How To Find Foreign Writing Markets - By Gary McLaren

Writing for foreign writing markets is a great way to increase your income as a freelance writer. The highest fee a writer receives for any article is often the fee paid by a publication for First Rights. So there is a windfall to be received if you can successfully sell, for example, First North American Serial Rights and then go on to sell First British Serial Rights, First Australasian Serial Rights and others.

Some writers may be able to recall an occasion when a subsequent sale was even higher than the original 'first rights' sale, but in principle the theory will hold true. You will earn much more as a writer if you resell your articles, including 'first' rights, in different territories. It is one thing to grasp this concept and another thing altogether to be able to find good quality, paying writing markets from around the world.

As editor of Worldwide Freelance Writer newsletter I am always hunting for new writing markets for our subscribers. In the course of this research I have discovered and can pass on to you, some particularly good web sites that list thousands of publications around the world. In this article I focus solely on sources of market information listing publications outside of North America.

Don't forget that when you find what may seem to be a suitable publication using the resources below you will still need to study the publication, check whether or not they work with freelance writers, and keep to their writer's guidelines. Most of all, your article or query must be relevant to their readers.


Worldwide Freelance Writer - .

The markets section of our web site has many known paying markets, and even a few non-paying markets for noteworthy publications. All markets listed on this site have been listed with the permission of the publication at the time of listing. Check for the date the listing was last updated. Editors and editorial requirements frequently change so be sure to check with the publication for their latest needs.

NewsDirectory - A guide to online English-language media. It's a breeze to navigate and includes over 4,800 worldwide magazines and 3,600 newspapers. Links directly to the publication's own web site.

Publist - Publist claims to have a database of over 150,000 magazines, journals, newsletters, & other periodicals (including U.S.). To get to the international listings you need to click on 'Advanced Search Options', then choose the 'Advanced' tab and you will be able to search by country. Many of the listings do not have an onsite presence, but most will include the editor's name, contact details, and often an email address.

The Ultimate Collection of News Links - Easy to search by country. 10,000 newspapers and magazines listed.

The Guide To Asian Media - The site contains information on 25,000 media in fifty-seven countries. It doesn't link you to the site or give you the editor's email address, but at least you can find out which publications are in the country. After identifying a publication here, try searching for an online presence using Yahoo or a search engine for that region.

AATSEEL - The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages has posted this listing of East European and Slavic news media on the Internet.

Search Engines - You can also find markets fairly successfully by searching for publications through a local search engine. AllSearchEngines has a huge list of search engines all over the world. Search for the type of publication you want, e.g. 'sport magazine' or 'women magazine'. For a wider search you might try just 'magazine', but for some countries this will return too many results.


Being located in another country is never a valid excuse to skip this fundamental step in the freelance writing process. In fact it is more important than ever. If a publication has no online presence you will need to get your hands on a hard copy.

Fortunately many publications are now online. Visiting their web site can often give you a good insight into most of what you need to know as a freelance writer. Put on your investigative journalist's hat. Study the publication's content and style. What are they covering and what are they not? In which countries are the current writers located? Are they staff writers or freelancers? Who are the readers? Often the readership demographics are available in the Advertising section.


Once you have determined that the publication seems to be a potential market for your work you will need to examine their Writer's Guidelines. If they have any, that is. Be forewarned. When you start working with publications outside of North America and United Kingdom you will discover that many do not provide a formal set of 'Writer's Guidelines'.

Check first whether they have any on their web site and if not contact the editor by e-mail. Politely ask whether they have a set of Writer's Guidelines and if not, do they ever work with freelance writers and what are they looking for.

While finding 'good-quality', well-paying international writing markets can be challenging, the financial returns and the prestige of being published internationally will justify the effort. And don't forget, after you have sold first rights around the world, its time to start marketing some reprints.

A final word of wisdom from someone who knows - well-known columnist Margaret Carlson - "Best writing advice I've ever received: Sell everything three times."

About the Author

Gary McLaren is the editor of Worldwide Freelance Writer. For more information on freelance writing and a database of more than 1,700 writing markets, visit

© Copyright 2005 Gary McLaren.
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