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Find Freelance Work: Pitch These 17 Upscale Hobby Magazines

Lisa Rogers

Ready to find freelance work you love that pays well?

Your favorite hobbies may be just the place to start looking to find freelance work.

What are you interested in? For example…

  • Gardening
  • Horses
  • Sailing
  • Model railroads
  • Sport fishing
  • Bicycling
  • Travel

You can find freelance work that pays well writing about the things you love to do, or have a keen interest in.

Many upscale hobby magazines are visually stunning and request professional images to complement the content, making your finished piece look even better for your portfolio and your bank account.

Want to find freelance work based on your hobbies and interests?

Check out this list of upscale hobby magazines that pay up to $1,000, and start pitching.

How do you become a writer for upscale magazines?

While it’s important to have an interest in the hobby yourself, most of these magazines are the advanced hobbyist.

Most magazines suggest your pitch your ideas first, though a few will accept full polished manuscripts.

  1. Study the magazine. Be sure to read a few issues of the magazine you’re hoping to write for or if you’re already knowledgeable, review the issues looking for a fresh angle or perspective to topics they generally cover.
  2. Read the guidelines and follow them. Many have lengthy guidelines with all the information you may need and often explain not only what they’re looking for, but also preferred formatting, photography requirements, source requirements, and lead times.
  3. Pitch a great story idea. Keep your pitches to a few paragraphs and include your credentials of why you’re the one to write this article along with links to relevant works, or your online portfolio. We have a pitch letter checklist just for you.
  4. Need help with your magazine pitch? If your first query fails, check out this article on why your query letter gets no response. Make the tweaks and pitch again.

Ready to find freelance work you love that pays well? Here’s the list of 17 upscale hobby magazines with basic guidelines, contact info and rates:

1. The American Gardener

Most articles in The American Gardener are written by freelancers with a passion and interest in gardening with about 20% written by professional horticulturists. They are looking for writers who have gardening experience or training, and who can write in a journalistic style. Pitch story ideas about:

  • Plant group profiles
  • Prominent horticulturist profiles making an impact nationally
  • Horticultural therapy
  • Community gardening
  • Sustainable gardening to best protect the natural ecosystems
  • How-tos on garden feature construction such as ponds or paths, and gardening techniques such as grafting and propagation.


  1. Explain why your proposed topic is relevant and of interest to their audience and include an outline of the major points.
  2. First time authors to The American Gardener should submit relevant writing samples and describe your personal experience with the subject matter you’re writing about.
  3. Include sources whenever possible as well as where you might source photos or illustrations to complement your article.

Contact: Email editor@ahsgardening.org or mail to Editor, AHS Gardening 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria VA 22308

Rate: $300 – $600 upon assignment for features. Travel and other expenses may be reimbursed when negotiated upon article acceptance.

2. Sports Collectors Digest

If you’re a sports collector of everything from baseball cards to autographed material, then this is the magazine for you. They’re looking for 600 -1,000-word:

  • Profiles of personalities in the business of sports collecting
  • Feature stories focused on which athlete’s collectibles are the most sought after
  • Event coverage of sports collector events, shows, or auctions.

Contact: Query first and email Editor Dave Strege.

Rate: Based on assignment.

3. Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing is aimed at serious saltwater fisherman, usually mature affluent men who own boats. Often, they own both a large offshore boat as well as a skiff. Interested in advancing their knowledge, these readers are looking for:

  • How-tos
  • Best gear and its use
  • Where-tos
  • Science and conservation.

Writers should query first in the spring. If they’re interested, editors will reach out in the summer once the editorial content has been scheduled.

Tip: Read back issues to ensure your topic brings a fresh perspective, is specific, and accurate. And if there isn’t a boat in your pitch, it’s not a good fit for Sport Fishing.

Contact: Email editor@sportfishingmag.com and Sport Fishing will pass along your query to the appropriate editor.

Rate: $200 and $750 depending on length and whether article is accepted for print or digital format. Print pays more. For manuscripts with images, contributors can earn up to $1,500 for longer features. Payment is made upon acceptance of the article.

4. The Chronicle of the Horse /The Chronicle of the Horse Untacked

The Chronicle of the Horse has been around for 85 years offering readers articles focused on:

  • Dressage
  • Foxhunting
  • Steeplechase racing, and more.

It’s sister publication, The Chronicle of the Horse Untacked, focuses more on the equestrian lifestyle including fashion, product reviews, and travel.

Contact: Query Executive Editor, Beth Rasin.

Rate: $150 – $400 depending on length. Payment is made the month following publication.

