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3 Unique Creative Writing Jobs to Try as a Freelance Writer

10 mins read

Important announcement: You don’t have to go into journalism or spend hours looking for freelance work to find creative writing jobs. If you enjoy spinning tales more than marketing campaigns, it IS possible for you to make some money from your creative endeavors. We’re not going to sugar coat it, it’s difficult, but not impossible. 

Here are three creative writing jobs that will let you flex your artistic writing muscles

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We hope you’ll use the resources below to find some ways to earn money writing stories, creative prose, or even poetry. 

Literary Journals and Magazines

Literary journals and magazines are a great place to submit your creative writing, especially if you’re trying to build a portfolio of published work. It may be harder to be accepted in some publications than others, but think of rejection letters as a way to work toward improvement.

If you want to start publishing your work, here are some journals and magazines where you can submit your stories or essays. 

OneStory

“ONE STORY publishes one great short story at a time. We bring people together through reading, writing, and learning about short fiction.” 

While ONE STORY accepts fiction, they do state that they accept literary fiction. As you start to write and submit, make sure you know the difference between literary and genre fiction and you understand what individual publications are looking for.

Submissions for ONE STORY should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words and they pay $500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights. All rights will revert to the author following publication.

Check out their publication guidelines for more information. 

Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons accepts speculative fiction and also publishes fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews. Even better? They are open for submissions soon! For fiction, they accept stories up to 10,000 words and pay $0.10 per word. 

Check out their guidelines and get ready to submit. If you have speculative fiction polished and ready to go, this might be a great place for it! 

The Sun Magazine

We’re looking for narrative writing and evocative photography from all over the world. Send us work that maps the human landscape, where the light catches on the faintest joy, where darkness sometimes threatens to overwhelm, and where ✗ never marks the spot because the truth is never so simple.

The Sun Magazine pays $200 and up, depending on length for fiction and essays. Review their guidelines for their writing and think about submitting! 

Man typing on a typewriter with many crumpled pieces of paper in the foreground. He's demonstrating that he's looking for creative writing jobs

Podcasts 

If you haven’t noticed, even the literary world is making the move to digital and a lot of people prefer to listen to their stories than read them. It’s time to get your piece of that pie and look at podcasting for viable creative writing jobs. Here are a few podcasts that will pay you for your stories and feature them on their podcast. 

PseudoPod 

“PseudoPod is always looking for quality fiction to feed our listeners. If you’re a writer with a short horror story that you’d like to hear narrated by one of our talented performers, we’d like to see it. Probably.”

PseudoPod seeks dark or weird fiction and pays $0.08 per word for original fiction, $100 flat rate for short story reprints, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1,500 words). 

You can learn more about when they are open to submissions and their guidelines on their website

PodCastle is a fantasy fiction podcast from PseudoPod. If you write speculative fiction, this is the portal for you. Learn more here.

Cast of Wonders

Write young adult speculative fiction? Cast of Wonders is a young adult short fiction market, open to stories up to 6,000 words in length. Dig deep into the submission guidelines here, as they make it clear they are looking for a specific type of story. 

Clarkesworld Podcast

“Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction.” 

Clarkesworld pays $0.12 per word but claims first world electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights for their annual Clarkesworld anthology. 

If you’re new to submitting your work, you’ll want to learn more about first rights and what that means for your work. They offer a resource here. Check out their submission guidelines to see if they are a fit for your writing. 

Thirteen Podcast 

“Thirteen is a monthly audio fiction anthology podcast featuring atmospheric, slow burn, spooky stories.

Thirteen Podcast is looking for, “stories that will make you smile, break your heart, and have you wishing for a night light.”

They have new episodes on the 13th of each month and feature one longer story each episode rather than several shorter ones. They are looking for stories of 5,000 words or more and a first-person narrator works best for their format. 

Authors of stories over 5,000 words in length will be paid $75 if accepted. Authors of stories under 5,000 words in length will be paid $50 if accepted. 

Review their guidelines and reach out, especially if you like your short, creepy stories on the longer side. 

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Podcast

 “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine welcomes submissions from both new and established writers. We publish every kind of mystery short story: the psychological suspense tale, the deductive puzzle, the private eye case—the gamut of crime and detection from the realistic (including the policeman’s lot and stories of police procedure) to the more imaginative (including “locked rooms” and “impossible crimes”). We need hard-boiled stories as well as “cozies,” but we are not interested in explicit sex or violence. We do not want true detective or crime stories. We are especially happy to review first stories by authors who have never before published fiction professionally.” 

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Podcast offers accepted writers $0.05–$0.08 per word for works ranging from 250 to 20,000 words. Review their guidelines for more information. 

Greeting Card Companies 

Do you have a flair for one-liners? Do you always get asked to write notes for friends or loved ones when they have a special occasion or loss? Can you make someone sniffle in just a few words? Then writing greeting cards might be one of the best creative writing jobs for you. Some companies pay $100 for an accepted verse, so it’s a great way to add to your writing income. 

Check out these companies to get started. 

Blue Mountain Arts

Blue Mountain Arts is looking for rhymed poetry, religious verse, or one-liners. That said, they want, “contemporary prose or poetry written from personal experience that reflects the thoughts and feelings people today want to communicate to one another, but don’t always know how to put into words.” 

If you think you can capture a common sentiment in a new and unique way, give their submission guidelines a look. 

Oatmeal Studios

Oatmeal studios favors funny over feelings. They want “humorous greeting card ideas that appeal to a range of ages and interests. Review their guidelines page and see if their style meets yours! 

While there are options when it comes to submitting your work for creative writing jobs, we should make it clear that making money from in these non-traditional ways isn’t easy. It takes constant improvement, research, and patience. The landscape is always changing so continue to learn and, most importantly, continue to write! 

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