Posted by: nancyisanders | September 11, 2014

The Low-Down of Writing for the Low-Pay Market

The no-pay/low-pay market is the best-kept secret in town.

For one thing, since most people would rather submit to the flashy high-paying publishers, most editors in the no-pay/low-pay market are EAGER to work with you! Talk about a refreshing place to be!

It’s much much easier to get an acceptance letter in this market and your published credits will soar along with your self-confidence as a writer. (Both which will eventually open doors for you in the higher paying markets.)

The key is this…editors in this market still need quality material. They’re just lower in the quantity of material that they get submitted to them. That’s because a lot of writers simply refuse to write something and not get paid for it so they avoid this market altogether.

So the opportunity to get your manuscript accepted in the no-pay/low-pay market is HUGE compared to the percentage rate of getting picked out of the slush pile in the overly flooded markets of high-profile and high-paying publishers.

(Can I tell you a secret? I wrote an article based on one of my books. Did I get a penny for that article? Nope. But that article was published online 2 weeks ago along with a review of that book in another publication. And in these past 2 weeks my book has brought in over $500 worth of extra royalties in sales. I can track the sales on this particular book and I saw this with my own eyes. Nope, I didn’t get a penny from the publisher for my article, but the sales spiked immediately!)

I hear people tell me time and time again that they simply refuse to waste their valuable time writing a manuscript and not getting paid for it or just getting paid $15 for it. And these same people who have told me this, now five years later, still have few if any published credits and a pile of rejection letters a mile high.

So…what have you got to lose? Personally, I feel you’ve got everything to gain. I’ve been writing for this market for years and I still do even though I now earn a nice annual income from writing. (If you haven’t read my previous post about the exciting contract I just signed based on my experience writing for the no-pay/low-pay market, CLICK HERE.)

So go ahead and write and submit a manuscript to the no-pay/low-pay market today!

Here are some places you can start:

The Working Writers Club is an awesome place to join (it’s free) and get valuable experience writing for the “how-to-write” market. They are even eager to have members write your own column. (Add THAT to your resume of published credits. It’s great!)

Ev Christensen maintains a subscription (it’s a free e-zine) for us to receive updates with many children’s magazine publishers in this market (along with the top magazines as well). It’s called Writing for Children’s Magazines. Sign up and get in the know! As an example, here’s a recent posting Ev shared in the no-pay/low-pay market:

Dear Authors,

We very much need stories at present. Please consider writing that story you’ve been thinking about pulling together and zip it our direction! Please note that throughout the month of September, 2014, we are offering a $25 bonus for any story accepted that is 1000 words or above. Please include mention of the bonus when you submit your story.

If you wish to review our Writers Guidelines, you may do so here:

This is truly an urgent need, and the Guide team thanks you for your consideration!

RANDY FISHELL • Editor • Guide and Real Magazines
55 West Oak Ridge Drive • Hagerstown MD 21740
P: 301.393.4030 • F: 301.393.4055 •

I hope you get started (if you have’t yet) or keep on writing and submitting for this very exciting market rich with opportunity and acceptance letters for your manuscripts. If you want more information about writing for this market, look in Chapter 5 Section 3 on page 77 of my how-to book for children’s writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.


  1. Excellent advice, and I just read Laura Salas’ book review of your book in the latest SCBWI bulletin! Congrats!

  2. Yes, great advice, Nancy! And I, too, enjoyed reading Laura’s review of your book in the Bulletin. Congratulations! Thank you for mentioning my ezine here. I’ll also add that if your readers would like to write an article about some aspect of writing for children’s magazines, or if they’d like to write an overview of a sample magazine, the ezine itself is a no-pay market where they can potentially get published. I would welcome their submissions.

    • Thanks, Ev! And thanks so much for the invitation to submit to your awesome ezine, too!!!

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