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14 Publications That Pay — And Prioritize Responding to Pitches from Writers

by | Oct 18, 2019

It’s happened to all of us.

We submit what we believe to be the perfect pitch to a publication — then we wait for a response. And wait. And wait.

After a couple weeks, we muster the courage to send a follow-up email: “Hi, just checking on the status of my submission!” Then we wait some more.

Only to never hear back.

It’s a frustrating experience, and all too common for freelance writers. Of course, we want to hear our inbox ping with an acceptance email. But often a polite rejection would give us the closure we need, and a rejection with one or two lines of constructive feedback could help us grow as writers.

How do we know if we’ll receive a response when we submit a pitch, though?

Pitch to publications that make responding a priority

It makes sense that most editors can’t respond to each and every email from a freelancer. 

However, there are publications that make an effort to respond to freelancers, whether it’s an acceptance or rejection.

When you pitch to one of these websites, you’re all but guaranteed that someone will read your email, which could give your pitch a better chance of being accepted. If you receive a rejection, at least you’ll know the status of your submission, and you can pitch the idea to another relevant publication. If the editor is kind enough to provide you with a little feedback, you can learn how to improve.

I spoke with numerous editors about whether they responded to all freelance pitches, and many of them made the same two comments: 

  1. They’re human, so it’s possible a pitch will fall through the cracks every now and then. If you believe this is the case, it’s acceptable to send a friendly follow-up email.
  2. For the love of all that is holy, please pitch according to their submission guidelines! The fact that these publications will respond to your pitch does not give anyone a free pass to send a sloppy pitch. If your pitch obviously doesn’t meet the guidelines, several editors said they will automatically reply with a rejection email.

14 paying publications that will respond to your pitch

How do I know that these publications will respond to your pitch? 

Some of these websites state that they try to respond to all emails on their submission guidelines pages. In other cases, I’ve personally talked to publications’ editors to ensure they try to get back to writers.

1. Amendo

Amendo seeks blog posts that cover culture, lifestyle and spiritual issues for a target audience of 20-somethings. The publication is Catholic-affiliated, but the pieces don’t necessarily have to focus on religion. 

Pieces are short, in the vicinity of 500-600 words, and payment is $75. Amendo does ask that freelancers send pitches rather than complete drafts, and allow two to three weeks for a response. 

Check out the website’s Write for Us page to learn more about pitching.

2. Backpacker Magazine

As the name suggests, Backpacker Magazine publishes articles related to hiking and backpacking. You can write about backpacking gear, survival skills and types of outdoor trips.

The magazine requests that freelancers send pitches, not finished pieces. If you submit a pitch for the print magazine, expect to hear back in two to four weeks. Writers pitching pieces for the website should receive a response within two weeks. 

Depending on the type of piece you write and your previous experience, you’ll earn between $0.40 to over $1 per word. 

Read Backpacker Magazine’s Contributors’ Guidelines to learn more about pitching.

3. Bitch Media

Bitch Media publishes content about the relationship between feminism and pop culture. Topics run the gamut from the lack of portrayal of African American women with mental illnesses in the media to how to celebrate Galentine’s Day.

Depending on the type of piece you write, an article could be up to 3,000 words, and you can earn between $150 and $1,000 upon publication. Bitch Media welcomes both pitches and finished drafts. 

Take a look at the Contributors’ Guidelines for more information.

4. Craft Your Content 

Craft Your Content is a publication geared toward writers and entrepreneurs. You’ll find how-to articles, productivity tips, writing inspiration and more.

The website accepts both pitches and full-length submissions. If your piece is well-crafted but isn’t the right fit for Craft Your Content, the editors will often recommend another publication. You’ll earn $75-$150 per piece. 

Read the Write for Us page to learn more about how to pitch your ideas.

5. Cruising World

Cruising World is your go-to publication for anything boating related, from sailboats and charter lines to destinations and gear.

Feature pieces max out at 2,000 words, while you’ll write up to 1,200 words for a non-feature. Depending on what type of piece you write, Cruising World will pay you between $25 and $1,000. The editors could take up to 12 weeks to respond to a pitch. 

