Finding Markets: Don’t Give Up

This year, I’m trying to get serious about submissions. (Really, I am.) And on this quest to send out more stories to more publishers, I’ve made a discovery: you can’t just rely on one market database – you need to use every tool at your disposal.

A while back, someone was kind enough to give me a year’s subscription to WritersMarket.com (http://www.writersmarket.com/Default.aspx). So, back in January, I fired up my membership for the first time, and eagerly began looking at potential publishers for one of my fantasy stories. Almost immediately, I found a couple of good reasons to freak out: Reason A.) I could only find about four markets – total – that seemed like they might be good matches for my story. Reason B.) Several of the fantasy markets that I had seen on Duotrope (http://duotrope.com/) last year did not show up in the WritersMarket.com listing at all.

So, not only was I bumming about having very few viable options for my poor story, but I was also incredibly nervous about those missing markets. If there were markets left out in the fantasy category, couldn’t there be markets left out in the horror, YA, and inspirational categories as well? After starting my search so hopefully, I felt like I’d been kicked in the bum. It’s hard to get energized about submitting when the chances of getting published seem so darn bleak. I mean, four markets? Total? Was signing up for WritersMarket.com an epic mistake?

The answer: No. Not at all. What I didn’t know a few months ago is that I shouldn’t have been limiting myself to that one database. No database, not even one as enormous as WritersMarket.com, could possibly list every single publisher, agent, magazine, contest and writing organization known to man. There are markets on Duotrope that aren’t on WritersMarket.com. There are markets on WriterMarket.com that aren’t on Duotrope. And there are many markets you can find with a simple Google or Bing search that aren’t listed on either WritersMarket.com or Duotrope.

The reality of the situation: WritersMarket.com gave me several good leads for my story, and I’m pursuing them. But I’m not stopping there, and neither should you. The truth is, writers need all the help they can get to find homes for their stories, articles and books – so why limit yourself? If you’re serious about getting published, attack the challenge with everything in your arsenal. And to that end, here are a few more weapons to add to your cache:

FFC’s Flash Fiction Markets:

http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/flashmarkets/

A free market listing specializing in flash fiction. Updated weekly, this listing is organized by word count, and features symbols that indicate whether or not the market pays, and what genres of writing it accepts. Also really handy: Many of the listings have an “Interview with the Editor” section, which can really give you a great feel for what types of stories the magazine is looking for.

Poets and Writers Magazine’s Tools for Writers:

http://www.pw.org/toolsforwriters

A free database featuring literary magazines and journals, contests, grants, MFA programs, literary agents and more. (They also have weekly writing prompts, if you’re looking for inspiration!)

Hope these are helpful! Keep writing, and keep looking for homes for your stories!

-Gretchen

 

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