Do you have stories to tell about your life and experience overseas? About your travels and adventures across the globe? About how you found a new country to call home and what it is that you love about the place you now live in? More importantly, are you interested in sharing them? If so, International Living, a magazine about life, travel, and retirement abroad, is willing to pay you up to $350 and more for one of your stories. Interested? Then read on and find out if you can write the story that they’re after.
What is International Living?
International Living magazine is a monthly publication for subscribers with ‘up-to-date, informed, and reliable’ content focusing on life, travel, investment, and retirement overseas. It was founded in 1979 by Bill Bonner, and now boasts offices and writers all over the world.
In its own words, the magazine’s goal is to ‘help you discover… places around the world that are cheaper… healthier… safer… freer… than you ever thought possible…’ and take advantage of the opportunities they offer – opportunities to improve your quality of life…to lower your cost of living…to invest for profitable return – before the rest of the world catches on.’
International Living also has a website that features stories from ‘expats living their dream lives around the world in a variety of ways, including expat advice, travel tips and hacks, listicles, itineraries, slideshows, how-to’s and step-by-step guides, and videos.’
The magazine also has an e-newsletter called Daily Postcards that ‘bring stories from expats living their dream lives around the world to over 185,000 readers’. This daily e-newsletter features ‘overseas retirement benefits and opportunities, bargain real estate, and a wealth of travel and lifestyle options’.
What is International Living looking for?
International Living is looking for articles about life, travel, investment, and retirement overseas. You can write for their magazine, or for their website. You can also write for their Daily Postcards e-newsletter. The guidelines for magazine articles, website articles, and Daily Postcard stories are detailed below.
Write for International Living: Magazine Article Guidelines
International Living magazine aims at providing a scope and depth of information about global travel, living, retiring, investing, and real estate that is not available anywhere else at any price. If you’re interested in submitting a magazine article, International Living wants you to consider the following guidelines:
- You are writing for their readers. Their readership love beaches, mountains, and countryside. Some of them love the city. They want to live overseas, either part-time or full time, and most of them want to learn about ways to stretch their dollars and simplify their lives… Are you already there? Then their readers want your story.
- Their readers like profiles: These stories are meant to inspire. This could be your story or that of someone you interview. It’s a profile of an individual or couple living the dream. They’ve moved someplace new – full or part time.
- Their readers want advice about retiring overseas: Can you pass along useful how-to tips, money-saving ideas, ways to “prep” for a move or adjust to a new life? Pull back the curtain and share with readers a recommendation or some guidance they wouldn’t easily figure out on their own.
- Their readers are interested in healthcare: Do you have a first-person account from somebody who has just benefited from healthcare abroad? Or perhaps a how-to piece about insurance or special facilities available overseas.
- Their readers are interested in practical solutions: Can you write a practical article about some aspect of moving or living overseas? The article should answer a question their readers have about the practicalities of living overseas, and should have information contained in it that the reader can act upon, or learn from.
Example Solutions stories:
- The guide to stress-free renting in Lisbon
- It’s easier than ever to get a Colombian visa
- Roatán: How to build and furnish your own tropical island home
- The bit you really want to know about….
Write for International Living: Website Article Guidelines
International Living also publishes articles about life, travel, retirement, and investment abroad on its website. If you’re interested in submitting an article for their website, they want you to consider the following guidelines: ‘What are the most important things you can tell someone about your life in another country, or a place that you have traveled to? What do you wish you had known before you went there? These are the first person, boots-on-the ground accounts we want to share with our readers.’
Before you submit a contribution, they suggest that you first go through the following questions to ‘give you a better chance of catching the eye’ of their website editors.
- Is your story original and does it have one clear idea? In the age of the internet and Google, what makes your story stand out?
- What is the story about and why will our readers want to read about it? Be specific when you pitch a story idea. A destination is not a story idea. An article about Paris: that’s been done a thousand times before. But an article about the five best hidden restaurants in Paris: that’s more like it.
- Is this topic timely?
- How can we tell this story with video?
- Why are you the person to write this? If you don’t have personal experience of the topic of the story you’re pitching, we won’t consider it for publication. Our readers want insider information from the people who’ve done it before. We want your opinion. Tell our readers how to do things, order a meal, buy a souvenir, find a new place, a hidden gem.
They also suggest that before you reach out with an idea for an article, you have ensured that you already understand their content, their style, and whether your idea fills a gap in their content. They recommend that you take a look at their website, see what they have published in the past, and get a feel for the topics they cover and the style of writing they like.
Finally, the magazine also requests that if possible, you should include links to examples of your previous work.
Write for International Living: Daily Postcards Guidelines
International Living runs a daily e-newsletter called Daily Postcards, which it sends to over 185,000 readers. If you’re interested in having your story featured in their Daily Postcards, please consider the following guidelines:
- They want to hear your story – whatever that may be.
- Imagine you’re talking to your friends back home. What do you want to tell them about your experience overseas? What are the most important things you can tell someone about your life in another country?
- You might want to tell their readers about how and why you chose your new retirement destination…how your life has changed for the better…and what it is that you love about the place you now live in.
- You might be excited about the cost of living…the rich culture of your new hometown…or the warm and friendly community you’ve joined.
- Maybe you’d like to tell us about how you’ve availed of low-cost healthcare and dental care…have discovered a new-found love of the everyday things that you were too busy to appreciate back home…or how you’ve taken up a hobby you always wanted to try, now that you have the time and money.
- Whatever it is that you find remarkable about your new life overseas, that’s what they want you to tell their readers about.
Before you consider submitting a pitch, the editors would also like you to get to know their style and the types of stories they tell. They recommend that sign up to our Daily Postcards free of charge or take a look through their Daily Postcards archive.
Who can write for International Living?
For magazine and website articles, International Living welcomes all interested contributors, as long as they read and familiarize themselves with the magazine’s Writer’s Guidelines first.
For Daily Postcards, only U.S. or Canadian citizens living overseas are welcome to submit their stories.
How much can you earn with International Living?
For magazine articles, payment is upon publication. International Living buys all rights and they pay $225 for 900 words and $350 for 1,600 words. As regards photographs, if they use one of yours they pay $50 for one-time use and you retain the rights.
For website articles, if International Living decides to publish your piece, you will be paid a one-time rate based on word count – $100 for 1,000 words, $150 for 1,500, etc.
For Daily Postcards, if they publish your contribution, the pay is a one-time rate of $100, including any photos you may wish to include.
How do I submit my story?
To submit your ideas for magazine articles, email email@example.com. For website articles, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For Daily Postcards, email: email@example.com.
Note that the magazine will be reviewing and considering all editorial pitches, but that due to the high volume of inquiries they receive, not all correspondence can be responded to personally.
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