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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Do You Duotrope?

If you write shorts, factual or fictional, you should seriously consider joining Duotrope. On site, you’ll find up-to-date information, with links, for 4588 publications. The information is extensive and gives a really useful guide to help you decide whether to visit the publication’s website for more details. This is a real time-saver. Magazines, journals, online publications, anthologies and some contests are all listed here. You can search by publication name, subject, genre, word length and many other search topics.

BUT, here’s the real clincher. I bet you have difficulty keeping track of your work once you send it out there into the wild world of publishing. Well, fear not; Duotrope has a very efficient and comprehensive submissions tracker. Use this, and you’ll never again wonder where or when you last sent that story, or whether you’ve already sent it to the publication you’re currently considering. No more egg on face, no more embarrassing responses from fed-up editors telling you they’ve already seen this piece, thank you, and ‘no, they still don’t want it, and, oh, by the way don’t send the effin’ piece again! In fact, don’t send me anything again!’

Now, none of us want that sort of response from an editor, I know I don’t. It’s never happened to me, but I’ve kept my own spreadsheet of submissions for over a hundred years, so it isn’t likely. But I make use of Duotrope’s submission tracker as well, as it’s actually easier and more comprehensive than my own. And, since it’s online, I won’t lose all those details next time my PC takes a nosedive.

No, I’m not on commission for Duotrope. I doubt they’ll even know I’ve done this piece. I just think that when one of us finds something that’s clearly of use to writers, we should share the information, spread the word, encourage the usage. The site, once a free resource, has recently become a subscription service, costing £31.51 ($50)per year or £3.15 ($5)per month.

So, there you have it.

Have a look, and if you feel you can’t spare £31.50 on spec, try it for a month and see whether you feel it’s worth that small annual sum. If you’re a serious writer, you’ll make the subscription back with your first sale anyway, and it’s tax-deductable! 

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