Getting (back) on the horse: where to start?


Every creative writer I know has two “things”: their non-writing gift and their hang-up. I’m really fortunate in that the bad fairy at the christening only left me a garden-variety case of “I don’t know what I’m doing! I have no talent!” by way of hang-ups. But by way of gifts, she compensated by my being fairly fearless about getting stuff out the door – usually, I sulk for a little while, have my “I don’t know what I’m doing” freak-out, and then get back on that horse. StateLibQld 1 180751 Stockman prepares to mount his horse, 1910-1920

So one of the few pieces of writing advice I ever feel comfortable giving is where to find places to send out work, and I want to share them with you.

1) Duotrope: My favorite source for listings. Duotrope is an online source that’s free to join (and free to stay on – though I try to throw them a little $ once in a while to keep them going) and easy to search – they list places that publish poetry and fiction, and they also have a beta version of sources for creative non-fiction They tell you whether the source pays, and give statistics on likelihood of publication and how fast you’re notified about whether your piece(s) have been accepted. You can also request a weekly digest of new sources that have been entered (it also includes places that have closed temporarily and permanently).

2) Writer’s Digest: Writer Digest’s online location is a good basic source of information on everything from how to write query letters to poetic forms to what turns editors on/off about submissions. For our purposes,though, they publish a series of books annually on where to publish, including but not limited to the Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market and the Poet’s Market. These books are updated annually and don’t just list tons of markets – they also tell you about whether a market is a “new/beginner’s” market or for more seasoned (or very seasoned) market; they get direct info from editors (as does duotrope) about what they like and don’t like in terms of submissions, and where to find more info about each publication site.

3) Absolute Write: Absolute Write has one of the best forums for writers that I know of. I lurk there not for the listings of places to submit work to, but because the writers on it give great advice. For those of us who aren’t just starting out, this is often a better source of advice than WD, which – while I love it – seems to tend more to the basics. Besides, it’s a community. Doesn’t cost to join, but like Duotrope, it’s nice to toss a few bucks in to support a worthwhile endeavor.

4) Creative Writers Opportunities List Group on Yahoo. You’ll notice that there’s no clickable link here. This is a yahoo group you have to join through yahoo. Once you do though, the daily digests are To Die For. New sources, new contests, new anthologies, nearly every day. It’s admin’d, I believe, by the incredibly talented Allison Joseph (phenomenal poet, see Rhino Poetry magazine if you’re curious about her) and the daily digest into my inbox is a constant source of inspiration.

5) New Pages : Though they aren’t my “thing”  a lot of people I know and trust swear by them, and they do have an extensive listing of literary journals, genre publications, calls for submissions, and a lovely contest listing. My main issue with their website is that their search engine is what my programmer spouse would call “primitive” so I don’t find it a good place to look when I’m looking to place a specific piece and want to find a place that will be a good fit for it. However, their contest listings are great – at the least, consider checking them out.

Lastly, I cannot go without talking about the FB groups to which I belong. For me, they’ve been a source of community, information, and lists of places to submit to (not to mention that’s kind of how Andrea and I first “met”!). If you aren’t on a FB writing group, yet, hunt around – there’s undoubtedly a group that will be perfect for you.

These are only my go-to sources; there are tons of others. If you have a great resource for places to publish, will you share it here? We all get by with help from one another

I’m now going to make a confession – I have not submitted anything for publication in at least three months. And I don’t have the excuse of not having anything to submit – I got a ton of stuff back a couple of months ago, have re-edited/re-checked, and am now just being lazy. Having written this post, though, I feel inspired to get back on that horse…are you ready to submit too?Descriptive Zoopraxography Horse Jumping Animated 14

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8 thoughts on “Getting (back) on the horse: where to start?

  1. Pingback: Monday coffee: So, remember that horse? | in our books

  2. Hmmmm – De had gotten the ball rolling over on our little Side Street – Poeming Friends – maybe youd like to ride this idea over there… or not…just a thought…

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