WordRates: A Yelp-Like Site for Freelance Writers

By Dianna Dilworth 

WordRates.com, a site that aims to be “Yelp for journalists,” is now live. Writer Scott Carney founded the site to bring transparency to the Byzantine world of magazine publishing. He raised almost $10,000 on Kickstarter to do so.

“Let’s shed some light on the journalism business. Freelance writers have long struggled to figure out which publications to send their ideas to,” explains the website. “Not every magazine pays on time, does thorough fact-checking, or covers expenses, while other publications can be a dream to work with. Here at WordRates, writers can share editor and magazine information from across the publishing industry, allowing them to find the best home for their stories.”

The site contains a database of magazines, blogs and newspapers that work with freelance writers. The entries for these publications include crowd-sourced ratings and comments from writers on the publication, as well as ratings of individual editors. In addition, if you sign up for the free membership, you can access publication details like pay rates, kill fees and advertising rates, along with masthead information. If you sign up for a premium account ($35 for six months, $50 a year), then you can access contact details for individual editors. You can also browse the site by best rated (Wired, Outside, Fast Company) or lowest rated (Details, Town & Country, Allure) or newest/oldest.

WordRates also has a section called “PitchLab,” a kind of agency that represents feature writers to magazines. PitchLab will connect writers with “mentors” who will work to sell those stories to mainstream magazines to publications. These mentors have been published in The New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Rolling Stone and Bloomberg Businessweek.