14 Music Magazines & Websites that Pay Freelance Writers (Submission Guidelines, Payment Rates)

There are many opportunities to get paid to write about music, in its many forms. Here’s a list of specialty publications that focus exclusively on music writing.

Another avenue to explore, are more general arts & culture publications, of which there are hundreds. Most towns and cities have a “weekly” that includes music reviews, and reviews of live events. Hopefully, by the end of the year, these publications will be back in full swing after the affects of the pandemic lockdown, but that, of course, remains to be seen.

— Jacob Jans

Hard Noise is a “non-satirical music and culture publication by The Hard Times and Pure Noise Records.” According to their editor, they pay $50 to $100 per piece. To learn more about them and to contact them, refer to this page. Update: A reader has reported that Hard Noise is no longer accepting pitches. They also seem to have stopped publishing in May, 2021.

Level is a new platform for independent musicians. They are always seeking new voices to write about music topics that matter to their artist community. According to payment reports, their rates start at $250. They pay more for longer pieces. To become a contributing writer for their blog, refer to this page. To read their blog, refer to this page.

DJ Mag is a British monthly magazine and website about electronic dance music and DJs. According to their features editor, “in 2020, across print and digital, we’re looking to publish longform features that are ideally not centered around one artist.” “This can be a focus on an emerging sound, a reportage deep-dive into a subject surrounding dance music, culture and technology, or an opinion piece on a timely (and potentially divisive) talking point.” They pay 20p a word for longform features. To pitch, refer to this page.

No Depression is a print magazine and an online publication about roots music. They are always looking for contributors to write longform (1,000 to 5,000 words) about roots music. They pay 20 cents per word. To learn more, refer to their managing editor’s Twitter post. To contact them, refer to this page.

Reverb is an online marketplace for buying and selling musical instruments. They are always accepting pitches about “how music is made, focusing on the instruments, recording equipment, and techniques.” Their rates start at $100. To learn more, refer to this Twitter post and this page.

Bandcamp Daily is a guide to the artists, fans, and labels on Bandcamp (a publishing platform for musicians). According to their senior editor, they pay decently and accept pitches on a rolling basis about “music other sites aren’t covering (that’s on Bandcamp).” Payment reports indicate that they pay up to $0.44 per word. To learn more about them, visit their website.

VAN is an online classical music magazine. They are always looking for exciting and insightful classical music journalism. According to one payment report, they paid $0.08 per word for a 1,200-word feature. To contact them, refer to this page.

Electronic Sound is a print and digital magazine about contemporary electronic music and culture. They cover “the current scene, the pioneers, the machines, and the current thinking of the electronic music world.” According to one payment report, they paid $0.21 per word. To contact them, refer to this page.

M: Music & Musicians 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.

New Music Connoisseur (NMC) is a bi-yearly magazine that is devoted to “the works of composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.” Most of their pieces are no longer than 1,500 words. They pay an honorarium of $50 to $200 per piece. To learn more, refer to this page.

Urban Flaiire is a website that reviews music, particularly Hip-Hop, RnB, Eclectic, Chill Wave, Pop, Urban. They pay 20 cents per word for reviews of singles, LPs, etc. Most reviews are 150 to 600 words. To learn more, read their freelancer guidelines.

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.

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.

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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