There are hundreds of magazines that pay for freelance submissions. Many of them pay $1/word or more. Imagine if you wrote 1,000 words in a day. That’s $1,000!
Magazine submissions can be one of the most lucrative ways to generate income as a freelance writer because of this. Blog posts and SEO content might net you $0.10/word if you’re great. But that’s chump change compared to what you’ll get from magazines that pay for articles.
And once you establish a relationship with editors, you can expect to be writing for them on a regular basis — which means consistent earnings.
I’ve put together this list of the best magazines for writers to save you hours searching for them yourself. Enjoy making the big bucks 🙂
Magazines that pay for short stories
Do you enjoy writing short stories? Because you can make some serious money from it, too.
It’s a tough industry to break into, but if you’re persistent, you can make a name for yourself and earn a great income. Here are some magazines looking for writers that specialize in fiction and short stories.
The New Yorker
According to Who Pays Writers, The New Yorker pays between $0.17 to $0.27/word. This is a really good rate and having this publication in your portfolio would make future clients drool.
You can send your short story submissions as PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They take up to 90 days to read their submissions and if they like your material, they will get in touch. If you don’t get a response within this time, it’s safe to presume that they didn’t accept it. But don’t worry, just pitch again and you’ll eventually get accepted.
You can also send your submission by mail to The New Yorker, 1 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. Check out their contact page for more information.
The Atlantic was founded in 1857 and has over 450,000 readers. That’s a huge audience to get your short stories in front of.
They are interested in accepting fiction and poetry, so send your submissions to email@example.com as a Word Doc or PDF. They generally pay between $100-200, depending on how long the piece is.
You can learn more about their submission guidelines here.
The Threepenny Review
This quarterly magazine mostly focuses on essays, memoirs, literature, and art. Short story submissions should be less than 4,000 words and you can read their full submissions guidelines here.
They pay $400 for short stories and $200 for poems, which are fantastic rates. Submissions should be in Doc or Docx format. If you want to send your work by mail, this is their mailing address:
- The Editors
- The Threepenny Review
- PO Box 9131
- Berkeley, CA 94709
One Story is a literary magazine that, as you could guess, publishes one story every month. They were launched in 2002 and are a not-for-profit publisher.
They have over 15,000 readers and pay $500 for accepted submissions. Since their launch, they have published over 200 writers. Read their submission guidelines for more information.
The Antioch Review
Founded in a small town in Ohio, The Antioch Review was launched back in 1941. They are one of the oldest and most continuous publishing magazines in the United States.
They publish fiction, essays, and poetry with a payment rate of $20/page. You will also be given two copies to marvel over your published work.
Read their writer’s guidelines here.
Askold Melnyczuk launched AGNI in 1972 at Antioch College. The magazine now delivers to over 10 countries and 38 different states. Over 100 cities and libraries also hold their publications. By writing for AGNI, you’re getting huge exposure.
You will be paid $10 per printed page, up to $150, along with a year’s subscription, 2 free copies and 4 gift copies. They accept short fiction, essays, and poetry. Many famous writers have appeared in AGNI, like Tom Sleigh and Jill McCorkle. Expect to give an awesome pitch to get accepted.
Here are the submission guidelines, form, and mailing address.
Barrelhouse is a not-for-profit literary publication that likes funny, interesting, and edgy material. They describe their readers as “oddballs who like to hang out in the corner.”
They launched back in 2004 with the idea of bridging the gap between high tastes and entertainment. Their print magazine pays $50 and you will be given two copies.
Barrelhouse doesn’t usually publish content beyond 8,000 words. Submit only a single piece at a time, except for poetry — which 5 pieces can be submitted at a time.
It can take up to 6 months for them to get back to you due to submissions and the nature of running a magazine, so pitch other publications in the meantime, too.
You can read their full submission guidelines here.
The Cincinnati Review
The Cincinnati Review publishes stories from all genres, so it’s a great publication to submit content to.
Fiction should be no longer than 40 pages with double spacing. You can also submit up to 5 poems, but they can’t exceed 10 manuscript pages.
Payment for short stories is $25 per double spaced page. That means if you submit a 40-page story, you will earn $1,000.
While they only currently accept online submissions, you can see their guidelines here.
The First Line
The First Line accepts both fiction and non-fiction with one goal: jump-start the imagination of writers and crush writer’s block.
And let’s be real. We all experience writer’s block from time to time! That’s why I wrote a guide on eight effective ways to overcome it.
