As The School Year Turns: Education Markets for Writers By Erika Dreifus

There are a variety of print and online markets seeking articles and essays in the education field. It isn’t surprising that the market is so voluminous, for the readership for education materials is varied. Educators themselves form a diverse group and, if we just think about primary and secondary school teachers, along with administrators, those in higher education, and even home schooling families, the readership and possibilities for article topics seems endless.

Students also pose a multiplicity of issues worth addressing on the page. High schoolers contemplating college at 17 may have some very different concerns from adults considering a degree at 37, for instance. Editors recognize this. Writers should, too. Anyone possessing particular interest in education writing should keep in mind the many opportunities to develop and pitch ideas for markets beyond education publications “proper.” Consider, for example, the following strategies:

For story development, review the school/academic calendar: the first and last day of school; college admissions application deadlines and notification dates; Parents’ Nights; spring break, reunions, summer vacation, etc. Often these can inspire articles and essays. For markets, investigate these options:

+ Contact / query the Education Editor of major newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor’s Learning section, for instance, offers many opportunities for freelancers (see below).

+ Query regional magazines on events and personalities in the education field within a given geographical area.

+ Similarly, think about the ways other features may intersect with education. Travel departments and travel magazines may welcome proposals for articles on how to spend school vacations. And education is certainly a concern for parents, falling within the “child care” and “family issues” rubric.

+ Check out the many alumni magazines – your own and others that offer relevant links with your background, experience, and interests. A number of alumni magazines can be found online at: http://www.ucda.com/MEMBERS2/alumni.html

In the meantime, here are a few “primary sources” to get you started. In the future, keep in mind that editorial calendars generally anticipate the academic ones, and plan accordingly. An idea that may seem marvelous for September won’t necessarily be welcomed if pitched to a quarterly in January.

Nine Paying Education Markets:

American Educator
The quarterly professional magazine of the American Federation of Teachers.
Pays: $300 minimum per article.

California Wild
See market listing at WritersWeekly.com at:

Quarterly magazine published by the California Academy of Sciences; among its departments is “In Pursuit of Science,” a 1,400-1,500 word profile of someone “who has applied his or her science training in an unusual and often educational manner.”
Pays: $0.30/word.

Christian Science Monitor (“Learning”)
“Read the section before you pitch anything. It’s very easy to spot who is not familiar with what we do.”
Pays: $150 to $350 for “Learning” contributions

College Bound Magazine
See market listing at WritersWeekly.com at:

Concentrates on offering high school students “an inside look at all aspects of college life.” Features and columns / departments offer stories, survival tips, and strategies on everything from college selection to dorm life. Freelance contributors include collegians “and those young at heart.”
Pays: $15-$100

Home Education Magazine
Intended for homeschooling families, “or for anyone who enjoys living and learning with their children.” The submission guidelines, which are available by postal mail and by e-mail, note that the editors “welcome articles from inexperienced writers, especially mothers with homeschooling experience.” Article length is generally 1,000-1,500 words. Pays: $50-$100 for features

Teaching Theatre
The Educational Theatre Association publishes this quarterly journal, whose primary readership is high school theatre teachers (another publication with guidelines on the same site, Dramatics, is geared more for a student audience and is published more frequently). Articles range 750-4,000 words.
Pays $50-$350

Today’s Catholic Teacher
For K-8 educators. Preference given to material targeted for instructors in grades 4-8. Feature articles fall into categories of 600-800 words; 1,000-1,200 words, and 1,200-1,500 words.
Pays: $100-$250

Today’s School: Shared Leadership in Education
Intended for a readership of K-12 administrators. Feature articles are generally 700-1,000 words, 1,000-2,000 words, or 2000-3,000 words.
Pays $350-$600

Erika Dreifus is a writer in Massachusetts and an alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.