Oct 23

Quick cash and prizes for writing letters to magazines

Reading Time: 7 mins

Did you know that you can receive cash or a prize simply for writing letters to magazines? Most magazines reward the writers of the letters that they print – often with gifts and sometimes with quite a bit of money. Very few readers actually write in so it’s not hard to make money from it.



Why should you consider sending a letter to a magazine?

Woman looking thoughtful

Magazines really need letters and true life stories from readers and you would 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 have a go yourself?

Once you have read some of the letters in magazines you will see that you really don’t have to come up with anything amazing.

Many of the letters are surprisingly bland.

In fact, if you write in with something really extraordinary or salacious you might get a call from one of the journalists who will write your story for you and give you even more money for it.

It is not time consuming and it could mean regular money if you write often and for different magazines.


a journalist explains how it works

Magazine freelance journalist Mel Fallowfield spoke to one of our team and stressed that few people actually write letters or true life stories to magazines. She is responsible for publishing the true life stories of people who have contacted her with an interesting tale.

Mel encourages more and more people to get in contact with magazine journalists as you could be looking at earning £1000 for doing virtually nothing!

She explains that the process of selling your true story can be very simple. You simply contact the features team or a freelance magazine journalist and tell them briefly your story. If it’s successful you could be looking at making £1,000 in two 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.

She emphasises the importance of including photos when selling your true story. This can increase your payout considerably and is interesting for the reader. For example, a weight loss story should include pictures of before and after to highlight the massive change.

  • She reported that for selling true life stories you can earn at least £200-£300.
  • 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 –


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 and take a look at the different sections that pay for contributions.

Pick out those that offer money or prizes that you would like. Check if the magazine only rewards one letter per month; you have a better chance if you write to a magazine which rewards all letters printed.


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, get a copy of them. Read through the letters sections and try to work out what sort of letters get printed.

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.

  • Think of a distressing experience that you have had.
  • Some magazines like to print tips, too.
  • Maybe you have some clever cooking advice or an easy way to save time with household chores.

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 the 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.

  • 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 money. On the other hand, persistence pays off, and it’s great to show off to your friends when you get something printed.


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.
  • Some examples of the money on offer: Bella pays £50 for star letters. All these rewards are for letters about 50 -100 words in length.

The rewards can be, and more often are, prizes.

These include things such as

  • jewellery,
  • flowers,
  • cosmetics
  • spirits.

Recent 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.

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. There are usually forms within the magazines to fill in the basic details and then the magazine will contact you if they’re interested.


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.

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 mags 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 cradle-loads of baby goodies.

Following is a selection of magazines carrying some of the better rewards but there are many more out there. Please comment if you are aware of any others.


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 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 alike 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.


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


Hearst Magazines


Top story receives £200 and £25 goes for ‘Words of Wisdom’. Check out their Facebook page for info 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 (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.


This publishes real life stories, social network comments and you can earn £200-300 for your confessions. For more details on selling your true story see their website or Facebook page.


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


Bauer Consumer Media


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


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

Practical Photography

Here, with all things picturesque, you can win fantastic prizes including £500 worth of supermarket vouchers and an Amazon Fire tablet 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.


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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Good tips for getting your writing into magazines.

Stuart Cooper
Stuart Cooper

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.


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


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




Alastair Cameron

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

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?


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


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

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

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

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 »


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!


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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