Every issue of their magazine features stories that begin with the same line. This challenges your creativity and helps readers see how one intro can be turned into so many different tales.
Visit the submissions page to see what first line you must start with. It changes season to season. You will be compensated $25 to $50, along with a free copy of the magazine.
The Georgia Review
The Georgia Review is the University of Georgia’s journal of arts and letters and was launched in 1944. During the ’70s, the magazine had a brief period of being an academic journal, though it was short-lived.
It quickly moved onto what it is today. One of the greatest environments for literature, poems, stories, and essays. Authors like Robert Frost have even written for the publication.
They accept submissions online and through the mail — whichever you fancy.
Fiction should be submitted one story at a time with double spaced manuscripts. There is no minimum or maximum length, as previous stories ranged from one page to more than 60. Payment is $50 per page.
Magazines that pay for poetry
To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Okay, that was a bad joke. But if you’re looking for magazines that pay for poetry, you’re in luck. You can make some serious money from the following publications by submitting your work.
Boulevard started in New York City during 1984 and was later incorporated by the writer Richard Burgin. The magazine has published work from Alice Hoffman, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, and many other notable individuals.
They pay $300 per prose and $250 for poetry. You don’t require any previous credits to be published, as they are open to new writers and styles.
Here are their guidelines.
The Capilano Review
Are you a fellow Canuck? Because this magazine focuses on publishing work from Canadians 🙂
Poetry should not exceed 600 words and you will be paid $150 for your submission.
Contact them here and pitch your idea or completed poem.
PloughShares pays up to $250 for poetry and also accepts essays, journals, fiction, and non-fiction.
They are an award-winning publication that has been around since 1971. Headquartered out of Emerson College in Boston, PloughShares publishes 4 times per year.
They don’t accept submissions all year round, so if they are, make sure to take the opportunity or you might miss out!
Check out their guidelines here.
The Southern Review
Time magazine says that The Southern Review is “Superior to any other journal in the English language.”
You could have guessed that they were established in the south at Louisiana State University in 1935.
The publication promotes a wide range of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and other pieces. They pay $250 upon publication and look for a distinct voice and high-quality writing.
Read more about their guidelines, submission dates, and more here.
SubTropics is the literary journal of the University of Florida.
They are interested in publishing the best essays, poetry, and fiction available. The best part? They don’t mind if you’re a new writer or only have a small portfolio.
You will be paid $100 for poems upon publication. As of today, the submissions will close on October 31st, 2018, so hurry up!
The Sun Magazine
The Sun has provided powerful ad-free content for over 40 years as an independent magazine. They publish monthly issues that celebrate life and touches on complex topics.
They have over 70,000 subscribers, so you can expect your poetry to reach a huge audience. This can be a seriously impressive portfolio piece and you’ll make a fair amount of money — $100 to $250.
You can read more about their guidelines and see examples of what they expect to be submitted here.
Literature magazines that pay
Do you enjoy writing essays, fiction, and similar material? Because these magazines not only accept freelance writers but pay them very well, too.
The Colorado Review is the official journal of Colorado State University. They’ve won several awards, such as the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction.
Their goal has been to publish contemporary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction since 1992. They also have a bookstore, blog, and podcast you can tune in to.
Freelance writers are paid up to $200 for their submissions, and there’s no required word count — though 15 to 25 pages is preferred for essays and short stories.
They accept submissions from August 1st to April 30th, which gives you a nice window to pitch. You must include the following:
- A double spaced manuscript or single-spaced for poetry.
- Printed on white letter-sized paper if sent by mail.
- A cover letter with your full name, address, and other information you can find in their guidelines.
Grain Magazine is published by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and focuses on entertaining and informative literature.
Literary non-fiction, fiction, and poetry are all welcomed by freelance writers.
Fiction and non-fiction need to be between 500 and 3,500 words, and they pay a maximum of $250. The magazine publishes 4 times per year, so don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get published in a notable issue.
Make sure to read their guidelines on how to submit your work, format it correctly, and more to increase the chance of getting accepted.
550 authors, 40 issues, and 66 staff members. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that The Puritan is one most widely read literary publications to date.
The spring issue submissions are open between December 26th and March 25th. From March 26th to June 25th, you can submit for the summer issues.
Fall is between June 26th and September 26th, and winter issue submissions are from September 25th to December 25th.
The Puritan pays $100 for interviews, essays, and reviews. You can read their full guidelines here.
