Where to find high paying writing markets

Where to find high paying writing markets

Making a living as a writer is hard. It’s a daunting task, trying to find enough steady gigs to pay the bills and make it worth your while to quit your day job. But with a little market research and some well-spent computer time, you can find plenty of high-paying writing markets eager to see what you’ve got.

"High-paying" is a term that will be different for every writer. Some people say 10 cents a word is high-paying, but it is very subjective. To a poet, 10 cents a word could mean less than $10 per poem.

This article lists pay rates for a few markets; you may think some of them are high-paying while others are not. But if you keep reading you’ll also find places to find high-paying markets, where you will be able to compare different markets and see for yourself which ones you think are high-paying.

If you’re a speculative fiction writer, Ralan.com is a great source for magazines and publishers that pay well. The "Semipro" section lists markets that pay between 3 and 5 cents per word, and in the "Pro" section you’ll find markets that pay 5 cents per word and up. (5 cents/word is deemed a "professional rate" by both the Science Fiction Writers of America, Inc. and the Horror Writers Association.)

By signing up for newsletters, you can market information delivered right to your inbox. The Funds for Writers newsletter highlights markets that pay at least $350 or 20 cents per word for each acceptance. This weekly newsletter is a great place to find magazines and publishers to submit to, as well as grants and writing contests.

The Writer’s Digest Shop sells a series of books that are aimed at helping writers find potential markets. These books — which include Writer’s Market, Poet’s Market, and Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market — list contact information, guidelines, and other pertinent data about each publisher. They also rate each listing based on pay; the more dollar signs you see in front of each name, the more that market pays. (The front of each book gives a legend that describes how much each market pays, so you can skim through the pages to find high-paying markets.) If you don’t have the money to purchase a copy of any of these books, you can usually find some of them at your local library.

In addition to the above-listed resources, you can also find high-paying markets online by searching them out. Typically, the more popular a magazine is, the better it will pay its writers. The Saturday Evening Post, for instance, pays "$400 and up" for feature-length articles.

Trade magazines often go unnoticed by writers but can pay handsomely. To find a list of trade magazines open to submissions, check FreelanceWriting.com. Just as an example, Public Safety IT Magazine pays freelance writers 15 cents per word for articles that are typically 1800-2400 words.

Local magazines are usually looking for very specific subject matter, but they tend to pay well. You may find a magazine right in your backyard woth submitting to. New Jersey Outdoors pays $100-450 per article.

With all of these ideas, you should be able to find enough high-paying markets to keep you busy for a while. Check their guidelines to see which ones accept simultaneous submissions and/or reprints so you can maximize your efforts.


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