Want to write for senior magazines?
It’s a freelance niche you don’t want to overlook. Why?
Based on the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there’s an estimated 54.1 million age 65 and older.
And that’s pretty golden if you want to get paid to write about things like:
- Aging well
- And anything else that fits this demographic.
Plus, this group of readers (and consumers) keeps getting bigger. Senior moments – the fun, not the forgetful – are just getting started for those turning 50.
Senior magazines and blogs abound for the 50+ crowd, but not all of them pay writers.
We found 10 that do, and some have circulation rates in the millions. Think AARP and Reader’s Digest as examples. That usually translates to better rates for you.
Some of the zines listed below have been around for a century or more, others have cropped up in the last decade.
If you’re interested in writing for senior publications about aging well, we’ve put together a short list of magazines and websites that pay writers.
If you want to write for senior magazines…
- Read the magazine or the website before you pitch a story idea.
- See what hasn’t been done before.
- If your idea has been covered, how long ago it was last discussed?
- And get clear about why you’re THE writer for the story idea you’re pitching.
- Look for fresh, unique perspectives, angles that haven’t been considered before, and of course interesting people and sources.
Want to write for senior magazines? Check out these 10 golden markets…
3rd Act Magazine is a free, quarterly magazine for older adults who follow the adage, “age is just a number.”
Though its regional focus is Western Washington, they’re looking for topics that cover:
- Caregiving, and…
- Living well regardless of age.
Pitch tips: Suggest a title and put that in the subject line.
Articles are accepted on spec and should include:
- Word count
- Your name
- Contact information, and…
- Whether the article has been previously published.
- You can find detailed submission guidelines here.
Contact: Email Editor, Victoria Starr Marshall
Rate: Between $25 and $50 in print and web. Up to $.25 per word for professional writers with well-researched articles that require little editing who have been added to their paid list of writers. Payment is made upon acceptance of submission.
AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age and AARP The Magazine the AARP Bulletin, and Sisters (from AARP) are helping meet their mission through articles, essays, and stories doing just that.
They’re looking for articles about:
- Health and fitness
- Food and nutrition
- Travel tips
- Living arrangements, and…
- Practical information and advice with fresh angles for people over 50.
Pitch Tips: To pitch AARP, send your idea for a piece, explain your approach and why you’re the one to tell the story, and mention which section of the magazine your piece is intended. For more information, check out the detailed guidelines here.
Contact: Email Editor, Andy Markowitz or mail to AARP The Magazine, c/o Editorial Submissions, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049
Rate: Up to $1.50 per word
Sisters From AARP is a free, weekly newsletter celebrating Black women, and anyone is welcome to read and subscribe.
The Sisters Magazine audience includes Black women of various backgrounds and ages, including those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
They’re looking for ideas around:
- Health and wellness
- Work and money
- Culture and style
- Aging well
- Relationships (including friendship, family, romance, and caregiving.
- For detailed submission guidelines, click here.
Pitch Tips: Put “Pitch” + suggested headline in the subject line of your email and give the editors an idea of the nature of your pitch. Avoid one-line ideas. Subscribe to their newsletter to get an idea of their voice and the type of articles and essays they’re interested in. Don’t send attachments but do include links of your writing samples.
Rate: Contracted and negotiated.
Custodia is a website offering senior services in southern Ontario. Its mission is to take the stress out of the day-to-day home maintenance, health care, and other issues affecting seniors.
They’re looking for pitches about:
- Home management for seniors
- Falls prevention
- Helping seniors live longer and happier lives at home
- Profiles of seniors doing amazing things.
Contact: Email Geoff Whitlock at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him on LinkedIn.
Today’s Geriatric Medicine is interested in articles on all subjects of interest to healthcare professionals in the field of aging.
Pitch tips: Be sure to include the following if you want your query, abstract, or outline to be read – your full name, credentials, degree, title, affiliation (if any), your address, daytime phone number, and email address.
For more detailed guidelines, you can learn more here.
Contact: Email TGMeditor@gvpub.com
Reader’s Digest is a general-interest family magazine, published 10 times per year, and is found most easily in supermarket check-out lanes.
And in its latest incarnation as a video-first company, it’s positioned for even more content consumed within a variety of channels.
In general, Reader’s Digest prefers to reach out to freelance writers who think they might fit what it is they need written, but they do accept pitches.
Pitch Tips: “Reader’s Digest does accept pitches and the rate is negotiated based on the topic, length and depth of reporting required. We accept pitches via this pitch form,” explains Deputy Editor, Aviva Patz.
Contact: Deputy Editor, Aviva Patz
Reminisce Magazine is a subsidiary of Reader’s Digest, their parent publication, whose content is mostly nostalgia stories about growing up or American culture at midcentury (ca 1935-1985).
Pitch Tips: “We welcome reader-written material. These should be anecdotal, I-remember-when style stories of growing up, meeting a future spouse, buying a first car, or similar tales,” explains Deputy Editor, Mary-Liz Shaw.
Contact: Deputy Editor, Mary-Liz Shaw or on Twitter
Rate: $100 for stories paid upon publication.
Betterat50 is a blog and website by women for women to talk about and share all the things you may experience as you navigate age 50 and beyond.
They’re looking for:
- Memory care
- Relationships, and more.
Pitch Tips: They’re looking for those stories you tell your friends over coffee/wine/book club or wherever. According to founder and publisher, Felicia Shapiro, “We’re also interested in ‘finds and must haves,” and ‘new products’ you love that make you look and feel better after 50.”
VFW magazine is the official publication of the Veterans of Foreign Wars with a circulation of 1.3 million.
Since 1904, it has been the voice of war veterans, and is included here because like many magazines for seniors and people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond, it offers stories and advice for aging well.
When pitching, introduce your article in one sentence that hits on the 5 Ws – who, what, where, why, when. If your story coincides with an anniversary, submit it at least six months in advance of the anniversary.
Pitch tips: Let them know if you’re a VFW member. Include a short, 3-sentence bio describing your military service (if applicable) and expertise in the field for the story you’re writing. For first time contributors, articles should be submitted on speculation (spec).
Contact: Email Senior Editor, Janie Dyhouse
Rate: Negotiated and contracted upon acceptance of article.
Chatelaine is a monthly women’s magazine in Canada that serves women between 25 and 54 stories about:
- Finance, and…
- Social issues
Pitch tips: Include at least two writing samples when sending your one-page query letter. In your query, explain what section you think your article will fit, whether it’s for the print publication or the website, what format it will take, and why you’re the one to write it.
Contact: Managing Editor Laura Brown
Rate: Average is about $1/word.
The golden ticket to write for senior magazines
If you’re interested in writing about seniors, aging well, and believe age is a number and everyone’s unlisted, then check out the above senior magazines for inspiration.
Some want stories on spec, some are more trade-publication focused, and some offer advice, tips, and uplifting articles.
When you pitch these senior magazines, remember to:
- Read past publications
- Submit 2-3 links of published writing samples
- Include a short bio
- Be sure your pitch fits their publication
- Explains why you’re the best writer for the story.
Do you write for senior magazines? Tell us about it in the comments.
Lisa Street Rogers is a ghostwriter and freelancer based in Cleveland, Ohio.