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How to Submit Stories to Reader's Digest

Updated July 20, 2017

Reader's Digest accepts two kinds of submissions: jokes, or "short, humorous anecdotes," and original articles. Both kinds of stories should be submitted electronically. According to Media Bistro, Reader's Digest has a circulation of eight million readers each month, with most of its American readers concentrated in the middle of the country. The digest publishes a total of 51 editions internationally and also publishes content on its website. Reader's Digest does not accept fiction, poetry, artwork or photography submissions.

Visit the Reader's Digest website to familiarise yourself with the kinds of stories that are usually published, such as "dramatic narratives, articles about everyday heroes, crime dramas and adventure stories."

Prepare a pitch letter. According to the submission requirements, Reader's Digest accepts "one-page queries that clearly detail the article idea---with special emphasis on the arc of the story, your interview access to the main characters, your access to special documents, etc." Include information about your previously published writing, including links to any pieces published online.

Send your pitch. E-mail the letter detailing your article, but not a complete draft, to articleproposals@readersdigest.com. Paste your pitch into the body of an e-mail, rather than attaching it as a separate document or file. Editors may feel wary of opening attachments from someone they do not know.

Prepare your joke or funny story by typing it, reading through it carefully and editing it down to 500 characters or fewer. Reader's Digest will not accept anecdotes that are more than 500 characters long.

Go to the "Submit your Joke, Funny Story or Quote" section of the Reader's Digest website to send your submission. Use this page to submit your joke; do not attempt to submit a joke via e-mail.

Select the type of item you are submitting: A Joke; A Funny, True Story; or A Quote.

Enter your name and contact information.

Read the Terms and Conditions. Check the box to indicate that you have read and accepted the terms.

Click "Submit" to send your joke or story. Reader's Digest will only contact you if your submission will be published in its magazine or on its website.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with an Internet connection
  • E-mail account
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About the Author

Miranda Martin began writing professionally in 2004. She has contributed to the online magazines Writer 2.0 and SMITH, where she edited the "Memoirville" section. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing from Emerson College.