9 Publications That Pay You to Write About Animals
By Paula Fitzsimmons
If you write about animals, finding markets for your work doesn’t have to be daunting if you know where to look. To help with your search, I’ve created a list of animal-related magazines and websites that pay writers. It’s not a comprehensive list, and doesn’t take into account other markets, including trade journals, animal nonprofits, and consumer magazines with pet columns.
The following information is accurate as of this writing, but things move at a rapid pace in the magazine publishing industry. Editors take new positions, writer pay rates change, and some magazines fold or move in new directions. For these reasons, I suggest treating this list as a supplement to your own research.
With its humble start in 1997 as a newsletter, The Bark has evolved into one of the most recognized and trusted consumer dog magazines on the market. Its pages are filled with solidly-written articles on a range of dog lover topics including wellness, nutrition, adoption, and behavior.
What the editor is looking for: Feature articles; shorter how-to and tips pieces of less than 600 words; essays, fiction; shorter poems
Payment: Rates are individually negotiated, and vary based on complexity and length of article. Online-only submissions are paid with a one-year subscription to The Bark.
Part of the Pet 360 Media Network, BlogPaws is a network of pet bloggers, and serves as a resource offering helpful articles, a social learning community, conferences, and special events.
If you blog about animals, you can become a member for free.
What the editor is looking for: They’re looking for articles that help others improve their blogging business; for instance, how to grow a presence on social media, promote written content, and write effective press releases.
Payment: Pays $75 for a blog post of 350 to 550 words, and the article has to be accompanied by two images.
Writing for pet- and animal-themed magazines are just one of the markets that need freelance writers. Read “Do You Write About Animals? Where to Find Paying Markets” for more ideas.
This bi-monthly pet lifestyle magazine is distributed for free to various locations in the middle Tennessee region, including Nashville, and is also offered online and via subscription. Along with articles on pet health, wellness, nutrition, and safety, Nashville Paw promotes animal rescue and welfare throughout its pages.
What the editor is looking for: They publish four different types of articles of varying word counts – from 400 words to 1,500 words.
Payment: it varies based on the writer’s experience and type of assignment.
The magazine is published for members of Defenders of Wildlife, one of the nation’s premier wildlife conservation organizations. Their quarterly publication gives reader a closer look at efforts to protect imperiled species, and compels them to take action.
What the editor is looking for: Department stories range from 500 to 800 words; and features are from 1,200 to 2,000 words.
Payment: Not specified
Previously named Birder’s World, this bi-monthly magazine features articles for wild bird lovers of all experience levels. It’s available on newsstands and via subscription.
What the editor is looking for: Some of their needs are stories about birds in the news, bird history, birding hotspots, attracting, identifying, and feeding birds. Feature articles run from 1,750 to 2,250 words, and shorter articles are from 700 to 900 words.
Payment: They pay $400 for most feature articles and less for shorter pieces.
• Adjust your mindset. If you’re not getting results, don’t take it personally – there are any number of reasons why editors may not be responding to your queries. Keep moving forward, send good queries . . . and learn to accept rejection.
• Get editors’ names. You’ll improve your chances considerably if you take time to search for an editor’s name and email address.
• Read writer submission guidelines carefully. And take time to read the publication you’re pitching to. Each has its own voice – a story that fits one magazine may be completely off-base for another, even if both cover the same topics.
• Master the art of the query letter. Take time to write a well-crafted query letter. Without it, your chances of getting a response is poor.
For sage advice on how to write queries that sell, I recommend “The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock” by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell. You can get a free 20-page sample of the book by visiting Renegade Writer Press.
I also like “The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing” by Zachary Petit, for help with writing query letters, as well as a range of freelance topics – the author is a writer as well as an editor. (Please note: “The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing” is an affiliate link, and your purchase via this link will result in a commission for me.)
Earth Island Institute distributes this quarterly-based magazine to its members, and also offers it via subscription and newsstands. The magazine covers a wide range of environmental topics, including those pertaining to wildlife conservation and animal rights.
What the editor is looking for: Cutting-edge interviews, stories of people and communities successfully making a difference for the planet, investigative features.
Per the guidelines, “online reports are a great way to get into the Journal, especially if you are new to reporting and writing.” Since they publish online stories online five days a week, your chances of getting published may be higher by going this route.
Payment: They pay 25 cents per word for articles of 1,200 to 1,500 words; and about $750 to $1,000 for more in-depth, investigative feature stories. They pay $50 to $100 for online articles;
Part of the National Geographic family of publications, National Geographic Kids magazine is intended for ages six and up. It covers a range of topics, including those about animals. The emphasis is on publishing stories that entertain and educate.
What the editor is looking for: For the Amazing Animals department, they’re looking for stories of unusual animal abilities, heroes, and friendships.
Payment: Not specified
(I can recommend any of the Freelance Writer’s Den resources with
confidence because I’ve been a member for over two years. That said,
this is an affiliate link, so if you make a purchase, I earn commission).
The audience of this trade magazine is comprised of veterinary practice team members including technicians, vet assistants, and practice managers. They run stories intended to inspire and educate their readers on how to do their jobs better, thus improving the lives of the animals they help service.
What the editor is looking for: They accept work for several of their columns.
Payment: It varies by department: Pearls of Practice pays 30 for 250 words or less; Room to Grow pays $40 for 500 words or less; Make it Meaningful pays $150 for 600 to 1,200 words; and features pay $250 to $350 for 800 to 2,000 words.
This digest-sized magazine features non-technical articles on bird identification, natural history, travel for bird lovers, bird conservation, and other topics that appeal to birdwatchers. This bi-monthly magazine, established in 1978, is available on newsstands and via subscription.
What the editor is looking for: They accept freelance submissions for several departments, including Far Afield, The Well-Equipped Birder, The Backyard, and Species Profile, as well as feature articles. Word counts vary.
Payment: Not specified
Editor notes: “Roughly one in 10 unsolicited manuscripts are accepted for publication, which can take a year or two from acceptance. Payment is after publication.”