Get Paid to Write Articles: 10 Magazines That Pay $500 or More

Get Paid to Write Articles: 10 Magazines That Pay $500 or More

As a freelance writer, it can be a struggle to find high-quality paying work.

It often seems like the only options available are $5-per-article scams and work from content mills, which can seem like good opportunities — until you check your bank account balance and realize it’ll take ages before your hard work adds up into real earnings.

While finding quality paying work is difficult, it isn’t impossible. In fact, there are lots of publications that will pay you a premium to write for them.

It isn’t necessarily easy to get into these publications, and it may take time and experience to build up your writing to a level that will help you get paid these rates. But you can take solace in the fact that writing work exists beyond content mills and low paying gigs.

While there are probably tens of thousands of magazines that pay writers, a much smaller number compensate writers really well.

Here are 10 magazines that will pay $500 or more for an article. Click on the title of each magazine for additional submission information!

1. Early American Life

History buffs, take heed. This print mag focusing on early American style, decorating, and traditions publishes seven times yearly, and welcomes the fresh voices of new writers.

You can submit both shorter stories and features, which run about 2,500 words. The editors estimate a $500 payment for “a first feature from a new writer,” with the opportunity for higher earnings as your skills develop.

2. Catholic Digest

Lifestyle magazine Catholic Digest wants writers with a positive and encouraging voice who write from experience.

Their features are approximately 1,500 words and cover marriage, parenting, spirituality, and relationships, along with parish and work life. The magazine pays $500 for features, upon publication.

3. Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal wants “compelling and distinctive stories that anticipate environmental concerns before they become pressing problems.” It covers a wide variety of environmental issues including wildlife and land conservation, environmental public policy, climate and energy, animal rights, and environmental justice.

If you’re an international traveler, it’s a great opportunity: Earth Island is especially hungry for “On-the-ground reports from outside North America.” The magazine pays 25 cents per word for its print stories, which equates to about $750-$1,000 for in-depth features (about 4,000 words).

You can also pitch a shorter online report, especially if you’re a newer writer. While they only pay between $50-$100 apiece, the journal publishes five times daily and is “always looking for fresh ideas.”

4. VQR

VQR is a journal of literature and discussion with a focus on publishing the best writing they can find.

For poetry, it pays $200 per poem (up to four). If they accept a group of five or more poems, you’ll earn $1,000. Prose pays around 25 cents per word. Book reviews earn $500 for 2,000-2,400 words. VQR has limited reading periods, so check the schedule online before you submit.

5. AMC Outdoors Magazine

AMC Outdoors magazine covers outdoor recreation, education, and conservation topics throughout the Northern Appalachian region, which includes states from Maine to Virginia.

It pays about $750 for features, which usually range from 2,000 to 2,500 words. “We are always on the lookout for stories that have a unique hook, showcase an outdoor sport in a new and exciting way, offer a tangible sense of place and meaning, or profile individuals with unique approaches to conservation in the Northeast,” senior editor Marc Chalufour notes on AMC Outdoor’s submissions page.

You can also pitch a shorter story for one of its departments, which pay $150 to $350 based on the length and complexity of the work.

get paid to write

6. The Sun Magazine

The Sun Magazine is looking for essays, interviews, fiction and poetry. They prefer personal writing but they also accept pieces about political and cultural issues.

The Sun pays $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for fiction, $and 100 to $200 for poetry. If your work’s accepted, you’ll also get a complimentary one-year subscription.

7. Boys’ Life

This general-interest monthly magazine has been published by the Boy Scouts of America since 1911, and pays its writers between $500-$1,500 for nonfiction articles of as many words.

As far as what to write about, there aren’t too many limits. “We cover everything from professional sports to American history to how to pack a canoe,” read the submission guidelines. Most of all, it should be entertaining to the scouts it’s aimed at.

“Write for a boy you know who is 12,” the editors suggest.

8. The American Gardener

The American Gardener is the official publication of the American Horticultural Society, and it caters to “experienced amateur gardeners.”

It seeks writers for horticulturalist profiles, and articles about innovative approaches to garden design, plant conservation, horticultural therapy, and biodiversity, among others.

