Writing While Cruising

A few of your contributors mention writing articles as a source of periodic income while cruising. We have the option of submitting to some non-English periodicals and it seems to be a less saturated market. My question is, how much does one expect to get paid per article? If on contract to a specific publication, what is the nature of such a contract? If freelance, do you just send your article to a few publications and then wait (maybe months or years) to see if it gets published and they send you a check? Thanks, Aharon

Freelance writing, as with any business, is based on the product you produce and your contacts. Most magazines get hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts each month, so you need to do something to make yours stand out. Actually having met (or at least talked with) an editor helps. This way you can send your specific article to their attention.

Articles which are clean (i.e. well edited), short, and to the point, and which have illustrations or photos included, have a better chance of acceptance.

Pricing varies with the magazine subscription base (which limits what they can afford), how well you are known, and your illustrations. We’ve found many times that we were paid more for photos than text! On the other hand, some magazines will offer you a lump sum for the article, including illustrations.

When you get paid varies by magazine. Some pay when they accept your work. Others pay when they publish. If this is the case, it is always a good idea to have an agreed maximum date by which you will get paid, whether the article has been used or not.

In the old days, when we were cruising full time, we often had five or six different articles at different magazines at one time. Some of our articles would be rejected by two or three magazines–but finally accepted by a fourth or fifth editor. So, don’t give up if you are at first turned down. It may just be that the magazine in question already has several articles like yours. Good Luck–Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

Comments are closed.