any lengths to Conjunctions Magazine. However, they only accept submissions by mail and not online. Most of the pieces they publish contain fewer than 8,000 words.
13. West Branch
Pay: $100 maximum payment for prose, $50 for poetry
Submit your poetry, non-fiction, translations, or creative fiction to West Branch, which publishes fiction, essays, poetry, and review three times a year. Just be sure to follow the instructions on their detailed page of submissions guidelines.
14. Christian Science Monitor
Independent international news organization Christian Science Monitor focuses on international news, books, people who make a difference, and the home front. Send a query to the editor before you write your piece.
15. Puritan Magazine
Pay: $200 for one month’s role as Editor in Residence
Dedicated to qualitative writing, Puritan Magazine welcomes submissions year-round, and is also looking for 6 Editors in Residence every year, with each Editor in Residence taking creative hold of the blog for one month. This includes writing 4 pieces and soliciting and publishing about 8 to 10 nonfiction articles based on the theme.
Pay: $100 to $400 for prose, $25 to $250 for poetry
Boulevard is open to submissions for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You may submit articles of up to 8,000 words, and poetry up to 200 lines, but be sure to familiarize yourself with the magazine before you try to send them anything.
Pay: $1,000 for stories and essays, $100 per poem.
The well-respected, highly-circulated Subtropics magazine publishes qualitative literary fiction, poetry, and essays. You may submit articles of about 500 words or novellas up to 15,000 words, at a submission charge of $3.
18. The Southern Review
The Southern Review focuses on works that have a distinct voice. You may send submissions for poetry, fiction, and essays, up to a maximum of 8,000 words through heir online submissions. Check back during their submissions periods to see the different genres they’re interested in.
Submitting Your Work to Magazines
Sending your work to magazines is a good way to earn some money from your writing. Remember to pay attention to different magazines’ submission guideline and requirements to increase your chances of getting chosen for publication.
Also check if the magazine requires you to send a query letter first, so that you don’t waste time writing an article that won’t be considered by the editors!
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Yen Cabag is the Blog Writer of TCK Publishing. She is also a homeschooling mom, family coach, and speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on classic literature and the masterpieces in art and music. She has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her passion is to see the next generation of children become lovers of reading and learning in the midst of short attention spans.