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Feb 20

Quick cash and prizes for writing letters to magazines

Reading Time: 8 mins

Did you know that you can receive cash or a prize simply for writing letters to magazines? Most magazines reward those who write letters that are interesting enough to make it into print. Often with gifts and sometimes with monetary rewards. Very few readers actually take the time write in too, so chances are, a well written letter is likely to be featured.

Why should you consider sending a letter to a magazine?

Woman looking thoughtful

Magazines need letters and true life stories from readers, so you’d be surprised at how few people actually write in. Some magazines get so few letters and life stories that they have to ask their journalists to make some up. Why not save them a job and take advantage of the rewards on offer?

Once you have read some of the letters in magazines you will see that you really don’t have have to be Earnest Hemingway to write a quality letter. Many of the letters most magazines get are bland, so you can make yours stand out by putting in some thought to what you’re going to say. It doesn’t even need to be true! Just entertaining and engaging to read.

In fact, if you write in with something really extraordinary (dare we say salacious) you might get a call from one of the journalists, who will offer to write your story for you and give you even more rewards for the privilege.

It is not particularly time consuming and if done well, it could lead to regular regular rewards if you write often to different magazines.

 

a journalist explains how it works

Magazine freelance journalist Mel Fallowfield, spoke to one of our team and stressed that very few people actually write letters or true life stories to magazines. She is responsible for publishing them, on the off chance that somebody does write in with something interesting.

Mel encourages more and more people to get in contact with magazine journalists, as they could earn a significant amount of money for doing something fun, creative and relatively easy.

She explains that the process of selling your ‘true’ story can be very straightforward. You simply contact the features team of a magazine and tell them your story. If successful a candidate could make as much as £1000 in a couple of weeks.

Mel reassures her clients by contacting them before the story is published and reading it out to them, to make sure they’re happy with it. And to make any corrections that may be needed.

She emphasises the importance of including photos too when selling a story. These can increase your payout considerably and lend it credibility. For example, a weight loss story should include pictures of before and after to highlight the change.

  • She reported that for selling true life stories you can earn at least £200-£300 per story, if it’s what they are looking for.
  • More popular and sensational life stories can earn up to £1000, with extra money for photos.

Are you keen on selling your own true life story? Contact Mel Fallowfield on: 07710 357 110 or email her directly at mel.fallowfield@btinternet.com

 

How to make money by writing letters to magazines

The process is very easy:

 

Step 1: Choose the reward you want

Two women reading magazine

Flick through some magazines in your local newsagent, or even ones you read regularly, and take a look at the different sections that pay for contributions.

Pick out those that offer money, or prizes that you like the look of. Check how many rewards the magazine offers per month; you have a better chance at getting something if you write to a magazine which rewards all letters printed. Try to work out which one will be most worth your time.

 

Step 2: Think about what you want to write

Woman writer lying on her bed looking thoughtful

Once you’ve decided which magazines you’re going to write to, buy a copy of each. Read through the letters sections and try to work out what sort of letters get printed. What are the trends and commonalities? Reoccurring themes and narratives?

Funny stories are popular.

  • Has your child done anything that made you laugh?
  • Did your pet get into a bit of a scrape recently?

Serious stories are also in demand, especially tearjerkers and stories about overcoming adversity.

  • Think of a distressing experience that you have had (hopefully not too distressing to recall).
  • Some magazines like to print helpful tips to their readers too.
  • Maybe you have some clever cooking advice or an easy way to save time with household chores.
  • Maybe your dog has done something crazy?

If you read the magazine regularly, why not comment on an article?

  • You could talk about an experience you have had which was similar to the author’s,
  • Or about how an article inspired you.
  • Letters that compliment articles appear regularly.

 

Step 3: Write your letters and email or post them in

Woman writing

For extra measure, and even for extra money in most cases, your letter will be even better if it’s accompanied by a photo of the event/tip/story.

It not only shows the magazines you’re telling the truth, but readers are drawn to stories by the pictures as well. It also makes life easier for the magazine. After all, glossy magazines need pictures, not just walls of texts. It means the magazine doesn’t need to source their own images to accompany your contribution.

