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Where to Submit Your Stuff


I have not been submitting my short stories this year, and I really need to rectify that. I have been writing some things, but they sit on my desk rather than on some editor's desk, and that's not going to get them to any readers. 

I may not be alone in this, but I've heard from other writers (particularly those new to the process) that they don't know how to find places to submit their work to. This is not my problem, since I know of lots of places to look for possible submission opportunities--and I thought, maybe, I should share these.

This, of course, means, I'm spending my time writing a blog post instead of submitting...! But, writing some words of some kind is probably good. So, here goes.

First up: Duotrope is a great resource and very helpful for both searching for new places to submit as well as keeping track of your own submissions. There is a fee for this service (about $50 a year) which is a better use of your funds, in my opinion, than paying for a contest. They do have a free trial period, though, so you don't need to commit until you're sure you like it.

A free option that is similar, but newer, is Chill Subs. They have a database of 3000+ literary magazines which you can search using a variety of filters. I have not used this yet, since they were very new when I first heard about them, but other writers seem to like them a lot.

There is also a "Discovery" option in Submittable, which lists deadlines, opening and closing of submissions, and the like. All writers should get an account on Submittable anyway (it's free) since many journals require submissions be made through their portal.

Another searchable database that is devoted exclusively to speculative fiction is the Submission Grinder. This is run and managed by the litmag Diabolical Plots, so check that out as well.

I can also recommend two ranked listings of markets that are more focused on literary fiction, although neither is restricted to that. These two are maintained by fellow writers who have each developed a ranking method that is unique to them. 

First is Cliff Garstang's list; he ranks markets for fiction, poetry and nonfiction by the number of Pushcart prizes awarded to that journal. I have used Cliff's list many times, and it was especially helpful when I was a new writer and didn't know a thing about which journals were more respected than others. Many of us are very grateful to Cliff for maintaining this list for years now!

Another option is a ranked list maintained by Erika Krouse, who divides her list into tiers. She labels the top tier Career Making (this includes the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Harper's). This somewhat impossible tier is followed by nearly 500 other magazines divided into these tiers: Elite, Highly Respected, Respected, and Very Good, and another listing for respected genre magazines (such as science fiction, fantasy, and mystery). Like Cliff's list, Erika uses prizes to rank journals, but includes the O. Henry awards and Best American Short stories. She also includes factors such as circulation, payment for writers, and generally good citizenship in the lit world.

I hope this gives you some ideas about where to start. Now go send something out! The truth is that your chances of getting published are ZERO if you never submit. And, yes, I'm talking to myself here!



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