It pays $300 – $600 for feature articles, which usually run 1,500 to 2,500 words. The magazine sometimes offers travel and expense reimbursement.

9. One Story

One Story is a literary magazine that features one story per issue, and it is mailed to subscribers every 3 – 4 weeks.

One Story looks for literary fiction in the range of 3,000 – 8,000 words, and stories can be on any subject “as long as they are good.” It offers $500 and 25 copies of the magazine for every accepted contribution, but submissions are only accepted between September and May.

10. Glimmer Train Stories

Glimmer Train seeks original short stories for this thrice-yearly publication. Payment can be as high as $3,000 for first-place contest winners (whose submissions carry hefty reading fees around $20), but the “standard” category for stories under 12,000 words pays $700. You’ll only need to submit a $2 processing fee, but the editors ask that you let them know if it’s a hardship: “No one should be prevented from submitting their work for lack of funds.”

Submissions for standard pieces are open in May and November. The magazine owns first-publication rights for every piece they accept. Glimmer Train does not accept poetry, children’s stories or novels.

Have you written for magazines that pay similar rates? Tell us about them in the comments!

This post originally ran in September 2015. We updated it in May 2017.

James Chartrand

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171 comments

  • Jon Gibbs says:

    Thanks for sharing, Bamidele 🙂

  • I was only familiar with a couple of these publications. Thank you so much for sharing these.

  • Thanks for sharing,Bamidele.

  • Susan says:

    Exciting list. Thanks for sharing. Do these magazines except international (world wide) submissions?

    • Martha says:

      Susan, my dear:

      To be successful as a writer, may I suggest you might want to learn the difference between accept and except….or work on your proofreading a bit? Course…and this may be relevant only if you’re a resident of the U.S…., given the inadequate K-6 and K-12 education most Americans have received since around 1966 and the prevalence of errors I’m seeing in today’s writing, both on and off the Internet, I’m guessing I’m one of the few who will both notice and care.

      To that end, I’m wondering….would you and your colleagues be interested in learning the skill that’s responsible for the superior quality of my writing? It’s a learning method that’s so effective that it’s absence from the K-12 curriculum has resulted in less-than-stellar writing ability among American high school and college graduates. Though today’s writers have much to say that’s worthwhile, their ability to form, and properly punctuate, well-constructed, complex sentences lacks finesse. Just a thought…

      • Tami says:

        Martha,
        I’m glad you think so very highly of yourself. Shall we discuss your run-on sentences and improper comma usage? I sure hope you didn’t hurt yourself when you got off your high horse.

        • ddl says:

          Tami, I understand that you feel diminished by Martha’s response to Susan; however, her sentences are not run-on and her comma use is perfect (although she has one grammatical error). Both you and Susan should heed her advice. She’s absolutely correct–there has been an issue with English education since the 1960s, and, if many people learn the rules of written English, the US would have not only the best writers but the best work force in the world. My recommendation is Comp-Lab Exercises, a comprehensive and effective self-teaching system. It’s pricy but worth it.

          • Tami says:

            ddl, with all due respect, Martha’s writing was poorly executed. “Course…and this may be” Can you please inform me as to when this would be an appropriate start to a sentence? Perhaps the course you took can enlighten us. Further, her writing did not diminish me; I felt it was absolutely unnecessary to write such a response to someone that was asking about global submissions. Obviously, the OP was not from the US or the question would have been redundant.

            Finally, I am quite proud to be a Canadian writer that has been fortunate enough to be in high demand.

            Have an absolutely wonderful evening!