  • Make sure you only send copies of photos in the post, not the originals, because they won’t be sent back.
  • You only get paid if your letter gets printed so there is no guarantee that the letters you send in will earn you any money. On the other hand, persistence can pay off. If you think the rewards are worth it, keep trying. The magazine will notice your efforts and may reward you for it. Some magazines print the same people over and over again.

 

How much money could you make writing letters to magazines?

Woman looking at cash thoughtfully

  • Sums generally range from £10-£50 per letter.
  • Most magazines have a star letter each month which receives a greater reward than the other letters.
  • The magazine Bella pays £50 for star letters. And this is for letters about 50 -100 words in length. That really isn’t much.

The other rewards are often prizes such as:

  • Jewellery
  • Flowers
  • Cosmetics
  • Drinks

Examples of actual prizes include: a crate of Tuborg lager, £176 worth of Perricone MD products, a chocolate figurine of yourself and a £400 car warranty.

If you fancy writing something a bit shorter, magazines such as Take a Break offer up to £50 for tips to other readers. These are usually only about 20 – 50 words long. These could be written in less than 5 minutes.

If you’ve got an exceptional story, magazines like Real People and That’s Life might pay up to £1,000 per story or even higher if it’s especially unique. There are usually forms within the magazines to fill in to apply, and then the magazine will then contact you if they’re interested in what you’ve got to offer.

 

Magazines for you to contact

Stack of magazines

Most of the publications looking for letters from readers are the woman’s weekly type, generally circulated in the US and UK, some of which look for 20-30 contributions per edition. This means you’ve got an excellent chance of being included.

There are also lots of trade magazines that cater for specific professions: everything from postmen to golfers to nursing. If you have an insight into any of these, or know someone who does, it might be worth writing to a few.

On the other hand, there might be a few magazines lying around at your workplace that welcome letters from customers, clients and partners.

If you’re a new mum, or have queries during your pregnancy, writing letters to baby magazines is a great way to get a few extra pounds towards all that expensive baby gear.

  • Pregnancy and Birth,
  • Prima Baby,
  • Gurgle,
  • Pregnancy and Practical Parenting

All shower star letter prize winners with a cradle-load of baby goodies.

Here’s a selection of other magazines and what they offer as prizes for those published within:

 

Time Inc.

Life! Death! Prizes!

Offer prizes of up to £50 for puzzles. You can also sell your true life stories to Chat and receive payment. Bear in mind if your story is published it takes 8-10 weeks to receive the payment. You can also send in funny photos, letters and tips for some form of payment such as cash or prizes. Chat does not specify on their website how much you will earn, you will have to negotiate payment when selling your true story. Find out how here.

Trusted Reviews

This is full of opinions from experts and regular customers about electronics and technology, as well as plenty of competitions. Contact the editors here.

Good To Know

Hints, tips and competitions for all the family with loads of amazing prizes (such as a land yachting experience!) you can start winning here.

Woman

Pays about £30 for letters, with another £5 if pictures are included, send them an email here.

 

Hearst Magazines

Prima

Top story receives £200 and £25 goes for ‘Words of Wisdom’. Check out their Facebook page for information on submitting your own short story for cash.

Real People

Pay up to £2,000 if they use your story, £25 for tips with photos, and £100 for their mum-to-mum section. Make money with Real People here. 

Woman’s Day

Has a Real Women section in its magazine. One story titled ‘I stole my best friend’s cat’ was particularly popular (but don’t worry; yours doesn’t have to be as strange) You can make a good sum of money by contacting the editors and telling them your story.

Reveal

This publishes real life stories, social network comments and you can earn £200-300 for your confessions.

Cosmopolitan

Looks for inspirational, moving stories and funny ones too. Contact the features team by email for free with a brief description of your tale. See their website to make money from your true story.

 

Bauer Consumer Media

Closer

Also want to hear from you. They publish life stories for a good price, so make sure to contact the features team here.

Trail

Win hundreds of pounds worth of gear with this link here.

Practical Photography

Here you can win fantastic prizes including £500 worth of supermarket vouchers right here.

