Are you wondering, “how can I sell my story to magazines?”
If you have an interesting story or unique experience, it’s not that hard to get paid for writing and sharing it with the press.
Hollywood is always looking for fascinating stories.
Sure, not everyone can sell their story for a movie or book, but there are dozens of websites, magazines and other publications out there that will actually pay you for your story.
To save you a bit of time, we’ve compiled a list of…
What will I learn?
17 Places to sell your story for cash
For most of these platforms, you don’t need to be an experienced writer to sell your story either.
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All you need is a compelling or interesting story that fits in with the publication you aim to sell it to.
1. The Greatist
- Potential earnings: Rates start at $125.
The Greatist is a blog that focuses on health, food, fitness and life in general. It’s mainly aimed at 18 to 35 year olds.
It also accepts personal stories.
The Greatist has a section called Unfiltered. It features personal stories that offer an honest look at what life looks like for 20- and 30-somethings today. Stories in this section tend to focus mainly on mental health, relationships and personal journeys about weight loss, body image, and health in general.
But, other topics, like social media and technology, are also covered.
If you think that you’ve got a personal experience that would fit the site, then you should definitely consider pitching it.
Your story should be written in first-person, be at 1,000 to 1,500 words and provide an honest perspective.
On this page, you can find more information about pitching to The Greatist.
- Where & how to pitch your story: https://healthlinemedia.com/company/careers
- Potential earnings: Motherwell state how much it pays writers.
Motherwell is a parenting website that accepts personal essays. The website accepts first-person, narrative driven essays that relate to all aspects of being a parent.
According to the website, your essay can have any tone or style you want, whether that’s humorous, lyrical or research-oriented.
Stories submitted to Motherwell must be up to 1,200 words.
- Where & how to pitch your story: https://motherwellmag.com/submissions/
3. We Buy Stories
- Potential earnings: £100 to £5,000 (this is a UK based platform)
If you’re looking for a place to sell your story to the press, then look no further than We Buy Stories.
It’s a UK focused platform.
This company specializes in selling people’s own stories to well-known newspapers, mostly in the UK, like the Mirror and the Daily Mail. It also works with well-known magazines, like Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Woman’s Own, OK! and Heat.
To get a feel for what types of stories We Buy Stories accepts, visit the page we linked below.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.webuystories.com/
4. Dame Magazine
- Potential earnings: Pay varies. According to Dame Magazine, your rate is agreed upon when your submission is accepted.
Women’s publication, Dame Magazine, which covers fashion, politics, culture and celebrity, accepts first person essays.
The stories it accepts must be between 800 and 2,000 words.
According to Dame, the tone of the magazine is “irreverent, witty, and provocative.”
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pitch a story for consideration. You’ll need to send a query and/or pitch, describing your story. It should be around a paragraph.
If you’ like to learn more about Dame Magazine and read the submission guidelines, then check out the page below.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.damemagazine.com/about
- Potential earnings: $200
Another female-focused magazine, Skirt also accepts submissions for personal essays.
Each month, the magazine publishes two personal essays focused on that months’ theme.
Themes range from romance to creativity.
Your essay must fit one of the magazine’s monthly themes, and be between 800 and 1,100 words.
You can see what the themes are for upcoming months by visiting the page we linked below. And, you can read more about how to submit a story on that page too.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.skirt.com/contribute/
- Potential earnings: Pay varies, but it starts at $100 for full-length feature articles.
Cracked is a comedy website, where you can find humorous list-style articles, features, and plenty of other funny content.
The website also has a Personal Experience section, which, as you can tell by the name, features people’s own personal stories.
If you think you’ve got a good story that would fit the tone of the website, then Cracked could publish it. All you need to do is pitch your story to the Personal Experience team, and you get paid.
Anyone can submit a story to the platform – you don’t have to be an experienced writer.
To get a feel for what type of content Cracked is looking for, check out the Personal Experience section.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.cracked.com/write-for-cracked/
7. Extra Crispy
- Potential earnings: Extra Crispy is another platform that doesn’t specifically state how much it pays.
Extra Crispy is a website that focuses on breakfast, brunch and morning culture in general. It’s a really unique, food-focused website. And, it’s looking for personal essays focused on breakfast or morning culture.
Extra Crispy suggests that you read the blog before you submit a pitch. And that you also search Google to check that your story has been published on the site previously.
To contribute to the blog, you need to send a pitch, which should include a fully formed idea, to email@example.com.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.extracrispy.com/culture/185/how-to-pitch-extra-crispy
8. BuzzFeed READER
- Potential earnings: BuzzFeed Reader doesn’t state how much it pays.
BuzzFeed is a really popular website that focuses primarily on list-style articles. But, it also has a newer section, which launched in March 2016, that focuses more on personal stories.
This section is called BuzzFeed READER. According to BuzzFeed, READER is home for “cultural criticism, personal essays, fiction, and poetry”.
If you want to sell your own persona story to BuzzFeed Reader, then you can in the form of a personal essay.
It can be about almost any topic, like travel, religion, family, food or relationships. Your essay should have a strong voice and offer something valuable to the reader.
To learn more about what BuzzFeed Reader requires from a personal essay, visit this page.
- Where & how to pitch your story: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/how-to-pitch-essays-to-buzzfeed-reader
9. Boston Globe
- Potential earnings: The Boston Globe doesn’t state exactly how much it pays for personal stories. But, it does state that payment is made within 30 days of publication.
