I've been a freelance writer for over 20 years. I enjoy writing about anything from non-fiction self-help to fiction thrillers and mysteries
Tired of Working for Pennies?
Finding freelance writing jobs that pay more than pennies can often be a challenge. It seems as if most publishers feel that freelance writers don’t deserve more than a penny per word. At that rate, a 500-word article will pay $5. Even if you are a fast writer you would need to write four of those articles per hour just to make a decent wage. Those earnings do not include any time spent on research. Research always comes out of the writer's pocket and can often take more time than writing the piece.
But It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
There are plenty of good publishers who love their freelance writers and aren't afraid to show it. Namely, magazine publishers. Many magazine publishers, both online and offline, take freelance writers seriously and they pay serious wages. Some as much as $100 or more per article. Some even pay $1 or more per word. A freelance writer can generate a decent annual income on a dozen or more articles when writing for magazines that pay decent wages.
I've Been All Around
As a freelance writer for 20+ years, I have been all around the Internet searching for real, legitimate, good-paying writing jobs. I've taken low-paying jobs (my first paid writing job was a weekly newspaper column for $10 per week) and I've had high-paying magazine article jobs. I prefer the better wages. After all, writing is a job and it’s hard work. I deserve to be paid a fair amount of money. Right?
So Where Can You Find Those High-Paying Jobs?
Everywhere there are magazines. Magazine publishers pay some of the highest wages to freelance writers. Here are 20 of the best places for freelance writers:
1. Cosmopolitan Magazine
Per their guidelines,“Send us an essay of no more than 800 words about a memorable, crazy, hilarious, or touching college experience. Stories about friends, class, dating, partying, studying, working, interning — anything that happened to you or around you in college is fair game. (Or: Tell us why you didn't go to college, why college is bullshit, what you're doing instead... )
If we publish your essay on Cosmopolitan.com, we'll pay you $100 — and hit you up for future assignments.”
2. A Fine Parent
A Fine Parent is an online community for parents who believe that Great Parents are Made, Not Born.” Pay is $100 per article.
3. Reader’s Digest
They will pay writers $100 for a 100 word personal, true story. Everyone has a story, right?
4. Carve Magazine
They seek good honest fiction and pay contributors $100. There is a $3 submit fee.
Their website states, “Boulevard strives to publish only the finest in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. While we frequently writers with previous credits, we are very interested in less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise. If you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send it to Boulevard.” They pay $100–$300 for prose and a minimum $25 for poetry with a max of $250. Submissions are accepted September 1 through May 1.
A science fiction and fantasy magazine, they accept submissions of 1000–16,000 words at a pay rate of $0.08–$0.10 per word.
7. Chicken Soup for the Soul
They look for inspirational stories about "ordinary people who have extraordinary experiences". They pay $200 for a 1200 word article.
8. Cicada Magazine
A young adult magazine, they accept submissions from teen writers and adults. They pay up to $0.25 per word with a max word count of 9000.
9. Power for Living
A weekly publication for adult Christians, Power for Living accepts submissions for feature articles on a variety of topics that are inspirational and “show the power of Christ at work.” Pay is $125–$375.
10. Big Grey Horse
If you live in Texas, Big Grey Horse accepts submissions on almost anything Texas. They pay $125-$200 per article.
11. Puritan Magazine
They are an “online, quarterly publication based in Toronto, Ontario, committed to publishing the best in new fiction, poetry, interviews, essays, and reviews.” Pay is $100 each for essays, interviews, or reviews. $50 for fiction work and $15–$60 for poems.
12. The Upper Room
Pays $25 for a 250-word Christian meditation.
13. Bitch Media
Per their website, “We're always looking pitches that speak to feminist responses to pop culture. Our definition of pop culture is broad, encompassing cultural attitudes and myths, phenomena of the popular imagination, and social trends as well as movies, TV, magazines, books, advertising, and the like. We are looking for discussion-provoking critical essays that are well researched with evidence to back up claims, timely statistics, and connections between one's personal experience and larger social forces. Interviews with feminist culture-makers are welcome, as are book, film, and music reviews and nuanced analyses of particularly horrifying and/or inspiring examples of pop culture.” Payment is $40 - $200, depending on the magazine section you’re writing for.
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14. Sports Spectrum
They look for Christian freelance writers who have a sports background. They pay 21 cents per word.
15. Wow! Women
Women on Writing offers their readers the chance to publish their work and also gives tips on writing. Well worth looking into. They pay anywhere between $50–$150, depending on the article type.
16. Scary Mommy
An online parenting website for imperfect parents. They pay around $100 per piece.
17. The Sun Magazine
If you’re an expert on an interesting topic, The Sun Magazine accepts written pieces from their readers. Payments are anywhere from $100 to $2500, depending on the piece.
The magazine is dedicated to people over the age of 50. They accept articles about a variety of topics that are thoughtful and timely. They pay $1 per word.
