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As writer’s I think we all know there’s something cathartic about the writing of our personal story (especially if it’s been tied to personal anguish and pain). Here are 10 websites, books and magazines that pay up to $400 for your personal story. There’s even some Australian publications too, because the ‘get paid to write’ listicles I see online mainly focus on US publications.
Some of these websites show their rates on the page and others you will need to contact their editor to negotiate payment. Remember to always read back issues and get familiar with who you’ll be writing for. Your personal story will have a lot more chance of being published if you can show the editor how their audience will relate to the piece.
Reader’s Digest Australia pays up to $400 for personal stories that are touching, inspiring or life-changing. They also pay up to $150 for shorter pieces and anecdotes about family, pets and the kindness of strangers.
Submit an article on any present experience of hardship and get a personalised response from the Editor of Essig Magazine. Featured articles are paid $100.
Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, founded in 2000, is an award-winning literary magazine dedicated to motherhood. Each issue contains personal essays, a short story, poetry, debates, book reviews and news. They focus on long form essays that range from 1,500 – 3,500 words. They pay all of their writers for published online and print pieces.
Guideposts publishes true stories about people who have attained a goal, surmounted an obstacle or learned a helpful lesson through their faith. Payment for full-length stories (about 1,500 words) is made when the story is accepted for publication.
Narratively is devoted to original and untold human stories, delivered in the most appropriate format for each piece, from writing to short documentary films, photo essays, audio stories and comics journalism.
Motherwell is a publication that tells all sides of the parenting story. They accept work on a variety of parenting-related themes—culture, family life, obstacles and overcoming them. They pay for their featured original articles which are either personal essays or perspective pieces.
Mamamia is an Australian women’s website publishing podcasts, videos, written articles and branded content so women can not only feel included and understood and informed but so they can lead the conversation in a world that can leave them feeling overwhelmed, excluded or inadequate.They accept submissions for personal stories but you’ll have to negotiate your own payment with the editor.
With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages; “chicken soup for the soul” is one of the world’s best-known phrases and is regularly referenced in pop culture. If Chicken Soup for the Soul publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in.
Meanjin Quarterly is an Australian literary magazine synonymous with fine writing. They publish poetry, fiction, essays and personal memoirs and advertise for submissions on their website. Subscribing to the magazine would be a great idea.
Each issue of True Story features one exceptional work of creative nonfiction, and is distributed in print and digitally (though not available online).
Submissions should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words long, on any subject, in any style. The only rules are that all work submitted must be nonfiction and original to the author, and we will not consider previously published work.
They pay $300 on publication and give you 10 free copies of “your” issue.
When submitting your personal story remember it needs to appeal to the readers of the publication. We get so connected to our stories it can be hard to be objective about how readable they actually are. So make sure you read back issues of the publication and even better, subscribe.
The job of your story is to help that website, magazine, journal or blog provide great content for their readers as well as gain new ones, so you’ll need to write using a style and tone suited to the publication.
Most of all have fun, getting paid to write our stories is pretty damned cool.
© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine
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