Tuesday, March 1, 2016

20 Magazines That Pay $500 or More

Updated 5/15/21

While most literary journals generally offer modest compensation (if any), there are some magazines that pay generous professional rates.

Many of these specialize in niche markets, which means they have a loyal readership. If you happen to have expertise or a background that would appeal to their audiences, these magazines will be happy to read your pitch. Quite a few accept poetry.

Many of these magazines have submission periods and some have themed issues, so read their guidelines carefully. 

For more paying markets see: Paying Markets

Also see:

325 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction
These magazines represent everything from speculative fiction, to poetry, to gardening. Payments range from $1.25 to $1,000. You will find a home for your work in this list.

Top 12 Paying Markets for Fiction, Personal Essays and Poetry 

Here are a dozen prestigious literary magazines that accept submissions of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction. None charge submission fees, and all pay writers at professional or semi-professional rates.

Mega-List of Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines - Paying markets
If you write science fiction, fantasy, or horror you will want to pore over this list. I have included pay ranges as well as whether they accept simultaneous submissions and/or reprints.

185 Literary Magazines Accepting Reprints
Most magazines do not accept reprints, but some welcome them. I have indicated which markets are currently paying writers. 



Literary magazine publishing: Fiction: Short stories, novellas; Nonfiction: Creative nonfiction; essays on literature, art, and culture, music; biography, memoir; Poetry: No restrictions on style or form. "We are drawn to big minds, large hearts, sharp pens."

Length: Print: 15,000 words. Online: 4,000 words

Payment: LitMag Print: Upon acceptance, pays $500 for fiction or nonfiction; $125 for a poem (or the rare short short). LitMag Online: Upon acceptance, they pay $125. Charges $3 for online fiction submissions.


Earth Island Journal

"We cover the entire spectrum of environmental issues, including: wildlife and lands conservation; innovations in science and technology; public policy and the politics of environmental protection; climate and energy; animal rights; public health; environmental justice and cultural survival; and environmentally related film, music, and books.

Whenever possible, we seek to tell the stories of individuals and communities who are successfully defending and restoring the Earth. On-the-ground reports from outside North America are especially welcomed. These pieces should be appropriate for an educated, environmentally savvy readership. We do not consider technical or academic reports."

Length and Payment: 25 cents/word for shorter dispatches (1,200-1,500 words) and for longer investigative features (2,500-3,000 words). You can expect to earn about $750-$1000 for an in-depth feature story. For online reports, the fee ranges from $50 to $100.

How to submit: Query only.



"VQR strives to publish the best writing we can find. While we have a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, we also seek and support emerging writers. We read unsolicited fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions June 15 to July 15, and October 1 to November 1 each year through our Submittable portal. We read nonfiction pitches from June 15 to December 1." Note: No genre fiction.

Payment: $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, payment is $1,000. For short fiction, $1,000.  For other prose, such as personal essays and literary criticism, $1,000 and above, at approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length. Online content is generally paid at $100-$200, depending upon genre and length.


"AMC Outdoors inspires readers to get outside and get involved by providing high-quality coverage of outdoor recreation, education, and conservation topics throughout the Northern Appalachian region, from Maine to Virginia. Our goal is to provide a balance of coverage that appeals to people new to the outdoors as well as experienced backcountry users. Our primary focus is recreation, but we also work to educate our more than 90,000 members on environmental issues that could affect the activities and natural areas they love. AMC Outdoors is published six times per year."

Payment and Length: $500 – $700 for features, which usually range from 2,000 to 2,500 words.

How to submit: Send query only.


The Sun Magazine

"We publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues."

Payment: Personal Essays $300 to $2,000; Fiction $300 to $2,000; Poetry $100 to $250.


The Nation

"We are a weekly journal of left/liberal opinion, covering national and international affairs as well as the arts publishing in both print and digitally. On the domestic front, we are particularly interested in civil liberties, civil rights, labor, economics, environmental, privacy and policing and feminist issues and politics. Because we have readers all over the country, it’s important that stories have national significance. In our foreign affairs coverage, we are interested in pieces on international political, economic and social developments. We are strongly committed to investigative reporting."

Payment: $250 for short comments of about 750 words and $500 for articles, 1,500-2,500 words.

Accepts poetry.


The American Gardener

"The American Gardener is the official publication of the American Horticultural Society. The 64-page, four-color magazine goes out bimonthly to nearly 20,000 members. We stress environmentally responsible gardening practices, including minimizing use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, preventing illegal collection of plants from the wild, and avoiding plants with the potential to escape and damage natural ecosystems."

Payment: Payment for feature articles ranges from $300 to $600 on publication, depending on the article’s length and complexity, and the author’s background and publishing experience. Reimbursement for travel and other expenses can sometimes be negotiated at the time an article is accepted.

How to submit: Send proposal only.


One Story

One Story is seeking literary short stories. "They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone." Single stories are sent to email subscribers every month.

Length: Between 3,000 and 8,000 words.

Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies.

Simultaneous submissions okay.


The American Scholar 

The American Scholar is a quarterly magazine of essays, fiction, poetry, and articles covering public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture. Published since 1932 for the general reader by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Scholar considers nonfiction by known and unknown writers, but unsolicited fiction, poetry, and book reviews are not accepted.

Payment: Up to $500 for accepted pieces and up to $250 for pieces taken only for their website.



