Get Paid to Write Articles: 17 Magazines That Pay $500 or More

Get Paid to Write Articles: 17 Magazines That Pay $500 or More

As a freelance writer, it can be a struggle to find high-quality paying work. In this article we dive into how to get paid to write articles.

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. Making a living as a freelance writer means you’ll need to master how to get paid to write articles. When we say that it is strictly $500 and up which may seem like a dream to you especially if you are new to the field.

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. We’re here to make a living writing rather than fall victim to the old adage of starving artist.

Get paid to write articles from these 17 magazines

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. 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 to $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 $100 apiece, the journal publishes five days per week and is “always looking for fresh ideas.”

3. VQR

VQR is a journal of literature and discussion with a focus on publishing the best writing they can find, from award-winning authors to emerging writers.

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, and an accepted short story receives $1,000 or more. Book reviews earn $500 for 2,000-2,400 words. VQR has limited reading periods, so check the schedule online before you submit.

4. 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 and Mid-Atlantic,” 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.

5. 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 fiction, essays and interviews, and $100 to $250 for poetry. If your work is accepted, you’ll also get a complimentary one-year subscription.

6. Boys’ Life

This general-interest monthly magazine has been published by the Boy Scouts of America since 1911. It pays its writers between $500 to $1,500 for nonfiction articles up to 1,500 words. Writing for one of its departments is also an option, where you’d make $100 to $600 for a 600-word article.

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.

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

8. One Story

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

One Story looks for literary fiction in the range of 3,000 to 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.

9. The American Scholar

Quarterly magazine The American Scholar publishes everything from essays to fiction to poetry on public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture. 

It will pay up to $500 for accepted pieces of no more than 6,000 words, and if you want to go the digital route, it will pay up to $250 for web-only pieces. Note, however, that The American Scholar does not accept pitches through email — only through online submissions manager system Submittable.

10. Longreads

Want to write a 3,000- to 6,000-word long-form article for Longreads? Before you think “yes,” know this: These stories can involve multiple reporting trips, sources, and in-depth research. And while they don’t necessarily need to deal with current events, “they should have an excellent sense of story and purpose and be able to hold a reader’s attention with a compelling premise.”

Base payment begins at $1,500, and they’ll even work with you to pay you a solid fee and also cover expenses. 

11. National Geographic Travel

You know it. You’ve read it. And now, you can write for it. As the world’s leading brand in consumer travel, National Geographic Travel focuses on, “sustainable travel, nationals parks and wild places, UNESCO World Heritage sites, family travel, and stories that reveal the authentic qualities of places.” No hotel or product reviews here, folks.

Nat Geo Travel pays, but their website doesn’t confirm how much. But according to Who Pays Writers, they offer 50 cents per word for 1,000-word features.

12. NationSwell 

Based in NYC, NationSwell is looking for freelance writers to tell impactful meaningful solutions narrative and feature stories between 800 to 1500 words about people or organizations solving for America’s issues — like “the woman who took on gun violence by confronting gangs and her local mayor in street rallies, or the group that helps families of murder victims fight back against a system that unfairly punishes them.”

Pay is 50 to 65 cents per word depending on experience and subject matter, and you can submit your pitch here.

13. Alaska Beyond Magazine

ABM is the monthly in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines, and it’s looking for writing with vivid visual images, anecdotes and a strong narrative flow. If you can write with a sense of humor, cover business with insight and style, and lend inside perspective to the destination and travel columns, you’re good as gold. 

Rates begin at $150 to $250 for short articles in the Journal section (200 to 600 words); $150 for business shorts (500 words); $500 for columns (1,600 words); and $700 for features (2,000 to 2,500 words). They’re not interested in fiction, poetry or book reviews at this time.

14. EatingWell

EatingWell covers nutrition with a newsy, science-based approach, and its readers “are interested not only in cooking and nutrition science, but also in the origins of food and social issues related to food networks.” Increase your chance of scoring an assignment with us by doing two things: Develop your pitch following the format for past columns, and explain why the proposed topic should be covered in a specific issue. 

Items generally range from 150 to 400 words, a one-page story could be 500 words max. The pay rate is up to $1 per word. 

15. Curbed

Curbed’s focus is home: architecture, design, real estate, and urban planning. It’s seeking pitches for long-form and narrative stories from freelance writers, and these pitches should dig deep on their preferred topics, whether they are analyses of popular trends, reported pieces, personal essays, or a combination of all of the above. 

The submission guidelines confirm (but don’t specify) competitive rates for features between 3,000 and 6,000 words — Who Pays Writers reports 20 and 54 cents per word payments, which means, at the very least, you stand to make $600. 

