Six Paying Magazine Markets for Short ArticlesPosted: February 23, 2008
Short articles not only take less time to research and write than full-length articles, they also can help you break into new magazine markets. Many editors say that writers have the best chance of selling to their publications by submitting short pieces.
All of the following are paying publications. Some pay moderate rates, others are low-paying. If you need your first bylines, one of these magazines might fill that need.
Boat owners, builders and designers read the bi-monthly Wooden Boat magazine. The publication focuses on the “design, building, care, preservation and use of wooden boats, both commercial and pleasure, old and new, sail and power.”
The “Currents” column might be a good starting point here. The columns features short articles covering everything from straight news to news about museums, magazines, books, organizations, events, maritime preservation and politics, interesting products, tools and people.
Payment is on publication. You might even send a query for a longer piece. Short items pay $5-$25 and longer features bring $200 to $250. Click here for guidelines and specifics about what the magazine is looking for.
Lake Superior Magazine
This regional magazine with national distribution covers people, places and events in the Lake Superior region. Editors are interested in articles on specific topics like nature and wilderness living, and short articles and photos about boats, ships or watercraft of note and their crews, plus short pieces about individuals who work and play in the region and articles about homes and lifestyles. See complete guidelines here.
Short articles averaging 900 to 1,400 words usually pay from $65 to $125. Features run from 1,600 to 2,200 words and pay up to $600, according to length, importance of the story and writer’s experience. Payment is on publication.
Editors prefer completed manuscripts, although short queries naming possible sources are considered. Do not fax queries or unsolicited manuscripts and do not call. The publication buys First North American Serial Rights and electronic rights, and possibly second serial rights for reprints in its special publications.
Frequent travelers, both business and leisure, read Continental, the in-flight magazine of Continental Airlines. Business stories and shorter items are the best way for freelancers to break into this market.
Among the sections open for freelancers are “Go Explore,” a 400-word main story, and other items of 125-150 words on a unique and timeless place to visit — somewhere off the beaten path; “Art on the Road,” a 250 word art or architecture story on a destination or an art or architectural project worth seeing; “Go Eat,” a 350-word article about a chef and his or her restaurant in a city listed on the editorial calendar and “Go Home,” 350 words about a topic relevant to the home. Check the 2008 Editorial Guidelines for more areas open to freelancers.
Freelancers write most of the articles in Dog Fancy. Don’t send the magazine any tributes to dogs who have died or stories about beloved family pets. Do offer thoroughly researched articles about health, nutrition, care, grooming and training. Editors want roughly 850 to 1,200 words, accompanied by high-quality slides or photos, if possible. Dog Fancy pays on publication. Payment varies with the quality and length of the article and number and quality of photos the author supplies. Complete guidelines are here.
Cats and Kittens Magazine
(Notice: Please see the follow-up post on this market)
Freelancers also might consider submitting to Cats and Kittens Magazine. The magazine and its sister publications, Bird Times and Dog & Kennel, want human interest stories, columns dealing with training and other informative, authoritative and educational articles about the species and their care.
The pay is low, 10 cents a word on the final edited published word count, payable on publication. Short articles run 500 to 1,000 words, features run 1,200 to 2,000 words. Go here for complete guidelines.
Finally, Sierra Magazine has four departments that are open to short freelance submissions. Sierra notes that its readers are environmentally concerned and politically diverse and that most are active outdoors. Editors are looking for writing that will provoke, entertain and enlighten that readership.
For “The Green Life,” they welcome ideas that incorporate lists, factoids, photos, how-tos, recipes, quotes, statistics, tips and other quick-hit presentations.” Generally these run 50 to 200 words, with payment depending on length and complexity.
“Good Going” in about 300 words describes a superlative place, including fascinating natural and cultural facts.
“Lay of the Land” focuses on environmental issues of national or international concern — tightly focused, provocative, well-researched investigations of environmental issues. These run 500 to 700 words, with payment varying according to length.
“One Small Step” features first-person accounts of ordinary folks doing extraordinary things. The magazine publishes a 100-to-150-word quotation from an interview that explains the person’s actions, motivations, and impact. For more information, read the magazine’s guidelines.
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© 2008 by Laverne Daley