"Herizons' audience is a feminist readership. Articles about applying feminist principles in work, in relationships and organizations, and in social justice are welcome. Our readers are interested in health issues, social and political issues, environmental issues, equality issues, justice issues, spiritual issues; parenting issues and all issues informed by diverse racial and cultural experiences. Articles in which the writer is engaged with the material work best; personal experiences, journalism style articles, interviews, articles which bring in current research and a clear feminist perspective are all things we look for."

Payment and length: Features - 1,000 to 3,000 words. In depth articles on feminist debates, current social/ political/legal/environmental/culture emerging issues or personal stories with a broader social relevance. Can be interview style, essay style or journalism style. Non academic. $250-$750 depending on length. Also publishes short new pieces for $175 and reviews for $65.


The New Haven Review

"We like to see submissions from writers who can claim some connection to Greater New Haven, no matter how spurious, though it's not mandatory. We also like to see book reviews that are better than the book reviews you usually see out there, for whatever reason. But that said, we mostly publish essays, fiction (of any genre), poetry, and occasionally photojournalism."

Payment: At least $500 for prose pieces, fiction or nonfiction. $25 per poem, will publish more than one of an author's poems.


One Teen Story

"One Teen Story is looking for great short stories written for the young adult audience ages 13 and up. These stories should deal with the teen experience (issues of identity, friendship, family, coming-of-age, etc.) and should be geared primarily toward an audience of teen readers. With that in mind, gratuitous profanity, sex and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of literary fiction between 2,000 and 4,500 words." 

Payment: $500

Note: Accepts submissions from writers ages 13 - 19 only.


Oregon Humanities

"As a publication of ideas and perspectives, Oregon Humanities magazine offers a forum through which Oregon writers, scholars, and readers can use the humanities to explore timeless and timely ideas and themes. We only accept submissions of nonfiction writing and artwork when we announce each issue’s theme. All personal essays and features focus on a particular issue’s theme."

Payment: $50 to $200 for shorter department pieces and $300 to $800 for personal essays and features; payment varies depending on the length and complexity of the piece.

Note: Oregon writers only.


Poets & Writers Magazine

"Poets & Writers Magazine reaches a national audience of 100,000 readers from emerging to established literary writers. The magazine has a strong following among both students and faculty in creative writing programs across the country. In addition, many of its readers pursue creative writing as an avocation, often pairing their literary lives with other careers."

Payment: Up to $500, query first


"I want nuanced, thoughtful work where the essayist looks both inward and outward. I am particularly interested in well-researched, voice-driven writing. Personal essays and cultural criticism are warmly welcomed." Submissions should be between 1500 and 3000 words. Submissions are only open to emerging writers. You can only have three publications or fewer and no books or book contracts. Nonfiction only.

Payment: $2,000. 


"The Bare Life Review is the only literary journal whose sole mission is to publish immigrant and refugee writers. Our mission, from its earliest conception, has been not simply to "give voice to" or "elevate" the literature of migration, but to provide a forum where its inherent and manifest value is taken absolutely for granted. The project has remained steadfastly artistic in nature, a simple and unapologetic celebration of world literature, but deeply political insofar as it champions writers for whom persistence and survival are inherently, unavoidably, political acts." 

Payment: $750 for accepted full-length prose pieces,  $300 for accepted poems or shorter print journal prose (<2000 words) Anything timely (i.e. reviews of new books, or work responding directly to current events) should be addressed to The Latest, which pays $100.


"The Drift is a magazine of culture and politics. The Drift will introduce new work and new ideas by young writers who haven’t yet been absorbed into the media hivemind and don’t feel hemmed in by the boundaries of the existing discourse. We want socially engaged cultural criticism; class-sensitive analysis; pieces that point out what’s being avoided or talked around in politics, media, arts, or even academia; upbeat cynicism; un-self-serious screeds; generous takedowns; entries from the margins; fiction; poetry; 1-3 sentence book/ movie/ TV/ art reviews."

Payment: $300 - $500. 


Longreads publishes nonfiction. Essays and features are generally between 2,000 and 6,000 words, but can be longer or broken up into a series depending on length and subject matter. For critical essays, reporting, and columns, they accept pitches. 

Payment: $500 for personal essays; critical essays and columns start at $500; features begin at $1,500. 


An issue of Pipe Wrench is made of one core longform story and a constellation of conversation pieces — contributions in a range of styles and media that interpret, react to, or springboard off the core story. Core stories come from pitches; conversation pieces are commissioned. What they want: Longform nonfiction with a strong narrative and a critical lens that are at least 4,000 words, that take us on a journey beyond the Who-What-When-Where, and that dig deep into the Why. Personal essay, researched essay, cultural critique, creative nonfiction, historical inquiry, narrative reporting. Pitch first.

Payment: Rates for core stories start at $1500 and go up from there depending on the type of story, length, and research/reporting required. Rates for conversation pieces start at $150 and go up from there depending on the specifics — the length, the type of media, the work required. 


"The Believer, a twelve-time National Magazine Award finalist, is a literature, arts, and culture magazine published by the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute, and based in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In each issue, readers will find journalism, essays, intimate interviews, an expansive comics section, poetry, timely and untimely reviews, and on occasion, delightful and unexpected bonus items. The magazine is edited by a group of novelists, poets, artists, critics, regular readers of the Chicago Manual of Style, and aficionados of print and digital literature." Payment: $1000 for feature articles. Pitch first.

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