Sunday 1 October 2017

Magazine Fillers - what's there?

Apologies for the lack of communication this last few weeks; it's been a month of varying appointments, arranging a speaker for October at the writers' club- so many writers are having a very busy October- and more sorting and packing boxes that was suddenly interrupted by a family member being sent to hospital urgently, kept overnight and now at home recovering.

I think we forget that one simple thing becoming troublesome in the body can have a lot of unpleasant results.

So magazine fillers- what's available?

When you're working on longer stories, or when some of the women's magazine markets have restricted who can submit stories, then fillers can earn small amounts.

It used to be a useful earning potential, and at one time there were plenty of magazines who paid for letters used, or included short pieces that filled spare slots in magazines.

It's changed a lot, so I've searched for a few examples in case you'd like to follow them up...

When I signed up to Readly (it's a site that enables you to read thousands of magazine- digitally- for a monthly fee)  I spent some time looking at a range of magazines to see what filler opportunities there were.

Research fillers...
It doesn't appear as bright as it once was.

Some magazines have gone the route of Facebook and Twitter. On a certain day of the week they pose a question and ask for readers opinions, and some of those replies feature on a page in the magazine later on.

There's nothing to suggest payment or a prize is offered...

Where Letters slots still exist many have gone to only awarding the star letter a prize - I wonder if the product maker has provided the freebie for exposure... Very few seem to pay cash anymore, and if they do it's only the Star letter.

*Saga, the magazine for the over 50's - does have interesting articles related to health, money, gardening, holidays and technology; it pays £50 to the writer of their star letter, but you've only got 100 words available.

Like any submission read the magazines and see what appeals to them and you.

* If you like Spirit & Destiny magazine, their star letter wins £50, and others printed won a book prize- in the November issue it's a book on Crystal use...

Opinion piece slots seem to have become celebrity orientated with recognisable TV and radio personalities sharing their thoughts on life or a specific topic. But keep looking as reader opinion slots are occasionally seen.

The good news is that you don't need many words if you have a good image to go with your useful tips- upcycling seems a popular choice, what use have you made of something you would normally use for something else. Or you've got a happy/fun image to share.

* Weekly magazine Pick Me Up pays £25 for pics and videos used for their Your Pick Me Ups pages- think fun, feel good and if you've met a celebrity and had your photo taken with them...

* They also do Your Brainwaves, £25 for 'your brilliant tips!' Some are quite simple, but very useful. A clear photo helps.

* Chat to Us in Chat magazine pays £25 for any photo they use, but it must not have been sent to 'any other publication'. They also pay £25 for tips they use.

And most magazines give instructions on sending by email as well as post.

But probably the biggest return is on the true-life tales that are splashed across the cover of weekly magazines such as Real People- their Quick Reads are 'short and sweet' tales, not fiction (earn up to £2,000), and Chat (says they pay cash for your real-life stories but doesn't specify the range).

If you're going to be doing articles then Readly is a good way to research lots of magazines without it costing what you might earn, and you can stop your monthly £7.99 subscription at any time.

Just like ideas being everywhere, so can filler opportunities- check out smaller and local magazines for opportunities. Admittedly these may be non-paying, but it's up to the individual writer to decide what's right for them.

Now I've had an idea for a useful recycling into something else tip, so I'll be getting the camera out to photograph it and send it off...

Have you had any success with fillers?

image from Pixabay.


Bea Charles said...

You're right, Carol, the rewards for readers' letters etc aren't as generous as they once were, but there are still payments to be had. All it takes is a little research to find the right outlet. Like you, I find Readly invaluable.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank you for sharing this, Carol. I think my only fillers were in Prima, but I don't think they do those any more. Sometimes I think I should go out and do something scandalous if only so I can sell my story :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's good to be reminded about fillers, Carol, but so many mags are celebrity led these days. It's a while since I've tried smaller items!

Patsy said...

I used to wrkte lots of them (and did once get paid for answering a magazine's Facebook question after it was published in the mag). It's probably time I tried a few more.

Carolb said...

Bea- agree, there are opportunities, you just need to find them. Since I signed up to Readily I've found quite a few magazines I like to read, but never could have afforded to buy them all every month; and it's the same for researching magazines, very good for being able to read back issues.

Teresa- magazines have changed so much in a few years that it's difficult to keep up with every change taking place. As long as it's not too scandalous... ;)

Rosemary- yes a lot of opinion pieces are written by celebs, and the magazines that are strongly celebrity orientated don't appear to have filler opportunities. :(

Patsy- even small successes and payments/prizes while you're working on novels, gives a good feeling.

Anonymous said...

I've recently had a couple of letters in Take a break - but you're right fewer & fewer magazines are paying for letters. Still a real boost though when one makes into print & brings in some cash.

Wendy's Writing said...

Very useful - thank you, Carol.

Carolb said...

Sally - yes, it's a definite boost and getting paid for it. :-)

Wendy- you're welcome. :-)

Patsy- thank you for the mention on your blog. :-)