When it comes to popular human interest topics, pets will always rank high on the list. Their eccentricities, shenanigans, aggravating and heartwarming ways make for many great stories. So, why not write them up, share them with others, and make some money at the same time?
After Tootsie, my all-time favorite cat, was hit by a car, she endured five operations before becoming a three-legged feline. With each successive surgery, I faced distressing ethical and financial decisions regarding Tootsie’s painful saga. Realizing I could hardly be the only pet owner out there facing these quandaries, I began asking vets how different animals handle anxiety and pain, and how someone might know when it’s time to end a pet’s suffering.
My experience with Tootsie led me to write and sell an article to I Love Cats magazine about the coping strategies of handicapped cats. A follow-up piece about her ran several years later in the same publication. I also wrote a piece about my sister’s one-eyed cat, Uno, which appeared in Cats & Kittens. These were fairly in-depth articles. Yet, some of the funniest, most winsome pet tales occur in the space of a minute—or less! For years I wanted to share a funny story about my cat, Twink. But the incident was so fleeting, I wasn’t sure how to present it, let alone market it. Thirty-five years later, after reading that Chicken Soup for the Soul was seeking true stories and poems about cats, something clicked. I wrote Twink’s story as a humorous poem and, at long last, it was published.
Currently, Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking true stories for two upcoming books: one about cats and one about dogs. Each book includes 101 stories, so there are plenty of opportunities. Payment for stories and poems is $200 plus 10 free copies of the book. Submission deadline is October 31, 2016, but don’t delay! Editor Amy Newmark insists the earlier the submission, the better its chances of acceptance. Guidelines: https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines
Cat Fancy – Pays after publication
The Bark – Pays on publication
Do you have an inspiring pet story that can be recounted briefly? Reader’s Digest pays $100 for inspiring 100-word true stories.
Guideposts magazine and Mysterious Ways also welcome true stories about the wondrous bonds between people and pets; payment varies.
Nonfiction and fiction stories about pets are always popular at two Fun For Kidz Magazines: Hopscotch for Girls , and Boys’ Quest. Minimum payment is 5-cents per word upon publication (with additional payment possible for photos and illustrations). These magazines publish just six issues a year, though, so it can take time to see publication and payment. I once waited nearly four years for an article I’d written about a cartoon dog named Stinky to run. But, in the end, the wait was well worth it.
Woman’s World Weekly recognizes the importance of pets in our lives. Periodically, it runs “Animal Rescue” and “Animal Hero” stories as well as “Happy Ending” and “Inspiration” stories involving animals. Read as many issues of the magazine as possible to get a clear sense of its style and scope. The editors are always looking for great new stories, and callouts often appear in small print at the bottom of full-page features. If you’ve got a personal story to share—or if you’ve read or heard of a good one recently—you can email the details (along with your name, address, and phone number) to WWfeatures@WomansWorldMag.com or mail info to Scoop, Woman’s World, 270 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. If you’re the first to pass along a particular story, and the editors decide to run it, you’ll be paid $100.
Woman’s World publishes fiction as well. One romantic short story and a mini-mystery appear each week. I’ve sold many stories in both genres, and several of my plots have pivoted around pets. To learn more about the mag’s romance requirements, check out the FAQs at writer Kate Willoughby’s blog. Romantic short stories run 800 words and pay $800. The magazine’s distinctive who-dunnit / how-dunnit mysteries (no graphic crime allowed) are uniquely open-ended, so read plenty of them and study the format carefully. Mini-mysteries run 700 words and pay $500.
Pet owners tend to take countless photographs of their pets doing cute and crazy things. Turns out, those great pet pics can also earn a sweet paycheck at Woman’s World. My friend Barb once sent me an amazing photo she’d taken of her cat drinking from a faucet with its tongue fully extended. Sensing universal appeal, I mailed the photo to Love & Laughter, Woman’s World’s back page section, giving my friend’s name, address, and contact info. Several months later Barb was delighted to learn that the magazine was running her cat’s picture and sending her a $100 check, which she generously insisted on splitting with me. So, if you’ve got a cute or comical pet photo, consider sending a copy to: Love & Laughter, Woman’s World, 270 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632, or e-mail LoveAndLaughter@WomansWorldMag.com.
When it comes to pet stories, reader interest never wanes. What has your pet done lately to inspire you or make you laugh? Whether a filler or full-fledged article, write it up! There’s an excellent chance your story will find a home.
LINKS TO GUIDELINES FOR THESE PAYING PET MARKETS
Chicken Soup for the Soul
I Love Cats
Woman’s World fiction guidelines & submission info
Find more paying pet markets for writers HERE.
Profiting from Pets: Writing for Animal Magazines
When It’s Okay to Write About Personal (Tough) Stuff, and When It’s NOT!
Let’s Get Personal: Six Paying Markets For Your Personal Essays
Wendy Hobday Haugh enjoys writing about things near and dear. Her pets, and the wild animals she encounters every day, rank high on her list of favorite subjects