Duotrope – Submission Tool for Literary Magazines

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Searching for the right publication to submit your work can be a daunting task. There are thousands of literary magazines, more are popping up every day, and several are going under at any given time. So how do you keep up? Where do you look?

Duotrope is an online database of markets for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual arts with listings for just over 6,000 markets. There is a subscription fee, but it’s only $5 a month, or $50 for a year. You can even try the site for free for seven days.

If you are thinking about trying out Duotrope, or curious about what it offers, let me give you a few features that I’ve really enjoyed. The first are the statistics they provide, which are gathered by voluntary reporting of subscribers.

Here are a few of the statistics you’ll find:

  • Average response time of publication
  • Percent of Submissions that are Accepted
  • Percent of Rejections that get a personal or form response
  • The 100 Slowest Markets for Response Times
  • The 100 Fastest Markets for Response Times
  • The 100 Most Challenging Markets, lowest acceptance rates
  • The 100 Most Approachable Markets, highest acceptance rates

Another valuable feature is the editor interviews provided by some of the publications. These interviews contain information like the publication’s preferences for font, line spacing, etc. Sometimes this information is included on the publication’s website, and other times, it’s only in the interview. These interviews also address inquiries like, “Describe the ideal submission,” and “What do submitters most often get wrong about your submission process?”

When available, Duotrope includes information on the pay rate of the publication, and whether they accept simultaneous or multiple submissions.

One of the features I use frequently, and which makes weeding through all the thousands of publications manageable, is the search function. You can search for a publication by title, or you can use a search form to narrow down the results. Below are a few of the fields that can be used in your search:

  • Poetry
    • Form (e.g., Ballad, Beat poetry, Blank verse, Free verse)
    • Genre (e.g., General, Horror, Science Fiction)
    • Length
    • Submission Type (i.e., Electronic or by Mail)
  • Nonfiction
    • Style (e.g., Academic, Critical, Experimental)
    • Topic (e.g., Chemistry, Children/Family, Earth Sciences)
    • Length
    • Min. Payment (i.e., Token, Semi-pro, Pro)
  • Fiction
    • Genre
      • Subgenre
    • Length
    • Min. Payment
  •  Visual Arts (Currently in Beta)
    • Medium (e.g., Ceramics, Illustration, Painting)
    • Style (e.g., Abstract, Realist, Transgressive)
    • Pay

The Submission Tracker is another handy feature. It keeps track of when you submitted your piece, along with the average response time of the publication. There are indicators for when a response time has passed, so you can query the publication on the status of your submission.

The information you put in the tracker, is also used to update statistics for each publication on response times and percentages of acceptances and rejections. The information is for your use, and other users cannot see which of your stories have been rejected; although, there is an option in your user profile to have your name listed for the recent acceptances of a publication.

Here are a few other features that Duotrope provides:

  • Keeps track of deadlines
  • Favorite publications
  • Ignore publications
  • Save Searches

There are of course other features, but hopefully there’s enough information above for you to determine if you want to try it out. For more information, or to try Duotrope, visit duotrope.com/.

Come back, I plan on introducing other websites that provide information on literary magazines, some of which are free to use. Check out this post on The (Submission) Grinder to see what this free online database for literary markets has to offer.

If there similar websites to Duotrope that you enjoy using, feel free to comment below to help expose writers to additional resources.

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