In the latest featured collection of freelance writing markets, today we'll look at print markets paying writers $500 or more per piece.
Please note, some of these print markets have both print and online versions so project types and payment might vary between them. Also note that while these markets advertise rates of $500 or more for at least one project type, they may also have shorter or lower-paying project types open to freelancers.
This post will be automatically updated when new print markets in this pay range are added to the writers' market database, when those market listings are updated, or when markets are removed. So check back periodically to see what's new and what's changed.
Print Markets Paying Writers $500+
Here are print freelance writing markets paying $500 or more.
Adirondack Life is a regional magazine serving readers in areas surrounding the Adirondack Mountains. The magazine accepts freelance submissions for the following departments: Special Places, Watercraft, Barkeater, Kitchen, Profile, Historic Preservation, North Country, Sporting Scene, Home, Wilderness, Wildlife, Working, and Yesteryears. At the time of inclusion, Adirondack Life pays $.30 per published word (around 30 days after publication). Departments run from 1000-1800 words and features are 1500-3500 words.
They pay $.25-.50 per word typically (for first rights) based on the length of their relationship with the writer. They accept both feature stories about adventure cycling / biking such as 2000-3000 word personal accounts about bicycle trips, and "Final Mile" essays of 1200-1500 words.
The Smithsonian's Air & Space Magazine accepts freelance submissions for book reviews and the following departments: Soundings (300-1000 words), Above & Beyond (1500 words), Flights & Fancy (800-1000 words), Reviews & Previews (200-450 words), and feature articles (averaging 2500 words). This is a paying market, though rates vary widely and aren't disclosed in the guidelines.
This magazine features science fiction stories, art and poetry as well as some fact based articles. Pay is 8-10 cents per word for short stories up to 20,000 words, 6 cents per word for serials of 40,000-80,000 words, and 9 cents per word for "fact articles" of around 4000 words. Payment is $1 per line for poetry.
Asimov's is a magazine for science fiction writers. They pay 8-10 cents per word for stories up to 7500 words and 8 cents per word for stories over 7500 words (though they rarely buy stories over 20,000 words or shorter than 1000 words). Poems under 40 lines are also accepted and pay is $1 per line.
Backpacker magazine covers hiking, backpacking, North American destinations, and advice for improving the backcountry experience. All articles and photos must appear to Leave No Trace's ecologically friendly practices. Destination features run 1500-5000 words. They also accept personality, technique, and gear features as well as freelance-friendly departments (Life List: 300-400 words; Done in a Day: 500 words, Weekend; Skills; and Gear). They also publish web-only content from freelancers based on each month's theme. They pay on acceptance and buy all rights. Payments run $.40 - over $1.00 per word.
Bitch Magazine describes its content at "feminist analysis of pop culture." They accept features of 2200-3000 words (paying $700-1000), dispatches of 1200 words (paying $350), and culture-oriented essays (which pay $250-700).
British Columbia Magazine is a Canadian regional magazine covering the province of BC. The magazine works with freelance writers both on spec and on assignment. Freelancers can send queries for the following departments: Due West, Echoes, Destination, Outdoor Advisor, and Wild File. Pay is $.50 per word for first worldwide print rights.
Central Coast Farm & Ranch is a quarterly magazine covering the agricultural community in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in California. They cover local food, agriculture, edible gardening, agri-tourism, and more. Pay is $.50 - $1.00 per word for features, and $350 for departments.
Early American Life focuses on American from its founding through the mid-1800s. Topics covered include history, architecture and decorating, antiques, studio crafts, and travel. Payments for unsolicited manuscripts are negotiated upon acceptance, but the writer's guidelines note that they "estimate $500 for a first feature from a new writer."
Earth Island Journal covers environmental issues such as wildlife conservation,land conversation,public policy, climate and energy, and more. Contributors are paid $.25 per word for print stories (around $750-1000 for an in-depth 4000-word feature). Online reports pay $50-100 and are a good way for new writers to break into the market.
Edible Seattle is a bi-monthly "community-based food publication" focused on the Puget Sound area. Rates paid for departments usually fall in the $.15 - $.30 per word range. Features run 1000-2000 words and departments run 750-1000 words.
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine publishes all types of mystery short stories. They prefer stories in the 2500-8000 word range but sometimes publish longer works. Flash fiction "minute mysteries" of around 250 words are also considered. They pay $.05 - $.08 per word for original stories. They don't accept reprints.
