10 Music Publications that Pay Writers

Written By  Christiana Walter

Do you have a passion for music? Wading into the sea of music journalism can be daunting. The good news is there are so many avenues for music writing from pop-commentary websites to magazines featuring niche or obscure genres. So, while you’re busy making contacts and crafting cool pitches, here are 10 publications that pay you to write about music.

  1. Rolling Stone

The iconic magazine manages breaking news in music, reviews, and interviews with famous and emerging artists. Rolling Stone reportedly pays more than $1/word. Content must be relevant, interesting, and exceptional journalistic quality. To submit a pitch, email rseditors@rollingstone.com. The current editor is Jann Wenner, so you can always try jann.wenner@rollingstone.com. This publication is a heavy-weight, so here’s a handy rundown of tips for pitching them.

  1. Paste Magazine

A leading arts and pop-culture publication, Paste looks for fresh, creative ideas for feature articles, essays, trend stories, and reviews. Their fee is $50 upon publication. Check out their handy writers guidelines for more information, and their list of editorial contacts for who to email your submission to.

  1. M: Music and Musicians


M takes an inside look at the music industry, profiling and interviewing artists from a range of genres. Rates reportedly vary from $25 for album reviews to $450 for a feature. Submit pitches to Rick Taylor at Rick@Mmusicmag.com. Learn more about them at their website.


  1. DRUM! Magazine

Are you a drumming enthusiast? DRUM! pays between 50 and 300 words for freelance drumming articles with an educational bent.  Short pieces can range between 300 and 1,000 words, while a cover story may be as long as 4,000 words. Drummagazine.com has a helpful, detailed Writers Guide here. Address your query to Editor-in-Chief Andy Doerschuk at andy@drumlink.com


  1. Wired

Wired.com features playful, interesting, and dynamic music writing, often exploring the intersections of music and technology. Payment varies on a case-by-case basis. Send pitches to submit@wired.com  – or directly to the pop culture & entertainment editors: angela_watercutter@wired.com, Peter Rubin,  peter_rubin@wired.com.


  1. Relix


Relix is a magazine with a strong focus on live music. They cover music festivals, interview bands, and review albums and shows. Payment varies. Their list of editors and their contact info is here.


  1. Pitchfork


Pitchfork is a well-regarded music criticism publication with a slightly academic voice. They reportedly pay $100 for a profile or interview, $80 for criticism, review, or arts/entertainment coverage, $100 for a news story. If you’re pitching without a pre-existing relationship, it’s suggested that you pitch something interesting but low-profile. “Someone who’s never written for Pitchfork is never going to be reviewing the new Arcade Fire album,” Mark Richardson, editor-in-chief, advised on contently.net. His email, by the way, is markr@pitchfork.com, and here is their comprehensive list of contacts to pitch to.


  1. Stories of Music


Here’s something different! Stories of Music publishes volumes of personal essays, poetry, and literary journalism with music as the subject. Payment is $200, and you may submit up to 9,000 words. Check here for submission details for Volume 3 coming up this year.


  1. Symphony Magazine


Symphony magazine features news, essays, and in-depth articles related to all the latest happenings in the orchestra world. Features of about 1500-3,000 words include classical music trends and profiles of individual soloists, orchestras, etc. Fees are negotiable, but payment is reported to be between $500 and $900. Pitch Editors Robert Sandla at rsandla@americanorchestras.org, Chester Lane at clane@americanorchestras.org, or Jennifer Melick at jmelick@americanorchestras.org. Learn more about them here.


  1. Noisey

A smart, irreverent cultural website that blends music journalism with mult-media, Noisey features music-video commentary, interviews, album reviews, and all the latest in music news. Writers report payment to be about $50 per 500-1,000 word op-ed. Dan Ozzi, Music Editor at Noisey, has a great breakdown of how to pitch to him here. You can reach him at dan.ozzi@vice.com.


Whether you’re a veteran or aspiring writer, you can never have too long a list of pubs to write for. Best of luck to all you music fanatics.


Bonus: A reader emailed us about Quietus, an online magazine about music. She reports that they pay £75 British pounds for Black Sky Thinking columns and £80 British pounds for The Quietus Essay. Here is a direct link to their editorial contact page.



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