With more than 80 million readers worldwide, Reader's Digest is a popular place for writers to submit articles. Although the editors tend to assign most of the stories that appear in the magazine, they will accept story ideas from writers who are not regular contributors.
What The Digest Wants
Reader's Digest is renowned for publishing gripping, real-life stories. Crime stories, adventure stories and stories about "everyday heroes" are among the magazine's most popular features and are most likely to catch an editor's attention. In your proposal be sure to describe how your story will unfold.
Don't send the completed manuscript of your article. The editors will not read it or mail it back. Instead, write a summary of no more than one page. If you will interview the hero of the story, be sure to mention it---it may help you sell your story. Email your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If writing an entire article is too daunting, try something shorter. Reader's Digest encourages its readers to send in funny true stories, jokes and humorous quotations. Keep your submission within the 500-word limit. If you submit an anecdote originally published elsewhere, include the name of where and when it was published, including the page number.
Given the volume of funny stories the magazine receives---approximately 250,000 a year---the editors won't acknowledge that they have received your piece unless they decide to publish it in the magazine. In that case, you will be paid $100. You will not be paid ff it is published only on the magazine's website, RD.com.
Fiction? Poetry? Art?
Reader's Digest does not publish fiction or poetry, nor does it accept unsolicited artwork or photographs. All the artwork that appears in the magazine is commissioned.