Skip to main content

Bird Watcher’s Digest was founded in 1978 in the living room of the Thompson family, birders living in Marietta, Ohio. More than 40 years later, it’s still the only independently owned and operated wild-bird magazine in North America.

The editors say, “Each issue of BWD comprises a wide array of material aimed at bird watchers and birders at all levels of interest and ability.”

(The American Gardener: Market Spotlight.)

Payment rates are not listed on the site, but they’ve mentioned paying rates as high as $200 in previous editions of Writer’s Market.

What They’re Looking For

Bird Watcher’s Digest publishes four to five feature articles between 1,000 and 2,000 words covering a wide range of bird-watching topics. Department and column needs are listed below:

  • My Way. Bird watchers share ideas with how-to or experiential columns. Length: fewer than 1,000 words. (Usually “pays” for this column with contributor copies.)
  • Far Afield. Travel articles focusing on great birding destinations, unusual traveling experiences, and related topics. Mostly North American destinations, but international fine too.
  • The Backyard. Publishes two to four pieces per issue on backyard-related topics, including feeding and housing, humorous backyard experiences, and helpful ideas. Length: 500-1,500 words.
  • Species Profiles. Each issue includes up to two species profiles covering the basic natural history of a given bird species. Length: 1,500-2,500 words.

The editors say, “We love to read about birds and bird watching, to discover new writers, new topics, and wonderful new material. Please do send us your story!”

How to Submit

The editors prefer writers submit queries and/or complete and edited manuscripts via email at with the subject line “Submission – (your topic).”

Prospective writers can also submit via mail to Bill Thompson III, Bird Watcher’s Digest, P.O. Box 110, 149 Acme Street, Marietta, OH 45750.

The editors say, “We aim to review manuscripts quarterly, depending upon volume. Your submission will receive careful consideration, but it might take several months before we inform you of our decision.”

Click here to learn more and submit.

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

Every writer’s publishing story is different. Here, author Sharon M. Peterson shares her journey from writing to publishing.

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Writer's Digest July/Aug 2022

The WD Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The bestselling author of Mexican Gothic shares her approach to world-building, character development, and what she’s learned about the business of writing in this interview from the July/August 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

Thinking of starting your own newsletter? Let freelance writer Sian Meades-Williams lay out 9 pros and cons of writing a newsletter.

How to Write a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

How to Create a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

Learn how to create a compelling premise for a thriller or mystery novel by asking a simple question and tying it to a specific circumstance to set the stage for a thrilling read.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters make a plan.

3 Tips for Writing Dystopian Young Adult Fiction

3 Tips for Writing Dystopian Young Adult Fiction

If you've ever heard it said that there's no new way to write a story, let author Julian R. Vaca tell you otherwise. Here, he shares 3 tips for writing dystopian young adult fiction to help silence our inner critics.

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Author Rimma Onoseta discusses how seeing other Black female authors on bookshelves encouraged her to finish writing her contemporary YA novel, How You Grow Wings.

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest is excited to announce our Sept/Oct 2022 issue featuring our Annual Literary Agent Roundup, an interview with NYT-bestselling YA horror novelist Tiffany D. Jackson, and articles about writing sinister stories.