Monday, May 20, 2024

9 Aging Well and Seniors Magazines that Pay Freelancers


Seniors magazines and websites abound in the niche of aging well, although they don’t all pay writers. We found ones that both pay writers and have circulation rates in the millions. Examples: think AARP and Reader’s Digest.

If you’re interested in writing for seniors and aging well publications, we’ve put together a short list of magazines and websites for you to start pitching to.

How to Write for the Baby Boomer Generation (Born between 1946 and 1964)

It’s no secret the majority of people in the US are reaching senior status. In fact by 2050, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) projects an increase in the 65+ age group from 58 million to 82 million. That’s 23% of the total population!

But senior moments—the fun, not the forgetful—are just getting started for those turning 50. 

If you’re part of this generation, then you already understand how to write in a way that communicates clearly and resonates. For those who aren’t, there are a few things to keep in mind as you write for this audience.

  • Although many people choose to retire at this life stage, baby boomers are staying in the workforce longer and are even returning to work in their “Golden Years”
  • This generation has enormous spending power and influence on the economy
  • Many people who are 65+ are healthy, fit, and live a full life
  • When writing, avoid slang, especially generation-specific slang (this is often taken as insincere by this generation)
  • Aim for simple, clear, concise writing
  • When writing, avoid alienating terms such as “elderly”
Seniors magazines and websites abound in the niche of aging well, although they don't all pay writers. We found ones that both pay writers and have circulation rates in the millions. Examples: think AARP and Reader's Digest.

If you're interested in writing for seniors and aging well publications, we've put together a short list of magazines and websites for you to start pitching to.

9 Aging Well and Seniors Magazines that Pay Freelance Writers

Some of the publications listed have been around for a century or more, others have cropped up in the last decade. 

BEFORE PITCHING: Read the magazine or the website you want to write for. See what hasn’t been done before, how long ago it was last discussed, and as always why you’re the writer to write about it. Look for fresh, unique perspectives and angles that haven’t been considered before.

3rd Act Magazine

3rd Act Magazine is a free, quarterly magazine for adults who follow the adage age is just a number. Though its regional focus is Western Washington, they’re also looking for general topics that cover family, community, memory health, aging, downsizing, caregiving, and living well regardless of age. 

Pitch tips: suggest a title and put that in the subject line. 

Articles are accepted on speculation and should include word count, your name, your bio, your contact information, and whether the article has been previously published. You can find detailed submission guidelines here.

Contact: Victoria Starr Marshall (Publisher/Editor)

Rate: Between $25 and $50 (USD) in print and web. Up to $0.25 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 The Magazine

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. 

These publications are looking for articles about investments, retirement, health and fitness, food and nutrition, travel tips, family, caregiving, living arrangements, and practical information and advice with fresh angles for people over 50.

Pitch Tips: 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. Please note you must be based in North America for your pitch to be accepted.

Contact: Email pubspitches@aarp.org or send snail mail to AARP The Magazine, c/o Editorial Submissions, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049 USA

Rate: Up to $1.50 USD per word at last report (2020)

Better After 50

BA50 is a blog and website by women for women to talk about and share all the things you may dish with your friends about as you navigate 50 years of you (and beyond).

The publication is looking for stories, essays, advice, and more about memory challenges, finances, relationships, and more. Think about the stories you tell your friends over coffee/wine/book club etc.

“We’re also interested in finds and must-haves, new products you love that make you look and feel Better After 50.”

Felicia Shapiro (Publisher/Managing Editor)

Contact: Email Felice Shapiro (Publisher/Managing Editor) or submit this form

Rate: Negotiated

Chatelaine Magazine

Chatelaine is a Canadian monthly women’s magazine that covers fashion, food, health and fitness, finance, and social issues aimed at women between ages 25 and 54.

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. Read the writers guidelines here.

Contact: Email Laura Brown (Managing Editor)

Rate: Average is about $1 USD per word

Custodia

Custodia.com is a website offering senior services in Southern Ontario, Canada. Its mission is to take the stress out of the day-to-day home maintenance, health care, and other issues affecting seniors. 

The publication is looking for pitches about home management for seniors, homecare, falls prevention, helping seniors live longer and happier lives at home, and profiles of seniors doing amazing things. 

Contact: Email Geoff Whitlock at geoff@custodia.com

Rate: Negotiated

Reader’s Digest

Reader’s Digest is a general-interest family magazine, published 10 times per year, and is found most easily in supermarket check-out lanes.  Over the years, it has been known to reach more readers with six figure incomes than Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Inc. combined. 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. 

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.” 

Aviva Patz (Executive Editor)

Contact: Aviva Patz (Executive Editor)

Rate: Negotiated

Sisters Magazine (from AARP)

Sisters From AARP is a free, weekly newsletter celebrating Black women. Anyone is welcome to read and subscribe. Their audience includes Black women of various backgrounds and ages, including those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

The publication is looking for ideas around health and wellness, work and money, culture and style such as aging well, fashion, beauty, identity, and entertainment, self-care, and relationships such as 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.

Contact: Claire McIntosh (Editor-in-Chief) or email sistersletter@aarp.org

Rate: Contracted and negotiated

Today’s Geriatric Medicine Magazine

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

Rate: Negotiated

VFW Magazine

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 seniors magazines for people in their 50s and beyond, it offers stories and advice for aging well.

When pitching, introduce your article in one sentence that hits on The Five Ws—who, what, where, why, and when.

Pitch tips: Let the publication know upfront if you’re a VFW member. Include a short, three-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). If your story coincides with an anniversary, submit it at least six months in advance of the anniversary.

Contact: Email Janie Dyhouse (Senior Editor)

Rate: Negotiated and contracted upon acceptance of article

Final Tips When Writing for Seniors Magazines 

If you’re interested in writing about seniors, aging well, and believe age is a number and everyone’s unlisted, then consider pitching article ideas to these publications.

Some want stories on speculation, some are more trade-publication focused, and some offer advice, tips, enlightening, and uplifting articles for the baby boomer generation.

Remember to:

  • Read past issues
  • Submit two to three links of published writing samples
  • Include a short bio
  • Be sure your pitch fits their publication
  • Explain why you’re the best writer for the story

The audience for these magazines is redefining what it means to be a senior in today’s world. Boomers hold their jobs longer than ever before. Gen-Xers are sandwiched between advice for boomers and millennials. The oldest millennials have just entered their 40s. And the radio generation, those born at the end of WWII, are finding their third act is filled with surprises as technology continues changing at a rapid pace.

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Lisa Street Rogers is a ghostwriter and freelancer based in Cleveland, Ohio.

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