Good Old Boat is a magazine specializing in cruising sailboats from the 1950s through 2000s. Primary topics of interest are "upgrades, maintenance, refits, and restoration of good old boats." Payment varies from $50 - 700 depending on the length and type of submission
Gray's Sporting Journal accepts freelance submissions on sporting topics such as shooting / hunting and angling / fishing. They publish seven times per year, with four themed issues covering fly fishing, upland bird hunting, big game hunting, and their "Expeditions and Guides Annual." They're open to a wide range of word counts, but prefer shorter to too long (12,000 is okay if necessary, but 3000 is preferable, and 1500 words preferable even to that). In addition to articles and yarns (750-1500 word campfire tales -- can be factual or fiction), they also accept poetry up to 1000 words. They pay $600-1250 for features, $600 average for yarns, and $100 for poems.
Herizons is a Canadian publications "examining feminist principles at work, in relationships, in organizations and institutions, and in politics and social justice causes." They pay $175-210 for 500-700 word news articles, $75 for 325-word reviews of books, music and film, and $275-550 for 1000-3000 word features. Pay is in CAD.
High Country News is a nonprofit news magazine covering the Western U.S. They pay $.50 - 1.50 per word, with a kill fee of 25%. They accept in-depth news and analyses from 800-1200 words, features of 2800+ words, and shorter 800-1500 word reviews, criticism, and short essays.
This monthly magazine features science fiction and fantasy stories. They pay $0.08/word for original fiction (it should be between 1,500 and 10,000 words; stories under 5000 words are preferred) and they pay $0.02 for reprints.
The LA Times accepts freelance contributions to its travel section, both in print and online. They buy first North American rights, and have strict ethical standards (please review their linked guidelines for details). They don't accept queries -- you must send the full spec piece. And trips must have been taken in the past two years. They accept 400-word submissions for their Weekend Escape section, 1300-word destination pieces for print and online publication, and 200 word blog posts. Print pieces pay $200-750 while online-only pieces generally pay $500. Weekend Escapes pay $200. And blog posts pay $75.
Model Railroad Hobbyist publishes articles and videos "on all aspects of model railroading and on prototype (real) railroading as a subject for modeling." Articles typically run around 3000 words with 10 photos and a short video clip (payments being $230 for these). $200-600 per feature is typical, though they've paid over $1000 for longer articles as well (such as through their website where length isn't an issue).
Northern Virginia Magazine looks for profiles and interviews with prominent and influential individuals in the region. They also accept submissions on topics such as regional getaways, art, fashion, and education. Pay varies from $50 - $1000 per story depending on research and complexity. Half the fee is paid on submission and half upon publication. They do not reimburse expenses.
One Story publishes literary fiction. They pay $500 and 25 contributor copies for stories between 3000 and 8000 words.
PTO Today magazine is published 6 times per year and covers issues related to parent-teacher organizations such as leadership, fundraising, education, and working with school staff. Features run 1200-2200 words, averaging 1500 words. Features pay $200-700 per assignment. Departments run 600-1200 words and pay $150-400.
Sierra is a bimonthly national magazine from the Sierra Club. They accept freelance submissions for both features and departments on conservation and other environmental issues. Features range from 2000-4000 words with payments starting at $1.00 / word (and going to $1.50 / word for well-known writers). Departments run 250-1000 words and pay $250-1000 unless otherwise noted in the guidelines.
Sport Fishing magazine publishes 9 issues per year and focuses on saltwater fishing mostly around North America. They accept features of 1800-2400 words, including sidebars, though their departments are usually staff-written. They pay $750 for print features. Digital features pay $200 for up to 1000 words and $300 for over 1000 words.
Teaching Tolerance accepts both magazine articles and online contributions for K-12 educators "interested in social justice and anti-bias topics." Features run 800-1600 words. Why I Teach pieces run 600 words or less. Story Corner features student-facing short stories and nonfiction. Short articles for the website should run 500-700 words. They pay $1.00 per word for magazine contributions and $150 for short online articles.
The American Gardener is a bi-monthly magazine published by the American Horticultural Society. The publication accepts both feature articles and departments. Payment for features (1500-2500 words) is $300 - 600, while payment for departments is $150 - 200. They offer a 25% kill fee.
This magazine is published six times a year and feature fiction that appeals to fans of fantasy and science fiction. The pay is $0.08-0.12/word and the length can be up to 25,000 words.
The Sun publishes essays, fiction, and poetry on political and cultural issues. Payment for personal essays is $300-2000. Payment for fiction is $300-2000. Payment for poetry is $100-250. They purchase one-time rights.
Writer's Digest is a prominent magazine for writers. The magazine accepts a variety of freelance submissions including "5-Minute Memoir" 600-word essays, 800-1200 word author profiles, 300-600 word how-tos for the "Inkwell" section, and more. Writer's Digest pays $.30-.50 per word on acceptance. They generally do not pay for online-only contributions (and when they do, they pay $50-100).
If you're seeking more print markets in different pay ranges, or other types of freelance writing markets, you can browse the full writers' market database at any time. If you know of, or run, another market you'd like to see added to this list, you can submit a market for free as long as they publicly post their writer's guidelines on their own site, and as long as it's a paying market.
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