5. Adventure Cyclist

Adventure Cyclist is the only bicycle travel magazine in North America. This quarterly hobby magazine accepts First Person Tour accounts which should be about specific areas and accompanied by high-quality photos.

Note: This magazine is about travelling by bicycle, so a bicycle should be the focus with sidebars of when to go, routes, special equipment to have on hand, etc.

Final Mile Essays should focus on a singular experience while on a bicycle trip. These essays do not require accompanying photos. They accept:

  • Queries for First Person Tour accounts
  • Full manuscripts for Final Mile Essays
  • Note: Lead time can be 12 to 18 months.

All submissions should go through the Submittable application, and they caution it can take up to six months to respond.

Contact: All submissions or inquiries must be sent throughSubmittable

Rate: $0.25 to $0.50 per word.

6. Gray’s Sporting Journal

This sporting journal is published seven times per year and includes four themed issues. Many of their readers are bird hunters, big game hunters, and fly fishers. They’re looking for narrative storytelling to bring the local of sport hunting to life for their readers.

  • Writers should send full manuscripts only. Queries are not accepted.
  • On both your cover letter and your manuscript include contact details.
  • In your cover letter, explain whether your article is fact, fiction, poetry, or an expedition piece. Expedition pieces must include quality photographs.

Contact: Editor-in-Chief Mike Floyd, and state “gray’s manuscript” in the subject line.

Rate: $1,000+ for features and expeditions. Payment is made upon publication.

7. Cruising World

Whether you own your own sailboat, have chartered one, or aspire to do so, Cruising World welcomes queries or polished manuscripts. They’re looking for:

  • First person accounts
  • Technical how-tos
  • Destination pieces aboard a sailing vessel, and more.  

Tip to break in:

  1. Query first if you’re not sure where your story idea fits best.
  2. Always include your name and email address.
  3. Number and identify your photos.
  4. Include information on a caption sheet.
  5. If it’s a travel piece, include a copy of a map or chart and mark the places along the route you visited.
  6. Include your bio, your sailing history information, and be sure to identify the type of boat and the people with you on the boat.

Contact: Managing Editor, Megan Williams

Rate: $300 – $1,000.Paid upon acceptance.

8.  Scuba Diver Magazine

Scuba Diving Magazine is looking for writers who can write about:

  • Current trends in scuba diving
  • Diving experiences
  • Travel gear
  • Training, and more.
  • Note: Popular scuba diving destinations include: the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, the Maldives, and Cozumel.

Writers should keep it short when querying, and include a paragraph describing yourself, your writing experience, relevant credentials, and any publication credits. Don’t forget links to your online profile, and portfolio or strongest works.

Contact: Alexandra Gillespie, Digital Editor

Rate: $0.25+ per word.

9. Railroad Model Craftsman

If you love model trains, you may find freelance work by pitching Railroad Model Craftsman. They’re looking for articles about the model railroad from structures and scenery to efforts to model locomotives, and everything in between.

Guidelines suggest writers imagine they’re telling the story to a friend. But if you’re not sure if it’s a good fit, you can contact the staff with questions before sending your query to the editor.

Contact: Editor Otto M. Vondrak before submitting your story or contact the staff, if you have any questions about the submission process.

Rate: Based on assignment.

10. Art Jewelry Forum

Art Jewelry Forum is a nonprofit organization that seeks to offer critical thinking reporting on the state of contemporary jewelry. This mandate encompasses artists, collectors, curators, and dealers. They’re looking for academic and personal essays, reviews, and journalistic coverage of the industry.

Contact: Submit your pitches using this link.

Rate: AJF pays $75 for interviews; $125 for reviews; $160 for researched articles

11. Atlas Obscura

If you’d rather be traveling, especially off the beaten path, then Atlas Obscurais the travel magazine for you. It covers travel destinations, travel stories, experiences, and food.

They’re looking for stories from underrepresented voices and places that aren’t the usual go-to destinations, and cover topics from:

  • History
  • Culture
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Exploration.

Read the guidelines and pitch your idea in the body of your email.

Contact: Email Editorial Director Samir S. Patel.

Rate: $300 – $700. Payment is made 15 -30 days upon publication and with receipt of invoice.

12. Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Wine Enthusiast Magazine is the world’s leading magazine for wine and food content. Can you find freelance work writing for this magazine? Take this mini quiz:

  • Do your read the ratings before you buy a bottle of wine?
  • Do you know every step of how a wine got from the vineyard to your kitchen?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, enjoy your favorite glass of pinot and start brainstorming ideas to pitch.

