10 Secrets To Becoming A Monthly Reader’s Digest Contributor

A weekly magazine article is like a short story. It has a beginning, middle, and end; there’s a plot and characters; it builds to a climax. A monthly magazine article is more like an essay: shorter, more focused on one topic, and less likely to have an arc.

Reader’s Digest
1. Write with passion and authenticity.
2. Tailor your submissions to match Reader’s Digest style.
3. Craft compelling personal stories and essays.
4. Focus on uplifting and inspirational content.
5. Edit and polish your work before submitting.
6. Familiarize yourself with the publication’s audience.
7. Be persistent and don’t be discouraged by rejections.
8. Build a strong online presence and engage with readers.
9. Collaborate with editors to fine-tune your pieces.
10. Embrace feedback and continuously improve your writing.

Write As You Talk

Use contractions when writing, just as you would in conversation. For example, “It’s” can be replaced with “it’s,” which is shorter and more casual.

Keep sentences short and paragraphs short as well; this will make your writing more conversational and engaging for the reader.

Use simple words rather than difficult ones or jargon that might only be understood by people in a certain industry or profession. The purpose of writing for Reader’s Digest is to inform and entertain readers from all walks of life, so use language that everyone can understand easily!

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Think Stories, Not Articles

The first thing you need to do is think of stories, no articles. You won’t find any hard and fast rules here, but what we mean is that you should write from the perspective of a storyteller rather than an objective reporter.

The reason for this is simple: stories are more engaging than articles. They’re more memorable, too! And when it comes time for someone else to publish your work and share it with others, hearing about what happened in a story format tends to be much more compelling than reading about it as if you were looking at an encyclopedia entry or scientific study report.

Revise, Revise, Revise

When it comes to writing, the more you revise your work, the better. A writer should view each draft as a stepping-stone towards perfection. The first draft is an outline of what you want to say, and it’s okay if it doesn’t flow perfectly or sound completely polished.

The second draft is when you refine the language so that everything makes sense and flows well together. After that comes grammar and spelling corrections which should always be done before submitting any material for publication!

Finally, don’t forget about content editing: make sure all of your points are relevant and engaging while keeping them clear enough for readers who know nothing about the topic at hand (like how we do in Reader’s Digest!).

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Tell ’em What You’re Gonna Tell ’em

You’re going to tell them what you told them, and then you’re going to make sure they know that they got it.

You can do this in any number of ways:

Give a summary of your piece (“…and that’s why we should all stop eating at McDonald’s!”)

Make a statement about the topic (“This is my favorite film ever!”)

Say how you feel about it (e.g., “I love this movie! It makes me so happy!” or “I hate this movie because it made me sad when I saw it for the first time.”)

This step is important because you want your readers to understand where you stand and how much knowledge or experience you have on the subject matter.

Have A Takeaway

Make sure your takeaway is clear. The takeaway will be the most important part of your article, so make it count! Make sure that you’re giving the reader actionable steps they can take to improve their own lives and situations.

Make sure your takeaway is actionable. You must provide a solution in each article you write for Reader’s Digest, so don’t just give them general advice or tell them what to do without providing an easy way for them to do it themselves.

Make sure your takeaway is relevant to the reader. While topics like health and wellness are always popular with readers, sometimes it can be more effective if you choose a topic that relates directly to their situation (i.e., someone who has struggled with weight loss). 

This will help ensure that they take the information more seriously because it has meaning for them personally rather than just being something generic like “eat healthy foods.”

Make sure your takeaway is credible; credibility counts when pitching stories as well as writing them once accepted by editors at RD! You want proof of expertise in order words to show off some credentials such as authoring books on related subjects which show off knowledge not just telling others things but also doing the research yourself before publishing anything online.”

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Sprinkle In Humor Sparingly

Humor is a powerful tool. It can be used to make a point, or even to make a serious issue more palatable. But it should be used sparingly.

If you have something important to say, don’t use humor as an excuse to avoid having anything important to say at all. If your article is about the importance of reading books, don’t start with “Have you ever thought about never reading another book again? 

