Market Spotlight: Boys' Life

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

As I have a Cub Scout and den leader in my house, copies of Boys’ Life and Scouting arrive in our mailbox without fail each month. Because I love magazines of all types, and am a freelance writer, I usually flip through them to get an idea of what kinds of stories they run. Here's a market overview of Boys' Life that will hopefully help you make some new sales soon.

Target Audience:
Boys’ Life is a general interest magazine that targets boys ages 6 to 17 years of age. Specifically, the guidelines suggest writers “write for a boy you know who is 12,” with punchy, crisp, and straightforward writing.

An Overview of Content:
A look at the Boys’ Life issues over the past few months includes feature stories on how one troop in Atlanta, Ga. swam with whale sharks in the Georgia Aquarium after raising enough money to pay for their training, a troop’s backpacking trip through Arizona’s painted desert, and how another troop visited the Sea Scout Base in Galveston, Tx.

Besides features, the magazine is chock full of reader-submitted jokes (my son’s personal favorite section), columns on health, science, and nature topics, cartoons, puzzles, profiles of scouts and scout leaders, short stories, and a BL Workshop with regular building project.

What You Can Submit:
Nonfiction articles. Articles run 500-1,500 words and the pay is around $1 a word. Boys’ Life editors state that a look at the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) list of 100 merit badge pamphlets is a good place to brainstorm topics. Query Managing Editor Paula Murphey.

Departments run up to 600 words and the pay is $100-$600. Each issue runs an average of seven departments that cover sports, aviation, entertainment, pets, health, science, etc. Query Associate Editor Clay Swartz.

The magazine also has monthly Readers’ Page where readers under the age of 18 can share their adventures related to scouting. This page pays $25 per submission.

Short stories are by assignment only, so Boys’ Life is not accepting queries for fiction. Also, according to the most recent guidelines, the magazine only accepts submissions through snail mail to 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

I encourage you to check out a few back issues if possible. I could see this also being a great market for educators who are looking to do some freelance work with the wide range of topics covered.

Good luck!

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who has written hundreds of articles for parenting websites and magazines. Visit her website at


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Love the scouting magazines! They are so encouraging for the kids.

Margo Dill said...

Great idea for a post! Thanks for sharing this information.

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