Writers love words, but lots of magazines publish short pieces in-between full-length articles. A couple months ago, I found a call for submissions from Thriving Family magazine, which is part of the Focus On The Family Group. They are a Christian based publication geared to family life.
They were looking for short (200-200 words) lessons on how a parent succeeded in teaching their child something. It's been a good many years since I was raising children--my baby is turning 40 this year! But I suddenly remembered how frustrated I was when trying to teach our oldest how to tie his shoes. It was a requirement for kindergarten. I finally hit on a solution, and Kirk accomplished shoe-tying the night before the first day of school.
I wrote the short piece, sent it to my crit group for comments and suggestions, cut and revised it, and sent it in on August 15th. Yesterday, I received notice from the editor that he wanted to buy the piece. Not only was it a sale, but it happened in about 6 weeks time. I sent him the information about me that he needed for the contract. My short piece will be published in the January 2012 issue.
Thriving Family magazine has a full page of guidelines which are clear and detailed. Now, that I've gotten my foot in the door, I may try sending them a longer article/essay. For those, they pay 25 cents per word.
Writing short is not easy. A lot has to be said in a very few words. It's also to your benefit to try getting into a magazine through this venue. Once they've accepted your short submission. the editorial staff will be more likely to consider other longer pieces you send. Take a look at Thriving Family to learn what type of magazine it is. Then decide if it is one you can write for.