Spiritual magazines that pay for submissions
Do you love writing about topics related to faith, spirituality, and mindfulness? Because there are plenty of publications that are more than happy to pay you a premium for your work. This is a smaller niche, so there aren’t as many magazines, but it also means more earning potential.
The Lutheran Digest
The Lutheran Digest was established in 1953 out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
They publish a blend of theological and secular material with the main theme of hope.
Lutheran’s Digest has the goal of providing entertaining spiritual content for their readers and to help outsiders develop faith in the Lutheran-Christian faith.
If you know a thing or two about this area, they pay $35 per article and you can view their submission guidelines here.
How does $600-700 for an article sound? That’s what Wellbeing offers for published work.
They accept a wide variety of topics, including:
- Natural takes, solutions, and prevention of health issues like cancer.
- Ways to reconnect with our spirituality.
- Natural healing therapy.
- Esoteric teachings that we can use in modern life.
- Fitness and how it applies to our soul.
- Caring for animals.
- Nourishing recipes and food ideas.
- Ways to naturally improve beauty without harmful chemicals or products.
- Spiritual and adventurous
- Raising a family.
- First-account experiences of using natural approaches to curing illnesses and similar material.
They have a strict editorial guideline that you’ll need to become familiar with if you wish to get accepted.
Make sure to read my guide on how to write editorials with that being said.
Vibrant Life is a Christian magazine that shares health-related content to enrich the lives of its readers. You’ll receive between $100 and $300 for your contribution.
They strive to offer actionable and practical advice on dieting, mental health, exercise, and related topics.
Articles should be written in a friendly and conversational tone. Focus on answering questions and providing useful tips that readers can apply instantly to improve their lives.
Here are their guidelines and other information you need to review before submitting a piece.
Business magazines that pay writers
Do you own a business? Then your entrepreneurial skills might pay off a bit more. There are many business magazines that pay for submissions and allow you to reach a massive audience. Having any of the following magazines in your portfolio will be sure to impress future editors.
Alaska Business focuses on — you guessed it — business in Alaska. Government, finance, and energy are just a few of the regular topics. They reach over 100,000 people per month with their magazine, and 80% of their content is from freelancers.
The publication is mostly interested in very experienced writers, but never let that deter you from submitting. You never know what opportunities might present themselves.
Your query should be directed to their managing editor and at the time of this article, payment is not specified. I would presume that it’s based on the length and complexity like many other publications.
Atlanta Tribune is Atlanta’s #1 publication on wealth building, business news, economics, and more. Their goal is to empower their readers with information that will improve their lives socially, politically, and financially — keep that in mind when pitching.
The magazine’s target audience consists of business owners, executives, individuals interested in advancing their career, and tech lovers. They only want the latest and greatest ideas, so standards are high. Don’t pitch vanilla ideas because of this.
There’s no mention of payment terms on their guidelines page, but you can email the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This publication is all about digital marketing and making a living online.
You’ll be paid at the following rates if your content is published:
- $75 for every article from 400-600 words
- $125 for every article >600 words
- $150 for every article 600+ words
They also open and close their submission windows periodically. If it’s open, don’t miss out! Pitch an out-of-the-box idea to get in before the opportunity vanishes. On the flip side, tune in on occasion if it’s closed to be one of the first to pitch when it isn’t.
Douglas has been publishing the latest news and tips for Vancouver Island’s business leaders and innovators since 1998.
They pay a whopping $0.40/word, meaning you’re going to get an amazing clip and earn a ton of money. Think about it: if you wrote 2,000 words, that’s $800 waiting to jump into your bank account.
You should query the exact department you wish to submit to for ensuring the highest chance of acceptance. Their lead time is 10 weeks, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from them by the time you finish your coffee. It’s gonna take a lot more patience than that!
Douglas welcomes spec work, but they have strict rules for getting those already-completed pieces published. I would recommend pitching something fresh instead; that’s just my opinion.
Check out their guidelines for more details.
1859 Oregon covers business topics, among others, in regards to the state of Oregon. (Who would’ve thought?)
They pay a handsome $0.30 to $0.50/word for content that’s published in their Until Next Time section. Submissions should be approximately 700 words with high-resolution images.
They’re mostly interested in personal business experiences living life in Oregon. So, if you’re not from this state, you’re gonna have to skip them.
Read their submission guidelines here.
Bloom covers a wide variety of topics, including graphic design, finance, business, education, and health. If you’re an expert in other areas outside of business, you have an advantage over other writers.
Articles don’t need to be very long, either. They expect 350 to 450 words. But, they very seldom spec work. Always email them at email@example.com first with a solid pitch.