Need some ideas? Here are a few to help you get started:

  • Wine-focused city guides
  • A grape variety’s history
  • Stories at the intersection of wine and culture
  • Trends and innovations in the wine industry

Pitch your idea in one paragraph and include materials that support your qualifications to write the story. Include your resume or links to your most relevant clips.

Contact: John Capone, Managing Editor, Print

Rate: Pays $0.50 per word.

13. Good Old Boat

Good Old Boat is the sailing magazine for those who do the maintenance and upkeep on their own boats. The magazine includes articles about the pride of ownership, restoration, maintenance, and upkeep, and more. They’re also looking for:

  • Sailing stories about sailing life
  • Lessons learned
  • Histories of sailing companie
  • Profiles of people in the industry.

Good Old Boat accepts full manuscripts only. If you’re new to the magazine, be sure to include your contact information for payment and your author bio. Keep it simple, avoid fancy formatting, and submit your document in a .doc file.

Contact: Send polished articles and photos to Andy Cross, editor.

Rate: $50 – $700 paid 30 – 45 days before article is published.

14. Horse & Rider

 Horse & Rider Magazine focuses on both competitive and recreational Western riding. Much of the content is training, stable-management, trail-riding practices, and consumer-advice related. Readers are over 85 percent female with most aged 40 or older who own at least two horses, and often has higher disposable income.

They’re looking for:

  • Checklists
  • Slice of life stories
  • Principles of choosing between A and B
  • Sidebars that add bonus information and value for readers.

If you want to quote an expert or use their information in your piece, be sure to provide their credentials and biographical information.

Contact: Assistant Editor, Michaela Jaycox, Horse & Rider, 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301.

Rate:  Up to $400 based on assignment depending on length and complexity.

15. USHPA Magazine

Are you the more adventurous type and prefer sports that have you sailing in the air rather than on the water?

Then, you might want to check out The U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA), a membership-based non-profit organization.

The USHPA Magazine is a monthly magazine dedicated to the safety of their pilots and fellow adventurers. They publish news about the association, pilot profiles, and the joy of free flight.

Writers are encouraged to read through the website, review the guidelines, and pitch a story idea with a query letter. Though, polished stories are accepted, queries are preferred. Be sure to include a summary of your idea with any photography or where to find photos to go with your article.

Contact: Send questions and queries to Editor Elizabeth Dingler or connect on LinkedIn.

Rate: Individually negotiated.

16. SAILING Magazine

SAILING Magazine is “the big one” and is the oldest continuously-run sailing magazine in the United States. Visually stunning photographs are de rigueur with the content focused on the journey under sail.

Though the destination is important, getting there should be the focus of the article. Prospective writers are cautioned to keep in mind this magazine is for experienced sailors, and to use proper terminology.

Contact: Email Editor Erin Schanen or mail to SAILING Magazine editor, P.O. Box 249, Port Washington, WI 53074.

Rate: $50 – $500 paid after publication.

17. American Craft

American Craft celebrates the diversity of American craft and its makers. They’re looking for writers to cover artist profiles, craft in the community, collectors, destinations for crafters, and visionaries using craft to make a difference.

Writers should send proposals of two paragraphs or less, and if possible, include the links and/or images they plan to use.

Contact: Submit queries using the form on the website.

Rate: $0.50-$1.00 per word, depending on assignment.

Ready to start freelance work, writing for upscale hobby magazines?

This list can get you started, but here are some other ways to find upscale hobby magazines to write for.

  • Check out Who Pays Writers and enter the magazine you’re interested in. This is an anonymous website for writers to report who pays writers and what they pay. Often notes are included such as if it was a cold pitch or from an ongoing relationship.
  • Check the hobby magazines and websites you follow to see if they accept freelance writers. Sometimes, they might have a drop-down menu that says, “Write for Us” or “Submission Guidelines” and sometimes the information is at the very bottom of the website.
  • Review the masthead for contact info. You can also find editor information in the masthead (the sidebar on the first page of your magazine) and pitch your idea even if there aren’t any specific calls for freelance writers in their magazine.
  • Use Google: Google “Name of Magazine” + “Write for Us” or “Writer Guidelines”.

The Takeaway

If you want to find freelance work you love, writing for upscale hobby magazines can be a great place to combine your passion and your writing skills. For more job leads / referrals, and for more help growing your freelance writing career, check out The Freelance Writers Den.

Writing tools: Community -- Freelance Writers Den

Do you write for hobby magazines? Share in the comments.