          • Cate (NZ) says:

            Tami, I am in agreement with you here. Regardless of grammar use- this or that- writing needs to be a balance of idea and so-called ‘execution’. If it isn’t ‘perfect’ but a widespread audience can identify and relate to the message and ideas portrayed, what is a run-on sentence or two. I can’t believe how snobby the person above has come across as. You tell ’em, girrrrl! (And yes- yadiya, I am most likely incorrect in my grammar use blah blah blah…) Oh- and to DDl and Martha? I have a dyslexic friend who has learned to write extremely well, and with modern-day grammar-checking software has several articles published. Over and out. (Cate, from New Zealand- bottom of the world and greatly inferior to the US of A ;p) x

          • Cindi says:

            OK, going to let you know right now, if you don’t find a mistake in my answer, then I’ve died and gone to Heaven. I am one of the people that lived back in the 60’s, and yes my English is horrible and spelling is even worse. Thank God for spell check, and Grammerly. I write my own stories. My 40 gallon tote is full of stories in notebooks and synopses for new ones. Story idea’s on envelopes and napkins and no one will ever see them for this very reason. Fear of the grammar police and editors. Yes it could be changed, I could go back to school. But then there’s that money thing….my whole life has been the money, the almighty dollar and the lack the of !

          • Michelle says:

            DDL and Martha,
            You say there has been a decline in the schools teaching proper English since the 60’s, however did you ever stop to think that it is not a decline but an evolution? We doth not speak as Shakespeare, because we evolved past the Elizabethan era of grammar and mechanics of writing. We are now going through another evolution which can be seen by newer publications that will publish, what you would deem to be, deplorable example of English writing. As a mother of four kids that are going through school with the new “common core” method, I have realized that with the decrease in face to face and increase with technology use, the way things used to be done are changing. English is now about writing how you would speak, if you would pause in the middle of a sentence, add a comma. I do not necessarily agree with the new method, but I do however understand where they are coming from in wanting to add more personality to writing as voice to voice contact is less and less. I do implore you to do some research about what is happening in the field you both have so much passion for and not sling insults at people as all that does is belittle your words as hateful and mean instead of being beautiful and powerful.

        • Holly French says:

          Perfect! I could not have said it better myself.

          • Athea Marcos Amir says:

            This is for Cindi, under whose name on my page there is no word “Reply.”

            You need not
            respond to this, which is only meant to be helpful. The plural of the noun “Idea” is
            “Ideas,” not “Idea’s.”
            You say your grammar is “horrible,” but I don’t find it to be. I would guess that you already know what I just remarked upon. The problem, as I see it, is that so few people nowadays proofread their own words. I admit to being OCD about this; in my English classes you were humiliated for a small writing error and I’ve incorporated that into my psyche. Although most people understand the difference between there, they’re, and their, or you’re and your, their carelessness guarantees they’ll get these words confused in their writing.

            Although I despair when I read spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors, I console myself with the mantra that the writers will never be published in The New Yorker!

        • mumtaaz says:

          youre right!
          At first i thought she was being sarcastic

        • I totally agree with Tami. A language serves its best as long as the listener or the reader understands what is conversed or is thought to be conversed. English is just a language, let’s keep it that way, it is just a medium to converse. and by the way, do you really think that if everybody’s perfect with grammar and has a great English language command they’d still read your articles? please! they’d rather start writing for themselves. Also do not forget to remember, that no matter how good you’re with a language, if your reader isn’t getting it, you remain helpless.

        • Teraisa says:

          Thank you.

        • Kim says:

          Tami that’s the perfect reply! Brilliant! I’m sitting here laughing to myself *insert high 5 here*

        • Denise Morrison says:

          And the difference between it’s and its.

      • BobbyO says:

        Martha,

        The possessive form of “it” is “its”, without an apostrophe. If you plan to school someone else on writing, try to avoid the most common error in written English.

        You’re welcome.

        • Sandi says:

          It sounds like Martha is trying to drum up some business for a writing product or course. She might have gone about it in a more attractive way. She had to know everyone reading her comment would be examining her writing very closely, hoping for an error, and looks BobbyO has found one. I do agree there’s some shoddy writing out there, but that’s another story for another Forum.

          • Josh says:

            I’m in complete agreeance that Martha was a little bit rude. Who honestly gives a shit about one or two errors, especially when grammar and punctuation had nothing to do with the original question. Oh well, there’s writers, and there’s editors. I guess we at least know who is who.

        • Holly French says:

          Another perfect response! Love it!

      • Laurie says:

        Martha, I agree with error-free writing and the prevalence of too many errors in writing today. But surely you don’t believe that approach will bring you business.

