The work of researching publications and sending out manuscripts has
changed radically with the growth of the web which is both a good
thing and a bad thing. In the old days, I had an intimate
relationship with journals. As Borders and Barnes & Noble popped up
(Sorry, there are no independent stores in my area) it became easier
browse through the magazines. I held them in my hands, flipped through
them to learn their editors' names, addresses, submission policies
and the kind of work they published. When I could, I purchased and
took them home. That was a good thing.
Then came the wonderful Dustbooks Directories, Writers' Markets
and other print resources which made things easier.
probably wasted a lot of time and postage sending my work to places
that would never be interested in it. And I'm sure many of those
editors felt I wasted their time too. Had I actually seen and read
those publications I would have known better. That was a bad thing.
It's hard to imagine life without broadband and the revolution it's
brought to sending out my poems and essays. More and more journals
have websites where I can see their submission guidelines and read
samples to see if my work would be a good match. It's also becoming
easier to subscribe online which is another good thing, and while I
can't invest in every journal I admire, I renew my favorites and try
out a few new ones each year, supporting the folks who support me.
Most editors work long hours for little or no pay. I have heard of
one who actually refinanced his house and worked a second job to
fund his publication. And no matter how flush they might be, most
editors could be doing their own writing rather than reading yours.
That said, here are a few brilliant internet tools that will give
you up to date information on where to submit your poems, stories
and creative nonfiction. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do your
homework and read the publications, but like all tools, these will
make finding the right places to submit easier so you can spend more
Resources for Publishing Your Writing
I've scoured the web for submission resources that will save
you time and money and help you find a good home for your
writing. Here is a list of my favorite resources, all of which I
use to "work smarter, not harder." I hope you find them helpful.
Creative Writers Opportunities List is an email list
that has been coordinated by poet Alison Joseph since 2005. Each
day, she sends out notices of jobs, submissions and contest
information for writers of poetry, fiction and creative
nonfiction. The list is up to date and accurate. Subscribe and
it will probably be the best daily email you receive.
Newpages.com lists calls for writing, art and photography
from literary magazines, publishers, writing conferences and
more. Since it's updated at least three times a week, you can't
get more current than this.
has evolved dramatically and is the most useful to me. When I
wrote about it four years ago, it listed 2,400 magazines and
journals. Today it lists more than 4,600 and includes all three
major markets: fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Duotrope has a great search
engine to help you locate places accepting simultaneous and
multiple submissions while filtering out those not currently
accepting work. It also includes a chart with average response
times. Be sure to check out their online submissions tracker and
subscribe to the weekly newsletter. Pretty useful stuff. They
charge a nominal subscription rate, so take advantage of the
free trial to decide if it's worth it to you.
& Writers Magazine Classifieds is a valuable free online
service where you'll find calls for submissions for anthologies,
books, chapbooks, contests and magazines. It also lists
conferences, retreats, workshops, etc. Poets & Writers Magazine
has been the "Bible of the Business" for almost forty years, so
the print edition is worth subscribing to as well.
American Poets has a helpful Writing and Publishing FAQ which is
especially useful for beginning writers. Make sure you read the
sections on scams and subsidy and vanity presses. Prose writers
will find many of their tips relevant too.
© 2013 Murphy Writing Seminars, LLC ●
May be reprinted for instructional use.