For a writer with the urge to write green, Kermit the Frog’s old song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” turns out to be wrong. In 2007, it’s actually cool to be green. The purpose of this column is to help you break into one of the dozens of publications dedicated to saving the ecosystem. So what are we waiting for? Let’s start at the top of my list.
The venerable bi-monthly Mother Earth News is now thirty-five years old and reaches more than one million readers. Their mission is to promote “more self-sufficient, financially independent and environmentally aware lifestyles.” The Editor is Cheryl Long and the Managing Editor is John Rockhold.
Freelance opportunities for this publication are limited, with most features written by Mother Earth News contributing editors, but two departments offer a door-opening first chance. For payment of $25 to $50, try writing 100 to 300 words of how-to for Country Lore. Or you could write up to 2,000 words in the first person about some topic related to sustainable lifestyle for Firsthand Reports from the Field. They pay $150 for these pieces.
If you’re a writer with both clips and relevant experience, you can propose a feature by sending a synopsis and a one-page outline to letters @ MotherEarthNews.com. To quote from their Contributor Guide, “Practicality is critical; freelance articles must be informative, well-documented and tightly written in an engaging and energetic voice. Don’t forget to read our magazine.” If you get the assignment, your pay will be in the neighborhood of $1 per word.
Because this is a widely distributed publication, you should be able to find copies to review in libraries.
Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.