16. JSTOR Daily

JSTOR Daily is excited by stories that tease out the details or that look at the obvious in a non-obvious way; “subjects that are newsworthy, entertaining, quirky, surprising, and enlightening are right up our alley.” For publication in summer and fall 2020, they’re interested in a reading list or annotated bibliography about structural racism, or work that highlights scholarship by BIPOC.

Feature stories typically range from 1,800 to 2,000 words. The submission guidelines confirm (but don’t specify) that contributors are paid, so Who Pays Writers reports the average pay is 31 cents per word.

17. Sierra

Ever heard of Sierra? It’s the United States’ oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental group. It welcomes ideas from writing pros who can “write smart, fun, incisive, and well-researched stories for a diverse and politically informed national readership.” When you pitch, make sure it reflects an understanding of the Sierra Club’s motto — “Explore, enjoy, and protect the planet” — as well as knowledge of recent issues and topics. 

Feature articles range from 2,000 words to (rarely) 4,000 words or more with payment starting at $1 per word, rising to $1.50 word for more well-known writers with “crackerjack credentials.”  In some cases, expenses will be paid.

You can also write for one of their departments, which they say is open to freelancers. Articles are 250 to 1,000 words in length; payment is $250 to $1,000 unless otherwise noted.

The original version of this story was written by Bamidele Onibalusi. We updated the post so it’s more useful for our readers.

Photo via Federico Rostagno/ Shutterstock 

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Filed Under: Freelancing


  • I can write articles about non-fiction. Poetry non-fiction and fiction.

  • sharmishtha basu says:

    thanks for the list!

  • paul says:

    I will say thanks to everyone here.I like the way you expressed your mind but want each of you to tell us those sites that you have tried or benefited from whether they are doing better in terms of payment,submission and other related issues

  • Sridhar Belide says:


    Please list down Tech Magazines that pay writer? Please!!!

  • anam says:

    any magazine that require self help or personal development articles???????

  • Ramu Kovuru says:

    Thank you for sharing. It was valuable information indeed.

  • David Roeder says:

    Sence all you fancy yourselfs wrighters your gonna love this. May be you can find a nice bone to chew on here instead of chewing up each another with you’re bad words. Some of you wright good and others need some work. There’s a myriad of problems (and maybe you caught that one) with all of you’re wrighting. There’s syntax, word choise, speling, gramer and on to excetara.

    The point is, writing is about expression of thought. The details of grammar, syntax, spelling, word choice and punctuation are merely necessary tools to convey the thought. In other words, your petty tit-for-tat arguing tells a tale of your priorities–function outweighing form. This, in my view, provides a sailient example of the breakdown in writing as an art form, with little regard for communicating deeply.

  • Awesome …thanks for this article bamidale. Have a nice day!

  • Alexandra says:

    Thank you very much Bamidele.

  • Halima says:

    OMG! Guys, we are not here to criticize or look down upon anyone :). Seriously, it was just a question and instead of answering her people started picking writing errors lol. Well, I am from a third world country and English is my second language. I feel no one is perfect whether living in America or anywhere else. There is always a room for improvement and yes this is only what I think. I don’t mean to offend anyone specially Americans; obviously English is your first language and you must have command on your native language. On the other hand, this language is a good source of income for many writers like me. And we are in a continuous process of learning and improvement. I request you to please don’t criticize. If you cannot guide please don’t disappoint anyone. Again, no offense please 🙂

    • Muhammad Imran says:

      Lovely Halima. I really appreciate your words. I want to write about Humanity, Conscience, Love, Respect, Peace and any article which gives people happiness. So Please tell me what should I do? I also know Pitman Shorthand and Typing very well, this course commonly known as STENOGRAPHY. Can Writing Articles, Columns and Pitman Shorthand be useful for me in any respect? Your advice will highly be appreciated.

  • Jas Garib says:

    I am looking for women content writer for my magazine. My magazine is New I am writing articles of BODY MIND AND SOUL.

    1. Yoga, what it is? the benefits of yoga, etc.
    2. Sprituality…personal beliefs
    3. Meditation how? benefits of
    4. Real life motivation storied
    5. Real life journies
    6. People who survived despite all obstacles….feel good stories
    7 Recipes
    8. Jokes
    9 Old wives tales
    10 Famous people who what when how where

    If your interested in this project please contact Jas Garib

    • Susan says:

      Hallo Jas

      I read that you are looking for women writers for your new magazine. I am interested in discussing options with you. Could you please provide me with an e-mail address where we could make contact.

      Kind regards,


    • Kim Tavernier says:


      Is there somewhere to see your website or email a writing sample?