 

The Story People

Also owned by Bauer, this group includes the magazines Take a Break, That’s Life, Bella and Fate and Fortune. You can earn up to £2000 for selling your true stories. You simply fill out the form on their website, summarising your story and within a few days you will know if you have been successful or not. The Story People prides itself on reading the story back to the person who has submitted it before it goes to print, to make sure that they’re happy with it.

Sell your story for cash here.

That’s Life!

Up to £1,000 for each story published, £50 for a star letters and tips, £25 for other stories and pictures used. Make money with That’s Life! here.

Bella

Prizes of up to £200 for crossword and quizzes, up to £1,000 for real life stories and £50 for the star letter. Sell your story and earn up to £1000 here!

Take a Break

Up to £2,000 for your story, £50 for a brainwave and photo, £25 for a tip. Their Facebook page has weekly competitions with prizes ranging from £60 cash to a full makeover. Get £75 for a photo and the story behind it. Find out how you can make good money from your tales and tips here.

My Favourite Recipes (with Take a Break)

Offers £25 for each recipe published and entry into a £500 Facebook competition. Send your recipe here and make money (and food).

 

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Joanne
Joanne
1 year ago

Good tips for getting your writing into magazines.

Stuart Cooper
Stuart Cooper
2 years ago

I would say that if your letter is interesting it doesn’t matter. I emailed two letters to The Sun a few months ago and they were both published, two days apart.

Rosie
Rosie
1 year ago
Reply to  Stuart Cooper

That’s great! How much did you get for them in the sun?

Jo
Jo
2 years ago

I have always wondered about putting something in print in these magazines. Great tips on how to go about it.

CELIA SALTER
CELIA SALTER
5 years ago

DO READERS WHO’VE HAD LETTERS ETC PUBLISHED FREQUENTLY GET “BLACK LISTED”? I’VE HAD LETTERS, TIPS ETC PUBLISHED OVER THE YEARS BUT IN THE LAST YEAR, PUBLISHED CONTRIBUTIONS SEEMED TO HAVE DRIED UP.

ANY ADVICE?

Alastair Cameron
7 years ago

I would not advise sending the same letter / tip to multiple magazines at the same time. Editors like to know that what they are printing is unique and not being printed by their rivals the same week. Also, you may feel cheated if you bought two magazines one week and found the same letter in both, meaning you have paid twice to read the same thing.

Nikki R
Nikki R
8 years ago

Do you know if you can send the same letter, tip etc to multiple magazines at the same time, or do you have to wait until you find out if it will be published in one before sending to another?

Stacey
Stacey
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikki R

This is what I was wondering, so if you find out, please let me know!

Luis
Luis
8 years ago

I got excited while reading the article. I enjoy writing, and making money from it would give even more joy. But, I’ve got one question, is it possible for someone who is living outside England to write these letter for the mags above mentioned?

Carl Brennand
Carl Brennand
8 years ago
Reply to  Luis

Most magazines should accept overseas letters; in fact they might be more likely to print them as it shows they’re popular outside the UK! If you’re in any doubt, before you write your letter send a quick email to the magazine in question asking if they accept overseas submissions. That way, if they don’t then you haven’t wasted your time.

Chris White
Chris White
8 years ago

Well this has given me something to think about as I have been looking to earn some extra money recently and as I can turn my hand to writing a fairly readible letter then I shall certainly pursue this option.

Cosmic Tramp
Cosmic Tramp
9 years ago

Those magazines you outline above Jasmine are well known (and subsequently innundated) by most freelances who make something near a living writing letters, stories and articles to them constantly. I’m not trying to put anybody off having a go but writers stand more chance of getting published and paid for in various in- house “trade magazines” not usually available on high street shelves. These would include magazines like “The Grocer” ( subscribed to by retail and marketing people) “The Courier” ( Post Office Staff) “The Lancet” ( Health Professionals) . These are just three titles from literally hundreds of little… Read more »

Abi
Abi
10 years ago

This site has really helped me – thanks, i’ve actually had 4 letters published so far including in Bella and 2 TV mags. It does take time and some peristence some of the mentioned mags have not published any of my letters/tips but i won’t give up and love seeing my views and name published!

Jasmine
Admin
10 years ago
Reply to  Abi

I’m so glad to hear it Abigail. That’s great – keep going. As you say, persistence pays in the end.

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