Sunday, September 6, 2009

Get Your Story Out the Door!

By Lisa Lopez Snyder

It’s easy to be daunted by the task of searching markets for your work. For sure, places such as Writer’s Digest offer great links to literary magazine Web sites, and there are probably more than a few services that you can pay to help you find a market to submit your work.

But if you’re looking for an economic alternative, let me suggest Listed among Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers” (, is a free, easy-to-use online submission tracker that I discovered through a writing friend. Check it out:

1. Go to You don’t need to sign up for an account to try it (but go ahead and sign up; it’s free, after all!).
2. Search for your market on the Home page: For example, if you’re writing historical fiction, in the Genre box you’ll click on Historical Fiction; if you want to search for literary markets, click on Literary, etc.
3. Go down and click through the options in the remaining dialogue boxes (eg., poem/short story, simultaneous submissions/submission via electronic or postal, etc.), or leave them empty if not applicable or you want to broaden your search. You can even search publications that accept submissions online, which saves trees, time and money, and who isn’t for that?
4. At the end, click Submit.

You’ll get a list of markets, along with titles and links to a page that summarizes the publication, along with links to the publication’s official Web site. Once you’ve signed up and submitted your work, you can log onto Duotrope and add the stories or poems you submitted to the various publications. Just click Add Submission. It tracks all your submissions, which you can review all sorts of ways, such as by story/poem title and date of submission.

Be sure to also sign up for the weekly newsletter (see link at top of web page) and you’ll get a weekly email update with new market listings and re-opened submissions and upcoming deadlines for publications that have themed issues. This email does on occasion ask for donations to help keep the site up and running (it’s operated by a few published writers and former editors—see the About and FAQs links at the bottom of the site). It’s optional, but after the rush of excitement you get from having your own submissions tracker page and, you’ll want to send these folks a donation.

There are other search functions in the database too numerous to discuss here, so the best way to find out is to simply pull up the Web site and check it out yourself.

What you won’t find on Duotrope, however, are contests, and I welcome any feedback on this blog from someone who knows of a contest submission tracker.

Happy submitting!

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