      • Susan says:

        Good day Martha

        Thank you. I belief every good writer has to be able to accept an give constructive criticism, therefore we keep learning. Except, I feel your response was a little harsh. I obviously did not give proper attention. I have a proposal if I may. Please write an informational article and share some of your skills as you feel you are superior in writing and I am sure all of us can benefit from that knowledge.

        Regards,
        Susan

        • Shery says:

          A good secretary can take care of grammar and punctuation errors, but it is much more difficult to create good writing. The mechanics and the art of writing are two very different things.

          • Anthony says:

            I read through most of this conversation, and I absolutely have to agree with you, Shery. The best writers in history, as most of you must know, constantly broke the norms of writing- not in the manner that they created their own rules, but use artistic license to stylize existing ideas in an attempt to convey and express new meaning.

            I used to worry so much about making sure everything was perfect in my writing before moving on- but why? If you’re comfortable in your ability to write, there is no need to constantly rewrite, that takes the creative elements of out of it. Have someone correct your writing that knows your writing style. Many of the times I had my writing proofread, they ended up changing the initial meanings and expression I intended to convey, again, taking away the creative elements, making it something more generic, which of course nobody likes to read.

            Grammar needs to be perfect, yes, but punctuation has a degree of leniency; repetition makes it clearer to see where you can or can’t change things around.

            Don’t forget that Literary Writing IS art, which comes from the creative, the individual, the introspective side of it all- which is what most of these magazines look for; essays, research papers, theses, etc. follow much stricter guidelines.

          • Cindi says:

            Thank you, that very statement has held me back for 40years.

          • Michael Picray (published author and writer) says:

            For the grammar and spelling quislings, you should know that nothing will throw me out of a story or interrupt the flow of a person attempting to make a point on any subject than improper spelling and grammar. I’m sorry but there is no faster way to break the connection between an intelligent and educated reader and writer than poor grammar and bad spelling, especially since there is absolutely no excuse for it. There are innumerable books from which you can learn to do better. If you don’t want to expend the effort to do so, don’t expect me to spend the effort and the money to read your drivel.

            Everyone makes errors. But a professional works very hard to minimize those, especially in a forum like this that has an automatic spell check program included right in the forum. IE – NO EXCUSE!!!

        • STEPHEN says:

          Hi Bamidele Onibalusi, am a writer and am seeking the channels of publishing my scripts.

          Kindly looking forward to hear from you for your help.

          Regards
          Stephen

      • Susan says:

        Just as an after thought. When a writer receives a new job, it is very important to understand what is required and execute accordingly. When you get distracted, that means you are missing the point of the article. How can you do a proper job if you are missing the crux of the matter. That is what I believe happened with my question and your answer, though I will take it as constructive criticism.

      • CARMAN says:

        I would think that not having the correct grammar and punctuation could keep you from getting published as a writer. Come on people do yourself a service and proof read before sending in your article. It then might get published faster. Don’t let the secretary do it. She might not correct it properly. Then where would you be. Out of luck, right?

      • Landry Mayo says:

        martha,

        U mus b fun at partyz. hopefuly this reply irritat3s u as much as you’res irritates any p3rson with regard 4 oth3rs. 🙂 have a wonderful day

      • Chase F. says:

        Martha, you genius. You finally figured out the way to promote proper grammar and writing within the US education system! Troll the webs for erroneous comment mistakes and verbally stake your victims to the ground with your superior use of the English language! Brilliant! You are really making a difference in this world. Here’s your medal for ‘douchiest comment on this thread’ award. Congratulations.

