How to write for magazines

I am reposting this older article to help anyone who wants to publish their work in magazines.

When I first decided to write articles, I searched for a free course and found this:

Magazine Writing by Lisa-Anne Sanderson

The experienced author recommends writing about popular topics, which include:

  • How to save time
  • How to save money
  • How to make money
  • How to be loved

And ask the editors of magazines you already know e.g. those to which you subscribe, so I contacted two such magazines.

For ‘Foods Matter’, I wrote about how to save money if you have to eat a special diet. This fitted in with the second item on the list.

For ‘A Single Step’, I wrote: ‘Social strategies to use when you have depression’. Item 4 on the list: check!

Both editors welcomed my articles and would welcome more in future. I didn’t ask for payment because their magazines have helped me so much in the past.

Next, I asked local magazines if they would like articles about the local area. The first to reply was enthusiastic, so I sent two articles off but didn’t hear back.

The second was equally keen but made it clear no paid jobs were available. But at least I could build a portfolio of my work, so I wrote an article for him on a local landmark and it was published.

Then the first editor phoned to ask what I’d like to be paid for my article and if I could write two per month about local historical buildings! He wanted exclusive rights to them too!

We agreed on a price of £100 per month for the two articles of 500 words each. It took him a while to organise payment but I got it eventually.

The going rate is 20p per word for qualified journalists, 10p for non qualified ones. I’m not qualified which leaves me room for more negotiation with editors.

To summarise:

• Write what you know.
• Write what other people want to know.
• Ask at smaller magazines to start with.
• Give them an example of your work.
• Find out the going rate of payment.
• Keep asking until they pay you.


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