      Kim Tavernier

    • varna vinod says:

      Hi Jas,

      My name is Varna. I have worked as a sub-editor for a newspaper for 2 years. I have been writing for various websites since a year. I can provide quality work and can assure that I will meet all the given deadlines. This is a subject which interests me a lot. So, I am sure I can deliver extremely exciting content.

    • Deepti Bhandari says:

      Hi Jas,

      I am a Yoga Trainer from Rishikesh and a Master of Arts in Yoga Philosophy and Asanas. I have worked with Worlds no. 1 Yoga Spa- Ananda in Himalayas for 9+ Years and looking for work in Writing and sharing experience of Yoga.

      Do let me know how can I reach you and connect and take our discussion forward.


    • Doreen Mallett says:

      Hi Jas
      Are you still looking for writers? If so I am interested in making contact. Spirituality has been one of my blog themes for a while. Another is beauty and wellness particularly in relation to older women.

  • Jay says:

    Don’t discount trade magazines. Not always the most exciting content, but there is money to be made for those patient enough to gain a basic understanding of these industries. For example, supply chain magazine Inbound Logistics pays a minimum of 50 cents per word.

  • Sheila Zimmerman says:

    Thank You Bamidele,

    I’d like to co-sign on all those who want you to know how much the information is appreciated. I look forward to taking advantage of the resources. For as many years as I’ve researched the path of magazine writing, it seems I might be closer to making it happen.

  • Vivian O. says:

    This is a really nice post. I never knew writing could be this rewarding and here I am running away from it. Will quickly start off freelance writing. I just need to learn the ropes.

  • TTYMODE says:

    Thanks for the generous education piece! I like to know well-paid sites/publishers that would pay me for written articles via my Payoneer Card.


  • kanchan says:

    Again, here’s a great piece that you contributed Oni. I’ve always been your fan and am inspired by your work. Keep rocking.
    I’m surely gonna try out in any of the following websites you mentioned and do hope I will land an article in at least one of these.

  • Hello Bamidele, (fellow Nigerian here 🙂 ).

    I love this post. This article – if I’m right – is the first magazines-only list you are compiling. I always enjoy your lists and have even earned income writing for one of the websites you listed in a previous article.

    On a deeper level, you are always an inspiration. Especially for young people here in Nigeria. I tell your story to everyone who cares to listen and I can’t forget the joy of interviewing you for Blueprint Entrepreneur Magazine (Australian Digital Mag published on the Apple Newsstand).

    I just want to say THANKS for being you.

    You’re always a shining light for us all.



  • David says:

    I would like to be part of you

  • Justin says:

    Hey gang, this is great. Thanks for the valuable info.

    I do have a burning (novice..) question that I can’t seem to figure out on my own so I’m hoping to get some guidance or direction here.

    I’m wondering what the actually process is when approaching these kind of magazines and publications. Would I write an article first then send it to them in the hopes of getting accepted? That seems like in the long run there would be a lot of wasted time writing articles that may never be paid for. Especially if I write a publication specific article like something on Tai Chi for example.

    I feel like I’m not seeing something very simple here…

    Thanks in advance!

    • Lisa Rowan says:

      Hi Justin,
      In most cases, you won’t want to spend time writing a whole article before sending it to a magazine. Wasted time all around! More often, you’ll want to send a “pitch” to determine the outlet’s interest in your story idea. We just reviewed a pitch in a new column which might give you an idea of what you’ll need to approach an editor.
      Hope this helps!
      Lisa Rowan

      • Justin says:

        Thanks Lisa, very helpful. Basically the idea is to figure out an idea/story that I think a publication would be interested in, then pitch them on the story, though hopefully it would already be of interest due to knowing what they’re all about, and letting them know why I would be the right person to deliver a great story/article for their readers.This really helps! Keep up the great work.

      • Erica Carricondo says:

        Hi, Lisa! I had the same doubt as Justin´s. Thank you so much! One more question about that “pitch”, or the real article, should we send it in PDF?

        • Lisa Rowan says:

          PDFs are usually hard to edit unless you convert them to another file type. I find that most editors prefer either a Google doc or a Word doc- and aometimes I send both to be safe!

  • Yousra says:

    I want to join it i m getting difficulty to acess it please help me how may i

  • Tamica says:

    Hi there everyone, i love writing and would love to write poems and other articles for a magazine. i am from the Caribbean and most times we are left behind, my only concern is do they take on writers from the Caribbean and and how do the pay me?.
    however great article
    nice introduction .
    Thank you

  • Sum S says:

    Hey Bamidele,
    I am usually no that keen on commenting,just wanna say that I really appreciate the fact that you reply to almost every comment on the blog.

    Keep up the brilliant work!

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