      • Jane Elizabeth Malcolm says:

        Martha, my friend. My children call me a grammar Nazi, and any misused word jerks me right out of that willing suspension of disbelief. I’ve written books and gotten paid for them. NOW–about EXCEPT. If the woman sent the message from a smart phone, we must all recognize that if the damn robospeller likes ‘except’ better than ‘accept’, ‘except’ is what’s gonna show up in the text. That might be what happened. Happens to me all the time and I HATE the robospeller! (Once a copy editor’s assistant, who knew my habits, went through a ms I’d sent on a cd and with the change function on her computer changed every ‘like’ in the ms to ‘as if’. Without looking at each ‘like’ to see whether the swap was appropriate. That made one sentence read “Disaster whirled around them as if a blinding wind.” Or something like that. Awful. Things happen that one can’t control.
        BTW, youse guys–usage ought to be correct in narrative, but the dialogue absolutely cannot be perfect. The characters don’t sound like real people. They sound AS IF manufactured twits. NOBODY speaks in perfect English. Even me. (See? What’d I tell you?)

        Happy writing, folks. And try not to be so hard on each other. Mistakes and ignorance aren’t the same thing. And even ignorance is forgivable. I look forward to hearing from you.

        Jane Elizabeth Malcolm

        • Mike Sullivan says:

          Low paying gigs & content mills are to be avoided like a violent storm blowing in off the Pacific Ocean.

          As the renowned British writer Samuel Johnson once stated, “Only a fool writes for no money.” I always remember that whenever I’m ready to submit my work. Writing is hard work. As writers we must remember this and command top dollar for the time and effort put into the art of creation on any level, whether it be essay, short story, or novella.

      • SK says:

        Everyone is so triggered. “Martha” is trying to get a rise out of everyone, which is exactly what you’re giving her. Just smile and wave. Move on. She holds no significance in your life. So don’t give her that significance. Oh and Martha – if you have to claim how “superior” you are – you aren’t.

        PEACE, AND LOVE AND LIGHT <3

      • Christine Polk says:

        It’s “its.”

      • Hmm says:

        “it’s absence”?!

      • …it’s absence? Ouch!

        As a proofreader I can agree with the sentiment, but you have to get it right yourself. And the high-handed tone is, yes, too much.

      • R.C. says:

        …perhaps you should take a quick look at how to properly use “it’s” before you go off on a sanctimonious and self-aggrandizing lecture.

    • Jan Becker says:

      Susan,
      Everyone got so tied up with Martha’s reply, it looks like they missed your question. The best bet is to check the submission guidelines for the individual journals. This is usually available on the website for the magazine you’re considering.

    • Hi Susan,

      You’re welcome.

      I believe a few of them accept international submissions, and submissions can be made online; you might want to check with individual magazines first, though.

      Best Regards,
      Bamidele

    • Luke says:

      I just read this whole thread, and now I can’t remember where I live.

      • Alyssa says:

        HA! Luke….precisely. Martha, with all due respect, get your head out of your butt. Snobbery is dull, no matter how well-written it is.

      • Teraisa says:

        Thanks for making my day–I didn’t want and hadn’t planned on reading all the way down to your precious comment. ~Teraisa

        • BobGideon says:

          Dear All,
          I have read all the comments and I can find one or two typos or other grammatical error in each of the comments, including mine if you look properly. Well, this makes it perfect. This is absolutely how it should be. Either from the teacher, the pupil or the writer or the editor, you may find one or two errors, and it is just fine.

          Do not crucify anyone.

  • Ralitsa says:

    It’s refreshing to see a post featuring websites with focus on literature. Thank you very much for this great post Bamidele, always a pleasure to read.

  • Subrata says:

    hi Bamidele,

    Thanks for the post. I had no idea about magazines that pay so much. I am sure,Publication on any of these mags can boost any freelance blogger’s career.
    Thanks again for your effort 🙂

  • Krish says:

    Hi Bamidele,

    Thanks for sharing. You are such a resourceful person.

    I am very old person looking for some money for living.

    I will try to make use of the info you have given.

    God bless you.

    Krish

  • nicholas says:

    Thanks for the post bamidele.

  • PRANAB KUMAR DAS says:

    Thank you for giving and sharing …it will help to freelancer ….
    regards

  • Marlena B says:

    Thanks for this post, Bamidele! It’s really encouraging to writers, seeing that they can earn that much.

