Writing magazines can be very difficult for an inexperienced writer to break into. Many publications look for seasoned writers who already have long lists of published work.
We present you with a well-researched list here, of 17 writing and essay magazines that actively encourage freelancers – experienced and amateurs – to write for them. Even better than this, all of the publications listed below pay their writers.
Note: Looking for magazines that pay writers in other niches? For more magazines that pay writers, check out our list of magazines that pay writers.
Dame Magazine focuses on well written, informative and provocative essays for women by women. They are in need of content within the personal essays, op-eds and reports fields. They like manuscripts to be between 800 and 2,000 words.
Dame Magazine prefers receiving queries to full articles. Be prepared to send a short bio and some writing samples with your proposal.
Slice Magazine publishes literary works. They are inviting submissions on the following: poetry, short fiction and non-fiction. Submissions are expected to be between 500 and 5,000 words. They pay $250 for essays and prose upon publication.
Slice magazine encourages new writers to pitch them, but please do check their themes before writing.
3. Tin House
Tin House is dedicated to promoting and publishing the best of American writing and fiction. They’re calling for essays, fiction and poetry submissions They expect each piece to be no more than 10,000 words.
Please remember that unsolicited material is only published at a certain time of year, so check their website for full details on how to query them.
4. Humor Press
Pay: $250 (Competition)
Humor Press is a widely-read publication, which focuses on tasteful humor. They are currently hosting writing contests with several different cash prizes. Each submission should not exceed 750 words.
Please peruse their site to find the competition that suits you. You will find entry guidelines, prizes, contests and several other details there.
The Sun Magazine is open to a wide range of writing submissions. They publish content on essays, interviews, fiction and poetry. They are in need of submissions in line with their main objective. Submissions should be between 500 and 7,000 words. Writers should make themselves familiar with the magazine before writing for them.
The Sun Magazine pays between $300 and $2,000 (depending on word count and article) upon publication.
Plough Shares publishes quality, refined literature. However, their submissions periods are only open for part the year. Check their website for these details. They are in need of submissions on essays, poems, fiction and non-fiction. They expect manuscripts to be no more than 6,000 words. They pay $250 upon publication.
Writers should expect to send a short bio and a few published writing samples with their proposals.
Five Points Magazine focuses primarily on writing and literature. They are in need of submissions on literary non-fiction, fiction and poetry. They expect prose to be no more than 7,500 words in total. Submissions can be made online or via post.
This publication welcomes new writers, but expects prospective freelancers to make themselves familiar with what they publish before submitting work.
Conjunctions Magazine specialises in creative writing. They invite freelancers to submit work within the following subjects: creative non-fiction, poetry, long-form fiction. They don’t have a specified word length for articles.
Conjunctions encourages writers to send work by post only, and only to submit the work itself, rather then query them.
Epoch Magazine is a publication of the English department in the Cornell University. They are in need of submissions on the following subjects: literary fiction, essays, poetry and screenplays.
All submissions to Epoch Magazine are to be made by post. They have very detailed guidelines on their page, so please do read this before writing your copy.
Pay: $50, 000 (Competition)
St. Francis College hosts an annual contest to support and encourage the literary community. Submissions can range from self-published books to English translations. Commencement and Deadlines are announced on their website.
Mid-career writers are definitely encouraged to submit work to this well-respected competition.
Belle Books and Bell Bridge Books are imprints which focus on publishing creative writing. They accept submissions on all genres and there is no specific word count. They expect writers to query their concerns and questions.
This publication will suit writers who create longer pieces of work like books, rather than freelancers who write articles.
12. West Branch
West Branch accepts submissions on poetry, creative fiction, non-fiction and translations. They also accept book reviews and pay $200 per review.
This publication has a detailed submissions’ guidelines page on their site. Freelancers who wish to write for them should take time to follow these to the letter, if they want to be published by West Branch.
Highlight is dedicated to publishing creative writing for kids. They accept a wide range of submissions like fiction, verse, non-fiction, crafts, action rhymes and much more. There’s a wealth of information on their site, so freelancers are encouraged to digest this before submitting any work to them.
They expect each submission to be between 120 and 800 words, and they pay upon acceptance.
The American Scholar Magazine is currently accepting submissions on essays, fiction and poetry. They expect non-fiction submissions to be no longer 6,000 words. They pay up to $500 upon publication.
The American Scholar encourages freelancers to only submit one piece at a time, and requires them to be familiar with the magazine before submitting any work.
Christian Science Monitor accepts submissions on the following subjects: international news, people making a difference, books, energy voices and the home forum. They expect you to send a query to the editor before writing.
This publication deals with a wide range of topics, so check the details on their site to make sure your work fits snugly into one of their categories.
16. Puritan Magazine
Puritan Magazine is dedicated to publishing qualitative writing. They hold an annual contest for the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence. Each winner in poetry and fiction gets an award prize of $1,000 – and books.
There are guidelines and qualifiers for each contest, so it’s best to check the site to find the details.
17. Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse does a wide coverage of work related to creative writing. They are currently accepting submissions on fiction, essays and poetry. They expect fiction and essays to be between 2,500 and 8,500 words in length. They pay $200 upon publication.
They have clear guidelines within their genres and expect prospective writers to be familiar with the work they publish.