Breaking into the magazine writing market can be challenging, but it's also an excellent way to add to your resume and find a larger audience for your work. While some magazines only accept work from their staff writers, there are also many that take unsolicited queries and submissions from freelance writers. Knowing where and how to submit your work can help you gain a foothold in this market.
25 Magazines That Accept Freelance Queries
The following magazines publish the work of freelance writers. Click on the magazine title to see the submission requirements for that publication. Always check specific publishers' guidelines to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
If you love to write on parenting-related topics, the following magazines are good options for publishing your work.
- Parents - Parents hires freelance writers for some of its articles, although they do not typically publish essays from inexperienced writers. Send a query with your article idea and approach.
- American Baby - Owned by Parents, American Baby has a primary audience of mothers with children under age two. They accept articles of various lengths and prefer that you query with your idea and any published clips you may have.
- Brain, Child - Offering a rare market for personal essays, fiction, and poetry, as well as non-fiction articles, Brain, Child accepts submissions of various lengths. They ask that you include your entire submission in the body of your email.
Home and Garden Magazines
Home and garden magazines are another potential market for your articles. Consider these publications.
- Better Homes and Gardens - The quintessential home and garden magazine uses freelance writers for about 10% of its content. They prefer a query, rather than a full submission, and recommend that you focus on the areas of parenting, health, travel, and education.
- Natural Living - This magazine accepts queries related to positive green living issues, sustainable gardening, natural parenting, and other eco-friendly topics. The ideal article length for this magazine is 2,500 words.
- Midwest Living - Focused on decorating, gardening, and daily life in the Midwest states, this magazine encourages queries from freelance writers. They recommend that you summarize your idea and offer background information about your previous experience in your letter.
If you enjoy writing for young readers, you can submit your work to the following magazines.
- Highlights - This iconic children's magazine encourages submissions from freelancers in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, and crafts. They prefer that writers send the entire manuscript instead of a query letter.
- US Kids - US Kids, which publishes the magazines Jack and Jill and Humpty Dumpty, is very receptive to submissions from freelance writers. Stories and articles should include health topics but also focus on entertaining and engaging children. They prefer that you submit your article, rather than a query.
- Cricket - Cricket enjoys freelance submissions of stories, poetry, and articles for children aged six months to the teen years. Each age range has distinct submission guidelines, but in general, they prefer the complete manuscript.
Special Interest Magazines
The following special interest magazines accept and encourage submissions or queries from freelancers.
- Runner's World - The majority of Runner's World is crafted by staff writers, but they occasionally publish pieces from freelance writers too. They prefer you send the entire piece on speculation, and they recommend electronic submissions.
- National Geographic Traveler - If you have an idea for a travel article, you can submit a focused query to National Geographic Traveler. They expect the idea to have a tight focus on a particular destination, rather than an entire region or country.
- Yankee Magazine - Focused on the Northeast, Yankee Magazine accepts queries in the areas of food, home, and travel. They also accept queries for opinion pieces that would interest their readers.
- Cat Fancy - If you love cats and have a great idea for an article about them, you can submit a query to Cat Fancy between January 1 and May 1. Typical article length varies between 100 and 1,000 words.
Writing for business magazines is another great way to gain exposure and a market for your work. Consider these options.
- Harvard Business Review - If you're looking for a well-respected venue for publishing your business article, the Harvard Business Review is a good option. They accept proposals for articles focused on all aspects of business, including negotiation, marketing, leadership, and more.
- Strategy + Business - Strategy + Business is a great market for non-fiction business pieces, ranging in length from 500 to 5,000 words. They appreciate queries that focus on strategic decision making and management.
- Entrepreneur - If you have an idea for a feature or column related to marketing, technology, or another business aspect covered by this magazine, you can submit a query to Entrepreneur. Published pieces range in length from 250 words to about 1,500 words.
Environment, Politics, and Opinion Magazines
The following politics and opinion magazines accept submissions from freelancers.
- Mother Jones - This opinion magazine looks for freelance pieces with a national focus and a length of up to 5,000 words. They recommend sending a query of a few paragraphs and your resume.
- Yes! - Yes! accepts queries and article proposals on topics relating to the environment and sustainability. They prefer electronic submissions and request that ideas have a positive, solution-oriented focus.
- Sierra - If you have an idea for a great environmentally-focused feature article or a green living idea, Sierra accepts queries from freelance writers. They also love pieces that focus on adventure travel.
Many magazines that focus on health topics accept submissions or queries from freelance writers.
- Fit Pregnancy - Fit Pregnancy covers health topics for expectant mothers and moms of young children. They encourage queries from freelance writers and publish both feature articles and columns on a variety of topics.
- Eating Well - Focused on the health aspects of food and eating, this magazine is very receptive to freelance writers submitting queries. They also note that they keep freelancers in mind for future articles if they appreciate the quality of their pitch.
- Psychology Today - If you have an idea for an article focused on any aspect of psychology, this is a great publishing venue. They accept queries and encourage you to specify how your piece will change the lives of readers.
If you write fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry, the following literary magazines are good venues for publication.
- Ploughshares - This renowned literary magazine is published three times a year and welcomes submissions from freelance writers. Submit your full manuscript of about 5,000 words, a set of five poems, or even a longer work of up to 25,000 words.
- Harper's - Another respected venue for publishing quality literary non-fiction and fiction, Harper's accepts non-fiction queries and short fiction manuscripts from freelancers. They do not consider full manuscripts for non-fiction.
- Boulevard - Since 1984, Boulevard has been publishing creative non-fiction, poetry, and fiction. They accept full submissions between October 1 and May 1 and charge three dollars for online submissions.
More Sources for Magazine Writing Work
There are also books devoted to magazine markets for freelance writers. Check one of the following out from your local library or purchase it online or in a bookstore.
- The Best of the Magazine Markets for Writers by Susan M. Tierney - Offering almost 2,000 suggestions for magazines that publish work from freelance writers, this book is a good source for expanding your business. It retails for about $28 from Writer's Bookstore.
- 2017 Writer's Market by Robert Lee Brewer - While this book doesn't focus exclusively on magazines, it has a large section devoted to the topic. It's a great resource for any freelance writer and retails for about $21 on Amazon.com.
Many Options for Freelance Writers
Whether you write for children or focus on issues related to health, the environment, or another topic, there are many magazines out there that hire freelance writers. Be sure you pay attention to the writer's guidelines at the magazine you're considering, since you'll have the best chance of publication if your format your submission or query letter in the way preferred by the publisher.