You can see their detailed guidelines to get a better idea of Bloom’s expectations of writers.
I’d also suggest that you read my previous article on how to cold email effectively.
Lifestyle magazines that pay for articles
Lifestyle magazines are a great way for freelance writers to break into journalism. They cover a huge range of topics and cater to many different demographics. These are some of the best lifestyle magazines to write for.
This magazine is all about living on coasts and shores. Everything from food to design and fashion applies — as long as it’s relevant to the coastline lifestyle.
You want to pitch very early. Coastal Living publishes 10 times per year but requires an 8 month lead time.
They’re only interested in email queries with fleshed-out ideas. No manuscripts.
The pay is unspecified at the moment, but I would presume it’s based on the length and complexity of the piece you write. Check out their full guidelines for more information.
Do you own a cottage? Ever rented one before? Having a fire, barbecue, and going canoeing with friends on a weekend at the cottage is a blast. Cottage Life is all about water-based cottages in Ontario, but they’re open to other parts of Canada, too.
The magazine covers how-to articles with a mix of trends, issues, and people. Features cover topics like boating, design, nature, personal experiences, and political issues relevant to cottagers. They expect these pieces to be from 1,000 to 1,800 words long.
Cottage Life’s Waterfront department showcases short news, humour pieces, and service items in the 250-word range. A major feature will go up to 3,000 words, and currently paid is not specified — but it is given when a manuscript is accepted.
Read more about their guidelines and process.
Country Magazine is all about the outdoors, wildlife, and enjoying what nature gives us. Their published stories run from 400 to 500 words long, and you’ll be paid $250 per page.
The submission guidelines are short and sweet, too. Give them a read to better understand what they’re looking for in freelance writers.
Experience Life is an award-winning health magazine that focuses on fitness, relationships, diet, and detoxing. If you are a health and fitness fanatic yourself, you’ll love writing for them.
With a circulation of 700,000 copies, writing for their publication is a serious portfolio piece and bragging right. Pay isn’t specified on their guidelines page, but they do expect 2,500 to 3,500 words. These are rich, detailed, and practical pieces of content that will improve the health of their readers.
If you’re interested in writing for health magazines, you’ll love my guide to fitness marketing, too.
Outdoor magazines that pay writers
I love camping, hiking, and being out in nature. Don’t you? Imagine being able to take that passion and make money from it. That can be a reality if you land a gig with one of these outdoor magazines.
Alternatives Journal is Canada’s national environmental magazine. Nature is an incredible gift, but only if we can enjoy it. If it’s in rough shape, we have to do something about it — which is what this magazine covers.
Topics range from social and political issues to sustainable solutions and inspiring news. The publication has been around since 1971, ever since it was founded at Trent University. While they moved to the University of Waterloo, AJ remains Canada’s environmental voice.
They accept 1,000 to 4,000-word feature articles and 500 to 1,200-word reports. You will be paid at a rate of $0.10/word for your published piece. You can read their contributor guidelines for more info.
Alpinist is dedicated to the thrill of climbing and alpinism. It captures the excitement of the culture and lifestyle surrounding the sport.
They have several sections you can write for, including:
- Alpinist Magazine: Celebrating the climbing culture, articles should focus on personal experiences, investigations into climbing, and documentary-style pieces. They pay $0.25/word for this category.
- The Climbing Life: A forum for readers to share essays, insights, and observations about climbing. These are written in an impartial third-person perspective. They are typically in the 250 to 500-word range, and you’ll be paid $0.25/word.
- Mountain profile: An overview of very specific peaks, massifs, and routes. These include photos, detailed information, and serve as guides for future climbers.
- Climbing Notes: This section covers factual accounts of climbs and expeditions. Photos are encouraged to give readers a perspective of what to expect if they venture there themselves.
- In Memoriam: Honoring the departed members of the community, you’ll be expected to write up to 1,000 words on their various climbs and background.
- Off Belay: This is where you’d be writing how-to guides, essays, and any other material that doesn’t.
Backcountry Magazine pays writers $0.35/word for accepted submissions in several different departments. As you could guess, the publication is all about snowboarding and skiing.
Articles can be about great locations to hit, how to develop your snowboarding or skiing skills, interesting news, and more.
Read their contributor guidelines for further details.
Food magazines that accept submissions
Who doesn’t like some good grub? Whether you’re a food connoisseur, chef, or someone that works in the industry, there’s plenty of opportunities to be making money as a food writer. Here are some food magazines that are looking for freelancers like yourself.
