Model of Jerusalem at the time of the 2nd Temple now situated at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It’s frequently quoted that you can’t make a living writing essays – and this may well be true. 
 But  essays are a wonderful addition to your writing arsenal, and the more mature you are, the more you have to write about..

As the years have gone by I have written more and more essays for various publications and with practice they have become easier to write and almost all have been published ,( the ones that don’t usually end up on my other blog)

I’m not going to give definitions / directions / hints and tips about writing because so many other people have written about essay writing far better than I can,  so I’m giving some links below  to a variety of articles on the subject .

Now once, you’ve picked your topic and written the essay, where are you going to send it?
Below are links to guidelines of  a number of online and print publications that publish essays .
I suggest that you take the time to read some of the essays that they have already published to get some idea of what they are interested in and the style they prefer.

Most essays are between 700 – 1000 words with the preferred number being  usually 800 – 900 but always check the guidelines.

Some of the below markets have both online and print publications and some only pay for one version. If you want to get paid check carefully what the current rates are.

Although the CS in the  title is Christian Science, this is an online newspaper with  a very tenuous connection to religion. They like essays connected to travel, nature and parenting.
Here are some essays they have recently published in the Home Forum section
Sasee – essays on topics of interest to women
Brainchild – The Magazine for thinking mothers

Chicken Soup stories – current needs for various upcoming books
Underwired – women’s stories
Skirt – essays for and about women monthly essays are according to themes
Guideposts – stories to inspire

Family Tree – Genealogy Magazine – they have one essay  column called  Everything’s Relative


Aish Hatorah  -  show Jewish wisdom in a positive manner

   Mishpacha weekly magazine with separate supplements for women and children
Ami  -  weekly Magazine with separate supplements for women and tweenagers
Here is a market analysis I wrote a few months ago.

With so much choice what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


When I first started writing non-fiction  I used to think that when I was quoted a rate for an article, it was ‘take it or leave it’.
I was so grateful for being published  that I never queried the rate nor asked for more.

But that attitude isn’t really logical. Some places are offering the same rate per word / article / story now as they were ten years ago.

Would you remain in the same place of work and not apply for a raise in ten years?

There are several way of possibly getting more money for an article and it’s certainly worth trying them.
Don’t worry that  the editor will be so angry that she’ll decide to cancel the assignment – I’ve never heard of that happening.
The worst that can happen is she’ll say NO. But at least you will have tried.

  1. If you have been writing for the publication for some time ask if you can have your rate increased as you have shown that you write consistently well / stick to deadlines / turn in good clean copy that requires minimum editing  etc.

  1. If you can’t have your word rate increased, ask if you can add words by including a useful sidebar. Obviously what you write will depend on the topic of the article.

             Travel – how to get there / fare prices / hotel and restaurant information..
             Parenting – tips on the topic according to the different  ages of  children.
             Food – conversion of cups= grams= ounces / 
                         alternatives for making the food  parev instead of milchik 
  1. Ask for pay for photographs. Sometimes the submissions editor has her hands tied regarding pay rates but is allowed some creative leeway to help her regular writers earn more. When a publication I wrote for reduced their freelance rates ( yes I know it does happen -  I  am   living in   the real word) I asked to be paid extra for the photographs  I supplied and that way  at least I got it back to my old rate.
4. If the publication has a flat rate per article suggest you spread the topic over two articles. When you submit your query you’ll have to show that you have enough material for two articles but, especially with online articles, when readers’ attention span is limited, two articles are often better than one – and you get paid twice.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


There are many days when I don’t have the time to write much.,
But there’s one thing I can almost always manage and that’s sending a letter to the editor  a household tip, a funny incident or  a cute photo.

Keep a notebook for all ideas for letters that occur to you / kitchen short-cuts you always do without thinking / fun things children say.
You can always ask your friends for a good household tips as well.

These items are often  known as fillers and many publications use them.

 One of the most famous publications for humorous  fillers is Readers Digest. Read a copy to get some of ideas of the topics they cover but they are mostly funny incidents that happen  at work / in the army  / jokes  / odd photos etc.
 They pay $100 but the competition is fierce. You can submit your entries here 

There are also many British magazines which pay money for letters to the editor / opinions/ money saving ideas / cute things your children say etc. etc. Pay varies  usually from about   £10 – £100 and if you think of it as pay per word it’s well worth it.

They also pay well for  cute pictures of children – they don’t have to be your own they can be children / grandchildren / nieces/ nephews .or your neighbor’s. Occasionally a publication will ask for the parents letter of  permission if  you say the photos isn’t of your own child.

I recently received  £100 ( that’s about  $160) for a picture of one of my grandchildren , sitting in a field of flowers. Now I know she’s  absolutely gorgeous  but  it’s nice that the magazine also thinks so.

Many of the magazines that take these kind of letters / tips / photos are the weekly tabloid types full or lurid, grizzly stories  .They are very  popular and  are  published every week and therefore need a lot of material and so it’s not that difficult to get published in them .

I  rarely see actual copies of the magazine,  but although some of their requirements may change slightly, they almost always publish photos of children  and  tips in some form or another.

In order to keep up to date with fillers  I  subscribe to Freelance  Market News (FMN) which always has a page of filler markets, as well as many pages of general writing  markets and writing tips.

Two things you need to check 
1. That the letter pages aren’t full of comments about articles from the previous issues of the  magazine. Obviously, if this is their policy, you’re just wasting your time if you try and send them a letter about your daughter’s cute comment .  FMN does warn you if the letters are all about previous articles.

2. They don't pay in prizes that you won't be able to have sent out of the UK . I usually only write for magazines that pay in money.

Here are a few magazines to start you off.

Photos of children / pets./ travel  £100              email:
Tips  £30  tips with photo of tip in action £60   email:

Tips with photo £25
Send through their website and see other tips ( only those in the printed mag are paid for)

Tips   £25  submit at website

Letters   £50 for star letter   £25 for others

Letters and tips   £10

Letters ( must be accompanied by a photo) £25