  • olu says:

    Bamidele, how are you? you have been so awesome with all your information. just keep it up . i want to be part of this freelance writer.I have a blog but i am still working it. My question is i have a payoneer account but how do i get pay via all the platform of freelance writing on the site you just gave us because most of them pay via paypal account and one cannot withdraw from it in Nigeria. please i really need you advice on this because i want to kick start in no distance time.Looking forward to hearing from you. GOOD BLESS YOU.
    lumzy

  • Kate says:

    Hi Bamidele,
    Thanks for sharing this information. It’s very helpful.
    I’m always amazed by your high level of
    Selflessness.
    Thumbs up brother!
    Blessings,
    Kate

  • kanisa putri says:

    Thanks for sharing,Bamidele.

  • Dharmesh says:

    Hi,
    It’s a great post.
    I am amazed that writers get paid with that much amount of money per write up.
    I am an Indian freelance writer but Indian freelancers don’t get work easily from overseas countries. Can you explain why?
    Also can you please post articles about from where the Indian writers can get high paying jobs like these?

    I am looking for that kind of posts from you.

    Best Regards

    Dharmesh

    • Tami says:

      Hello Dharmesh,
      Although your English is very good, it’s harder for Indian writers to get jobs in North America because it’s easy to tell in most cases that it is not your first language. Just about every English-speaking country has its own dialect and nuances, so even English writers sometimes have difficulties writing for countries other than their own.

      It truly has nothing to do with who you are or where you are from. The best advice I can give you is to try to make some friends online you can communicate with regularly to learn how native speakers use the language.

      Best of luck to you in your career!
      Tami

    • Hi Dharmesh,

      I agree with Tami that a major reason why Indian writers don’t easily get jobs from North America is because English isn’t their native language, and this challenge is not unique to Indians. I’m Nigerian, so I can relate.

      All hope is not lost, and for every client/publication that doesn’t want non-native English writers there is another that wouldn’t mind; in this case, the key to success lies in differentiating yourself and letting people know that you can offer great value (hint: start by gaining quality social proof!), and in reaching out to the right people.

      Best Regards,
      Bamidele

      • Muhmmad Ather says:

        Hi
        I am muhammad ather from Pakistan. It’s good to see that there are so many sources of earning being a writer. But i have some issues:
        1. Payment Issue:
        I have skrill,payoneer and payza accounts. I dont have a paypal account becaue it does not support my country.
        2. Can i write for these magazines from Pakistan.
        I would like you to answer me positively.
        Thank you.
        Awaiting

      • Balakrushna Panda says:

        Thank you for posting this information. This will help many young people in the world to start using their time in a meaningful way.
        This can also be useful for people who want to share their experiences through writing in some of the magazines you have highlighted here.
        I hope, I too can start writing though my English is not so good.
        Thanks again.
        Balakrushna Panda

  • Sandra says:

    Thanks for the very helpful info and post, Bamidele.

  • Lexy says:

    thank you for sharing! this is great

  • carman colwell says:

    Thanks for the information, Bamidele. I’m going to look into the 10 magazines

  • Kathie says:

    Many of the Ogden publications (Grit, Capper’s Farmer, etc.) pay similar rates. As does The Costco Connection.

  • Gen says:

    Great post. I can’t wait to start submitting!

  • Rotouel says:

    I love this post! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Rotouel says:

    Very beneficial info.Thanks for sharing!

  • Lea says:

    Hello, I stumbled onto this site and have to say it has truly captured my interest. I am new to freelance writing and just reading some of the comments above has sparked my writing desires. I love how everyone pulled together for their fellow writers. Who hasn’t it the submit button without a quick check. I know I have.
    Anyways, to date I have written two novels both self published on line and am working on two other books that are nearing completion. I also have written a few short stories and poems but haven’t done anything with getting them out to the public. But that is another story…

    My question is if you submit to more than one magazine do you have to let them know that you have duel submissions and what if both want to publish the work? Sorry the ignorance, I’m really green when it comes to this work.

    • rebecca Beck says:

      I know this is an old post but most publications don’t allow simultaneous submissions. Check out the guidelines by each.

  • Lea says:

    OOPS!! Sorry Marsha. I meant to say hit the submit not it the submit; and sorry for the ignorance not sorry the ignorance.

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