Take a look at the Guidelines for Writers page to learn how to send either a pitch or a complete draft.

6. Fashionista

Fashionista publishes content related to fashion and beauty. They accept pieces about a wide variety of topics, as long as you can naturally tie fashion and beauty into the article.

Send Fashionista pitches, not complete manuscripts. 

If you take a look at the How to Pitch page, you’ll see that the editors really do want you to succeed! They give you tips about the best months and times of day to send pitches and tell you when to follow up if you don’t hear back. Word count and payment are discussed once they accept your pitch.

7. Hakai Magazine

Hakai Magazine publishes articles related to coastal science, with columns such as Coastal Jobs, Salvaged and Old Coast, New Coast. Any pitches that are unrelated to coastal issues will automatically be rejected.

Hakai prefers pitches, not full-length drafts. Depending on what type of piece you write, you could end up with a piece ranging from 300 to 5,000 words. Pay starts at 65 Canadian cents, or 49 US cents, per word. Hakai’s editors try to respond within two weeks of receiving your pitch. 

Read more about how to pitch on Hakai’s Submission Guidelines page.

8. Jacobin Magazine

Jacobin is a quarterly political magazine, but editors also publish articles to its website daily. You’ll find left-leaning pieces about everything from education and the environment to food and literature.

Jacobin welcomes complete manuscripts from freelancers, and drafts should be under 2,000 words. The publication does pay writers, but it does not specify how much or how quickly they will get back to you. 

Check out the Contact Us page for more details.

9. McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies

Looking for a publication to pitch your funny ideas? McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies might be a good fit. This website publishes humorous and satirical pieces. Some of my favorite columns are Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond and Amongst the Liberal Elite.

McSweeney’s will respond to your pitch if — and only if — you submit a complete draft, and pieces should be under 1,200 words. The website pays for most pieces, but can’t pay for Reviews of New Food articles. 

Check out the Guidelines for Web Submissions page to learn more.

10. Narratively 

If you’re looking to publish your personal essay, Narratively could be the publication for you. Narratively publishes essays about topics ranging from animals to crime to the environment. Two of my favorite categories are Super Subcultures and Secret Lives.

Narratively accepts both pitches and complete drafts and typically pays around $300. 

Visit their Contribute page to submit your essay.

11. Next Avenue

Next Avenue is a website geared toward readers over age 50, covering topics like money, health and caregiving.

Next Avenue prefers pitches to full-length manuscripts. If your pitch is accepted, your article will be between 800 and 1,000 words, and you’ll earn between $200 and $500. You should hear back from an editor within about four to six weeks. 

Read the Submission Guidelines page to learn more about the types of pieces Next Avenue wants to read.

12. The Rumpus 

Looking for a place to submit your creative work? The Rumpus is an online literary magazine that accepts essays, stories, poetry and book reviews.

The Rumpus only accepts finished drafts, but you can submit a pitch if you want to publish an interview. 

Check out the Writer’s Guidelines page to learn more about pitching, reading periods and the payment process. You can expect to hear back about prose within three months and about fiction and poetry within eight months.

13. Wear Your Voice Magazine

Wear Your Voice focuses on feminist issues and gives a voice to marginalized writers, such as women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. It covers politics, race, sexuality and more.

The editors will respond to your pitch as long as you follow the pitch guidelines provided on the Writer Submissions page, and they’ll try to get back to you within two weeks. You should submit a pitch, not a complete draft. Wear Your Voice pays $100-$150 per piece, and because they can’t pay more, they usually don’t accept pitches for pieces that would require weeks of research and labor.

14. ZORA

ZORA is a publication by and for women of color. WOC can submit pitches about culture, politics, identity and self-care.

The website prefers pitches, not full drafts, and they explain what they look for in a pitch on their Pitch Guidelines page. They pay $1 per word and try to respond to pitches within a few days.

Know of any other publications that routinely respond to pitches? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo via GuadiLab / Shutterstock