Once a month, Bon Apetit releases a new edition with 50% of the content being written by freelancers. The magazine is a classic in the food industry, touching on recipes, news, and personal pieces.
They have a very long lead time and request that you send material one year ahead of time. Word count is expected to be anywhere from 150 to 1,000 words. Your query should include an impressive resume and clips, as well.
Eating Well is a national magazine that teaches readers how to eat healthy without sacrificing great taste. They’ve circulated more than 850,000 copies that contain content on nutrition, history, social issues related to food, and more.
They love hearing ideas from new writers, and be patient — it can take about a month to hear back from their editors. The lead time is 3 to 6 months and they pay $1/word.
Read about what columns they have open, how to make a great pitch, and more in their guidelines.
Delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and interesting news about food. What more could you ask for?
CookingLight has a wide range of topics outside of food, including home, travel, and fitness, as well. These give you more room to pitch ideas, but be warned — it’s a very tough publication to break into.
Animal magazines accepting submissions
Are you an animal lover and a freelance writer? You should consider pitching some of these wildlife magazines if so. They can pay very well, you’ll enjoy what you’re writing about, and you get an awesome portfolio piece.
Reef to Rainforest Media
Reef to Rainforest Media has only launched 9 years ago but is an award-winning publisher. Their audience consists of aquarists and underwater naturalists. More than 100 countries read their Coral and Amazonas magazines.
You can pitch article submissions for these magazines, and they recommend reading them first to get an idea of what they like. You can also read their editorial guidelines, and payment is typically between $100 to $600.
They also accept blog post submissions, which pay $25. These range from 250 to 1,000 words long and need to include at least one image.
Snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, you name it — Reptiles Magazine writes about it. While they’re amphibians, I had a lot of frogs growing up and thought this would be an awesome publication to mention 🙂
Their magazine caters to beginner and expert reptile hobbyists. Think pet owners to breeders and animal professionals.
They only accept new submissions that have not been published elsewhere. You can send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org and they have a quick response time of a few weeks.
Currently, they are most interested in the following topics:
- Pet reptile husbandry: This is a bulk of what they publish. These articles cover enclosures, setups, food, lighting, heating, and other information on how to safely keep a reptile pet.
- Breeding in captivity: Content that covers how to breed reptiles or amphibians. Think courtship, nesting behaviour, egg-laying, incubation, and related ideas.
- Field travel: Your experience travelling to find reptiles in the wild and high-resolution photos are a must.
- Conservation: News on conversation efforts being made to preserve reptile life.
- Health: Reserved for veterinarians who want to contribute content on treating reptiles and amphibians.
Payment is $350 for articles without images and $500 for ones with photos.
Deer & Deer Hunting
I can’t say that I agree with it, but who am I to judge? DDH was founded by two whitetail deer hunters from the upper midwest, Jack Brauer and Al Hofacker.
Each issue presents content on personal reports of extraordinary hunting, tips, techniques, and reports. If you know a thing or two about this niche, you can get paid up to $600.
Design magazines that pay writers
Design is a wide industry that’s always looking for freelance writers. Many of them pay top dollar for great submissions, too. Here are a few design publications to pitch in your free time.
FineWoodworking publishes bi-monthly content on, as you could guess, woodworking. They tend to hobbyists and professionals, teaching readers practical things to improve their craft.
They are interested in hearing new ideas on tools, preparation, and finishing techniques. Editors also love articles on the construction of furniture in any phase of its design.
You’ll be paid $150 per published page and FineWoodworking even reimburses you for most costs you put into producing the article. This includes materials used and shipping charges.
Their author guidelines cover more information on preparing manuscripts and queries.
Luxe has been covering the design industry for over 10 years and has an impressive team of 75 editors. They have a readership of over 1.5 million, diving into design, architectural, and home topics.
You can pitch them for their various categories:
- Home tours: Do you have an amazing home that would wow any critic? Then this is for you. Your pitch should include the project, team members, square footage, location, and more details.
Check out their submissions page here.
Dedicated to the beauty of Vancouver, Boulevard celebrates the city’s people, architecture, and design. While I couldn’t find their exact editorial guidelines or submission information, they do mention article ideas on their contact form.
Thanks for reading
As always, thanks for tuning into another article of mine. I hope it leads you to land great portfolio pieces and earning some nice moola!
I’ll be expanding upon this list over time to add more online magazines looking for writers. Feel free to message me on social media or email me if you think certain ones should be added.