Even if you have the all-American novel burning a hole in your hard drive, you might not want to wait to finish writing and editing it before you share your writing with the world. So why not start small? There are thousands of ways to get paid for your poems, short stories, articles and jokes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Write a children’s story for a magazine. Highlights is probably the place that first comes to mind, but there are dozens of great children’s magazines out there looking for unique, age-appropriate stories. Check out the magazine’s website for guidelines, and read a few copies to see what type of work they are looking for. One thing to consider? Highlights is always looking for science and culture stories, especially about unusual countries, animals and topics.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul now has dozens of categories including Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Teen’s Soul, and many, many more. Check their website for upcoming themes and get creative! They have a very in-depth page that describes their submission guidelines. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
- Write greeting cards. Yes, it seems cheesy, but greeting cards are a great way to get a message onto thousands of fireplace mantels all over the country. You can submit your ideas to a company like Blue Mountain Arts or you can work with a Print on Demand company like Greeting Card Universe that allows you to make a commission on every card you sell. For more information check out http://greetingcarduniverse.com.
- Submit articles and/or short stories to appropriate magazines. A scan of popular women’s magazines at the grocery store will give you a plethora of ideas right off the bat. Many publications look for mini-mysteries, romances, true life stories, medical tales, jokes and funny tales about children and pets. These results great ways to sharpen you writing mind and pencil and share your work.
- Submit short fiction to small-press magazines. There are dozens of literary magazines run by colleges and other places devoted to short stories and poems, not to mention hundreds of online magazines. Some only publish fantasy or sci-fi, others only consider literary work. The (Submission) Grinder https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ is a great website to find magazines that will consider your work. Be sure to ALWAYS check submission guidelines before sending in your work. Two of my favorite small-press magazines are Thema and The First Line, where you write to specific subjects or prompts.
- Publish essays, poems and short stories on Medium. Medium is a place where you can share your work and enjoy work by other writers. If your story becomes popular and becomes read by enough subscribers, you will make money per story. For more information check out medium.com.
- Enter a short fiction or poetry contest. Keep in mind, these generally require a reading fee, and a few of these are basically ‘everyone wins, we want you to buy our book’ type outfits, so do your research before entering. Here’s a good contest list with details: https://www.pw.org/grants