I mean like forever?” It’s clunky and unprofessional. Do you know what else is clunky and unprofessional? That last sentence above which I just wrote! So let’s rethink that whole thing: if your article is about the importance of reading books, start with “Have you ever thought about never reading another book again? I mean like forever?”

Use Numbered Lists Whenever Possible

One of the best things you can do to keep your writing readable, interactive, memorable, and shareable is to use numbered lists.

It’s a common misconception that numbered lists are only for actionable items. But they’re great for any type of content especially if you want people to read it more than once (which we all do).

There Are Lots Of Ways To Use Them

To make sure readers understand the importance of each point in an article or blog post

To break up paragraphs into bite-sized chunks that are easier on the eyes and brain

To create a sense of urgency by reminding readers what they must do next for them not to lose out on any opportunities

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Let Your Quotes Do The Heavy Lifting

One of the most important skills for a writer is to be able to select just the right quote to illustrate your point. In other words, it’s not just about how good you are at expressing yourself;

It’s also about how much you know about what others have said in the past and how well you can find something that makes your idea hit home like a hammer on an anvil (or whatever analogy works for you).

Let’s say that you’re writing about how millennials are changing the world and disrupting traditional business models. You could go out and research new companies founded by young people or even interview some of them yourself but instead, why not use some quotes from prominent leaders who have already been vocal about this subject? 

Or maybe even use one of those old “10 Ways” lists we’ve all read before: “10 Things Millennials Are Doing To Disrupt Traditional Business Models.” 

This way, not only will they get their message across better than anything else would do (because everyone loves reading things), but it will also seem like they’re talking directly to their readership as opposed to just going off into space with whatever comes into their mind (the worst!).

Always Answer Your Reader’s Three Questions: Who? What? Why?

When you’re reading a piece, you’re usually asking yourself three questions:

Who is this person and what are they doing? Why are they doing it? What’s the takeaway here for me?

The first question is easy to answer. Just tell us about yourself and your journey so far. For example, “I’m a former bartender who now owns my own business as an online writer. I quit my job because I wanted to be able to spend more time with my family and focus on making more money on my terms.”

Then, explain what you do in your day-to-day life or how the story relates to your professional experience (if applicable). Give some context before diving into the main point of why this particular person or company was featured in Reader’s Digest.

Add Value To The Reader’s Life

You are writing for the reader. Not yourself, not your ego, not your resume, and certainly not your blog or Facebook page. The content you write should add value to the reader’s life.

The purpose of each article should be to help people solve a problem or reach their goals by teaching them something new and useful. This is why most articles on this site are written in question form: it forces us to answer the question “What’s in it for me?”

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I hope you’ve found this guide to be helpful. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to reach out! You can email me at [email protected].

Further Reading

Tips from an Editor: Writing for Reader’s Digest: Learn valuable tips from an editor on how to write effectively for Reader’s Digest and increase your chances of getting published.

History of Reader’s Digest: Dive into the fascinating history of Reader’s Digest and discover how it became one of the most popular magazines worldwide.

Reader’s Digest India: Explore the Indian edition of Reader’s Digest, offering a diverse range of articles and stories catering to a wide readership.


How can I improve my chances of getting published in Reader’s Digest?

Focus on crafting well-written and engaging pieces that resonate with the publication’s audience. Familiarize yourself with the magazine’s style and tone to align your writing accordingly.

What types of content does Reader’s Digest publish?

Reader’s Digest publishes a wide variety of content, including personal stories, inspirational articles, health and wellness tips, humor pieces, and thought-provoking essays.

Is Reader’s Digest only available in print, or can I read it online?

Reader’s Digest is available both in print and online, allowing readers to access their favorite articles and features in various formats.

Does Reader’s Digest accept submissions from new writers?

Yes, Reader’s Digest welcomes submissions from new writers. They often feature contributions from both established and emerging authors.

How can I submit my work to Reader’s Digest?

To submit your work to Reader’s Digest, visit their official website and follow the guidelines provided for submission. Be sure to review their specific requirements to increase your chances of acceptance.