Compiled By H. Lovelyn Bettison
The following is a list of 30 magazines, newspapers, and websites that pay for personal essays. Included is a wide variety of publishers, covering many specialties and topics. For even more publishers seeking submissions, grab a copy of the Paid Publishing Guidebook.
- The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe accepts personal essays about relationships for their Connections section. The essays should be about 650 words. Please send an email with “Query” as the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org to pitch your essay.
- Extra Crispy
Extra Crispy pays for personal essays about food. The articles they publish have a conversational tone with a bit of humor. http://www.extracrispy.com/culture/185/how-to-pitch-extra-crispy
Dame is a women’s magazine. They don’t have a submissions page, but do provide an email address for pitches: email@example.com://www.damemagazine.com/
Kveller is a parenting magazine that accepts personal essays about parenting and women’s issues as seen through a Jewish lens. http://www.kveller.com/article/submission-guidelines/ They pay $25 per post.
- The New York Times: Modern Love
The New York Times Modern Love is looking for essays about love and relationships in modern times payment $300. The desired length for essays is 1500 to 1700. The submission page is old, but still up to date. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/fashion/howtosubmit_modernlove.html?_r=1&
- The New York Times: Lives
New York Times Lives accepts essays about meaningful life experiences. http://www.nytimes.com/column/lives Read the section to get an idea of what they want and send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org
Salon publishes personal essays. Send your pitches in the body of the email not as an attachment. They also would like to know about your background and what makes you qualified to write the piece you’re proposing. http://www.salon.com/about/submissions/
Slate is an online magazine about news, politics, and culture. Please indicate which section you’re pitching to in the subject line of your email. http://www.slate.com/articles/briefing/contact_us/2006/08/whereto_find_slate_staff.html
Slice is a print magazine based in Brooklyn. They accept short fiction and personal essays. Submissions will open again on April 1. They pay $250
- The Smart Set
The Smart Set is an online magazine about arts and culture, science, and global and national affairs. http://thesmartset.com/about-us/#submissions
- The Billfold
The Billfold is a publication about money. They accept personal essays about your experiences with money, saving, and debt. https://thebillfold.com/about
- MotherwellMotherwell is a parenting magazine that looks for personal essays that take a novel angle on parenting. Essays should be up to 1200 words. https://motherwellmag.com/submissions/
- Tin House
Tin House is a literary journal that publishes personal essays up to 10,000 words. They have themed issues and only accept unsolicited submissions in September and March. http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/submission-guidelines.html
Narratively is devoted to untold human stories. They accept pitches and completed essays. http://narrative.ly/contribute/
Guideposts is looking for your true stories of inspiration and hope. Submit completed essays via the submission form on their website. https://www.guideposts.org/tell-us-your-story
- The Christian Science Monitor: Home Forum
Home Forum publishes upbeat personal essays that are 600 to 800 words in length. The payment is $75. http://www.csmonitor.com/About/Contributor-guidelines/Contributor-Guidelines-The-Home-Forum
- The Establishment
The Establishment is a multimedia publication that encourages diversity. They accept essays 800 to 1,500 words long and pay $125. https://theestablishment.co/pitch-us-b0788d803a0b#.34no26v7l
- The Sun
The Sun is a literary journal that is mainly interested in personal stories. They pay $300-$2000 for personal essays up to 7,000 words. http://thesunmagazine.org/about/submission_guidelines/writing
Skirt is a women’s magazine that publishes essays that are about 800 to 1100 words long. Each issue of the magazine has a theme. Look at their editorial calender for subjects. They pays $200 per essay. http://www.skirt.com/contribute/
- Travels’ Tales
Travels’ Tales publishes your travel essays in their anthologies. They pay $100 per essay. http://travelerstales.com/submission-guidelines/
- Brain, Child
Brain, Child is an award-winning literary magazine for mothers. They pay for personal essays on parenting. https://www.brainchildmag.com/about/writers-guidelines/
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
Chicken Soup for the Soul releases themed books throughout the year. They accept uplifting essays that are less than 1200 words. The pay is $200. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
Backpacker has a Destinations section where they publish first person accounts of outdoor experiences. The pay is $0.40-$1 per word http://www.backpacker.com/backpacker-contributor-s-guidelines/
- Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine focuses on music, movies, TV, videogames, comedy, books and more. They do accept personal essays. Read past essays to get an idea about what they are looking for. Pay varies. https://www.pastemagazine.com/paste/2012/03/writer-guidelines.html
- True Story
True Story is published by Creative Nonfiction. They accept personal essay between 5000-10000 words and pay $300. https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions/true-story
- Good Old Days
Good Old Days accepts personal essays about growing up between 1935 and 1960. They should be informal and conversational in tone. Payment varies. http://www.goodolddaysmagazine.com/contributor_guidelines.php
- AARP Magazine
AARP Magazine publishes thoughtful, timely personal essays that are relevant to people over 50. Payment varies. http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/info-05-2010/writers-guidelines-aarp-magazine.html
Broadly is a website devoted to representing a wide variety of women’s experiences. They publish personal essays. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/page/about
- The Three Penny Review
The Three Penny Review is a literary magazine that publishes both fiction and creative nonfiction. They pay $400 per story or article. http://www.threepennyreview.com/submissions.html
- Vox First Person
Vox First Person is dedicated to publishing thoughtful, in-depth first person narratives. They pay, but don’t list the rates on their site. http://www.vox.com/2015/6/12/8767221/vox-first-person-explained
If you’ve got writing skills, put them to work helping you make money online. But with so many sites to choose from, where should a wannabe freelance writer start?