The Boston Globe is a magazine that covers a wide range of topics. It has a section called Connections, which includes first-person essays on relationships.
If you’ve got a personal story about a relationship of any kind, whether it’s between siblings, parents, and children, or friends, then consider pitching it to the Boston Globe.
Your essay needs to be around 650 words.
- Where & how to pitch your story: If you want to share your story with the Boston Globe, then you’ll need to send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you put the word “query” in the subject line.You can also send your query the old fashioned way, via mail to Veronica Chao, editor, The Boston Globe Magazine, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819.
- Potential earnings: Kveller doesn’t state exactly how much it pays writers.
Kveller is an online community and blog focused on parenting from a Jewish perspective.
The website is looking for personal, narrative driven essays, which are between 500 and 2,000 words, related to women’s issues and parenting.
Like many of the other websites and magazines on this list, Kveller suggests that you read the website thoroughly to get a clearer idea of what type of content it is looking for.
If you want to write for this Jewish parenting website, then send an email to email@example.com, and include the term “submission” in the subject line.
You’ll need to include your story within the body of the email, or attach it as a Word document.
Also, you need to include a brief bio, along with your contact information.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.kveller.com/article/submission-guidelines/
11. New York Times Magazine
- Potential earnings: The New York Times Magazine is another platform that doesn’t state how much it pays writers.
The New York Times Magazine has a popular column called Lives. It features personal essays on a plethora of topics.
If you want to contribute your own personal story to the magazine, then take the time to read the Lives column first.
You can view it here.
Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/magazine/lives_submit.html
12. Woman’s World
- Potential earnings: Woman’s World pays $250 per published story.
Another magazine that you can sell a personal story to is Woman’s World.
We actually published an in-depth post about the great potentials of submitting stories to the Woman’s World in our “How to Make $250 Fast” article.
The magazine focuses on beauty, food, décor and a number of other lifestyle topics. It also features personal stories.
If you’d like to share your story with the magazine, then send an email to WWFeatures@WomansWorldMag.com.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.womansworld.com/p/contact
13. The Frisky
- Potential earnings: The Frisky states that rates are competitive with other blogs, and that pay is negotiated upon assignment.
The Frisky is a female-focused website that features articles and content on relationship advice, sex and celebrity gossip.
If you’ve got a story that fits in with the tone of the blog, then you should definitely consider pitching it.
The Frisky accepts a wide range of different content, including personal essays. It’s looking for personal essays on topics like family, work, travel, body image, sex, dating, confidence, and friendships.
Typically, personal essays are between 700 and 1,000 words.
The Frisky suggests that you read the blog before you send your pitch.
You can send your pitch via email to one of the site’s editors, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.thefrisky.com/submissions/
- Potential earnings: Narratively states that it pays for stories, but it doesn’t state how much.
Another website that accepts personal stories is Narratively.
It’s looking for unique human stories that are narrative driven.
It’s another platform that has themes. So make sure you check out the page we linked to below to see what types of stories Narratively is looking for.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://narrative.ly/contribute/
- Potential earnings: Salon doesn’t state what it pays writers. However, many people on writing forums and blogs state that the magazine pays between $100 and $200 per essay. Don’t assume that you’ll get paid that exact amount, however.
Salon is an online magazine, focusing on arts and culture. It’s another great platform for writers that want to sell their own personal stories.
To submit an article or story pitch, send an email with the subject line “Editorial Submission”, which includes your query or submission in the body of the email.
Before you submit a pitch, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with Salon’s content.
You can view the personal stories section here.
Reading this section will give you an idea of what types of stories the magazine is after.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.salon.com/about/submissions
- Potential earnings: $250 for stories and essays
Slice Magazine features a plethora of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. You can submit your own personal story, but it must be compelling.
It’s another magazine, like Skirt, which has a theme for each issue.
They also accept poems and pay $75 per poem. Here is a list of other sites that pay for poems.
To view upcoming themes and to learn more about selling your story to Slice, visit the page below.
- Where & how to pitch your story: https://slicemagazine.org/submit/
17. The Mirror
- Potential earnings: The Mirror doesn’t state exactly how much it pays for stories, but it does assert that the more prominently your story is featured, the more it could be worth.
The Mirror is one of the UK’s most popular newspapers. And, you could sell your story to them.
If you think that you have a compelling story that the Mirror would be interested in, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where & how to pitch your story: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sell-my-story/
If you’ve got an experience to share, then why not sell your story to one of the platforms above?
It’s a fairly easy way to make money, and you get the chance to share one of your own personal stories with a wide audience.
Whether you just want to make some money from selling your story, or are a writer interested in publishing your personal stories, you should definitely consider pitching to one of the websites, magazines or organizations on this list.
Thanks for this valuable post, never gave “selling my stories” much thought. Been primarily focusing on Blogging with Article and eBook Publishing. This may be worth checking out.
i am a story writter; and this is my only job please help me
Hello, thank you on sharing this information on selling personal stories and poetry. I am an author with 5 published books and working on two mote. I believe that this is a good medium to share ones talents and gifts with the universe because of the coronavirus pandemic and the dark shadows of our existence in a world filled with darkness and mass confusion..
Hi I will like to tell a story of my life
My life was not easy till now
i am a writer , i want to sell my story(ghost story) in magazines or newspapers please give me a way how i sell my stories . what are terms and conditions . please send me the details
Each site has their own terms. Visit whichever site you are interested in. They have all the details on their website.
i would like to share my livelihood stories