Accepts submissions about pregnancy, mom, baby, body and mind, and relationships. Although the website doesn’t disclose payment amounts, sources say they pay $150 for a 1200-word article.
20. Transitions Abroad
They are looking for submissions about working, living, traveling, studying, and volunteering abroad. They pay up to $150 per article.
There Are More
This list of 20 is just a small slice of the pie. There are many more magazines and websites that pay writers good wages for producing quality articles. A simple Google search can help you find more.
How Do I Submit to These Magazines?
Simply use Google to search these magazines. Just enter the name of the magazine along with the words "Submission Guidelines" or "Writing Guidelines." Be sure to read and adhere to each publisher's guidelines exactly so that you have a better chance of being published and getting paid.
The Dreaded Query Letter
If the guidelines indicate that a query letter is needed and you're not sure how to write one, there are plenty of places that will teach you how. Here are a few websites that can help you draft a convincing query letter:
- Writer's Digest: A great site for writers. If you don't already have this site bookmarked I highly recommend it. They have a vast amount of information for writers. Go to their Articles section and search the term "query letter."
- FreelanceWriting.com: Offers free sample query letters specifically for magazines.
- Make A Living Writing: A wonderful website that gives a ton of information for freelance writers. They have a great piece about sending query letters.
Freelance Writing Can Be a Wonderful, Lucrative Career
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of places for freelance writers to submit their work. Writing can be both fun and financially rewarding. The key is versatility. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Submit to several magazines at once and, most of all, write each and every day.
After finding a magazine that's of interest, be sure to read a few of their current issues so that you know exactly what types of articles they publish. If you're not familiar with the magazine, they will know it. Show them that you know their magazine, their style, and what their readers will enjoy.
If you're stuck for ideas, there are plenty of helpful sites for that too. Again, use Google to help. Happy writing!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2015 Michelle Bentley
Do You Have a Best Place to Submit Your Writing? Please Share!
Fariha un Nisa on July 22, 2020:
Mam i want to be a freelance writer. can you help me regarding this one how i submit my articles or blogs?
Imran khan from Mumbai on May 04, 2019:
That's comprehensive. Lovely article.
If I may ask, is any person from any country eligible for these websites?
Emanuel on March 11, 2019:
The list is so nice especially for those who want to start the freelance writing.I am impressed by your post and thank you so much,,
Will share this article..
Michelle Bentley (author) from Niagara Falls, New York on December 14, 2018:
Hi Okon Etim!
That's great that you want to become a freelance writer. This list is just a few places where you can get started as a freelance writer. If you need more help, I have a book, How to Become a Freelance Writer - The Newbie Guide to Freelance Writing, that is currently only 99 cents on Amazon. The book will take you from start to finish on becoming a writer and I think it will help you a lot. Good Luck!
OKON ETIM on December 13, 2018:
I am a pastor and I want to be a freelance writer.
AliRein on April 19, 2018:
These are great ideas! I'm always looking for more places to write for. I think Ultius(https://ults.co/writerapply) is always hiring, they treat me pretty well. I've found a lot of jobs on freelancer.com too.
Janisa from Earth on April 02, 2018:
Thanks for compiling a nice list of sites to try out. I also heard that listverse pays 100 per top 10 list, but I haven't tried it yet, so I'm not sure how hard it is
Rita on October 08, 2017:
Awesome! Thank you very much for this information
liam on July 24, 2017:
really nice informative article with a great overview of how to pursue this "career".
I appreciate the list of titles - most of them are familiar and many seem like they are great candidates for submitting work. It's refreshing to realize that there are still people who read print journals and these places are actually looking for writers that are fairly compensated for their work.
I'll bookmark this article and use it as a reference.
Janellegems on November 27, 2016:
I am looking for ways to make extra income. This is good information to know that is vital for all writers. Thank you.
Amy Bachrach on September 06, 2016:
Scary Mommy is no longer paying for submissions effective August 2016, according to their website. Drag...
Loralie Lyndon from USA on December 10, 2015:
Very useful advice for new writers! Thank you :)
Mantee on December 01, 2015:
Hope this article helps me find a way through
Janet on October 25, 2015:
Thanks for all these sources, and for the articles you have here. You are a good person and resource!
Missy Smith from Florida on September 13, 2015:
It is very hard to find legitimate freelance writing jobs. I have tried for a while now, getting paid in pennies. lol...
Your article was very interesting and will be helpful in finding better jobs. Thanks. :)
Anne Harrison from Australia on August 30, 2015:
Thank you so much for this list - bookmarked for future reference as I work my way through it
Michelle Bentley (author) from Niagara Falls, New York on August 30, 2015:
Thanks PegCole17! You're very welcome. Hope the article helps!
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 29, 2015:
These look like great, legitimate places where we can submit our written articles. Thank you for the ideas and tips.
Vagabond Laborer on August 29, 2015:
Thanks for the article, Michelle. I will check it out.