Sites that pay for articles usually fall into one of two main models. The first is revenue-sharing, where the website pays you a certain amount for every view or ad click from your post. This method can earn you some pocket money, but it’s not quite as lucrative as the second option.
You’re more likely to make decent money writing for sites that pay up front. These sites are often more reputable and established in their niches, and pay you a fixed fee per article instead of the pennies that roll in from rev-share sites. The upside is that they often have a decent following, so you’re reaching a broader audience in addition to getting paid. However, the challenge is that they’re often harder to break into; you’ll need to bring your A-game to get published on many of these sites.
Ready to make money writing online? Here are 15 sites to try pitching:
This site is simple to use: simply join here and upload your first article! You’ll need to have your article approved, but as long as it is 700+ words and free of grammatical and spelling errors, there shouldn’t be a problem.
The only drawbacks is you need to apply for your own Google AdSense account, which can be hard to get approved. Hubpages pays writers by check with a minimum of $100.
On Teckler, writers get paid 70% of the revenue their articles, or “Tecks”. One cool feature? You can share not only articles but also videos, audio clips and photos.
The best part of Teckler is its low minimum payout of $0.50. You can also add affiliate links to your Tecks to boost your earnings. Sign up here.
Bubblews is a mix between a revenue-sharing site and a social network. You get paid $0.01 for every view your post gets, and $0.01 for every comment, like or social media share, and you’ll be paid through PayPal once you’ve earned $50.
You can earn a lot and it’s nice seeing the pennies stack up, but there are many rumors of the site not paying its users. I’ve had a similar experience: I requested a payment once, didn’t get it, and haven’t written for BubbleWS since. However some people have been paid by Bubblews. Keen? Sign up here.
Dailytwocents operates on a similar model to BubbleWS, though with two differences. First of all, payments are issued every month at a minimum of $5, not $50. However, you’re also paid less — only $0.005 per view, which must be more than 30 seconds to count. Also, they allow you to use affiliate links to legitimate products. Sign up here.
ShoutMeLoud is a blog about blogging, SEO, WordPress, making money online and other web-related topics. You’ll place your Google AdSense code on the articles and get paid by AdSense every month.
You don’t usually earn much, maybe $1 to $3 per month, but hey, it adds up, especially as you publish more articles. Head to the registration page to sign up and submit your finished article in the WordPress CMS. Go here for more details.
You don’t have to apply to this site, and you earn a fixed rate for every article. The rate is around $1.25 for a 150-word article, and the minimum payout is $20.
Note that clients on iWriter do not have to approve your article — if they reject it, you don’t get paid. Here’s my experience: I’ve been paid for around 80% of my submitted articles, had to rewrite 5% of them, and had 15% rejected.
Doing great work will help you earn more money on this site. When you receive 4-star reviews for 30 articles, you’ll become a premium writer (doubling your pay), and when you hit 30 articles with 4.5 star reviews, you’ll triple your pay as an elite writer. Sign up here.
Textbroker has a few more hurdles than some other sites on this list. It’s only for US citizens, and you’ll need to submit a sample article when you register. The site’s staff will review your article and give you a rating from 2 to 5 stars. You can earn from $0.007 to $0.05 a word, depending on your rating. The minimum payment is $10, once a week, by PayPal.
Pukitz is looking for “niche bloggers”, which means you will focus on one specific niche — at least until you’ve written 30 posts. The site owner, Chris, will edit and publish each article, and you’ll earn $0.50 per article, per month. The minimum word count is 500.
All articles are “rented,” so you still own the content. If you want to repost it elsewhere — say, on your own blog or on another site — you must inform Pukitz staff so they can take the article down. Apply to be a writer here.
Are you an expert at coding, web design, web development, and creating apps, games or logos? Tuts+ helps people learn and earn online, and they pay well: from $50 for quick tips to $250 for full-length tutorials.
You can either apply through their official “Write for Us” page, or find their contact email and Skype here. Tuts+ is a relatively high-profile site, and you’ll need to have some experience in your niche to get in!
Good with computers and technology? Know the best Microsoft Office tips and Windows 8 tricks? If you can share practical tips for technology, apply to write for Worldstart here and you can earn from $25 to $50 per article. They publish articles on the blog and in daily and monthly newsletters.
Chances are, you’ve visited this site before! About.com is the 94th most-visited website in the world, and it pays good monthly rates to its writers.
The site offers hundreds of different positions in many micro-niches, such as “Playing Tennis”. You can apply here. It’s probably the toughest site on this list to break into, but it’s also the most rewarding and gives you the most exposure.
Listverse focuses on all types of top-10 lists, such as “10 Mind-Altering Facts About Memory”. Submit an interesting list that’s at least 1500 words, and you could earn $100 via PayPal. Fill out this article submission form to apply.
13. Your Own Website or Blog
Grab a domain, get web hosting, install WordPress and start your own site! It’ll likely cost you less than $5 per month. The possibilities are endless, and top bloggers earn more than $5,000 per month — though many experts caution that you should set more realistic expectations.
Consider some of the many ways to earn money through your website, such as ads (Google AdSense, Chitika, Infolinks, BuySellAds), paid reviews (ReviewMe, PayPerPost, Neoreach), ebooks, forums, and more.
Your Turn: Do you earn money writing online?