Daily Archives: August 12, 2013

The Submission Grinder for writers

Last year I wrote about Duotrope, a website with market information for writers. You can get info on market statistics, and track your own submissions. It went behind a pay wall at the beginning of the year. I was recently mulling whether I should pay their $50 annual subscription fee, or whether I could find something else. One of the things I liked best about Duotrope was their extensive, user-sourced info on rate of response, rate of personal response, time for response, and so forth. Could they possibly offer as much as they had pre-paywall, since they must now have fewer users? Is there an alternative?

I think Submission Grinder is that worthwhile, free alternative. They have great submission statistics, with histograms of when submissions are accepted and rejected as a function of days since submission. Like Duotrope, you can sort by pay, response time, genre, and all that good stuff. It doesn’t have Duotrope’s submission theme calendar (that was a great feature, as I find those themes impossible to keep track of). It also lacks the editorial interviews that Duotrope has, but reading the submission guidelines and reading a market’s website often give similar insights. I put my info into it yesterday, and it was very straightforward.

Before I found Submission Grinder, I found some nice market listings too. It’s as easy as a google search; for example, the search “science fiction markets” turns up great websites in the first handful of results. Here are some great resources for science fiction and fantasy short story writers:

  • Ralan.com– lists markets on different pages by pay. Each market has a helpful blurb with their word requirements, genres, pay, and average response times. They keep up to date on when markets are open or closed or have become defunct.
  • SFWA qualifying market list– the cream of the crop, those markets that pay at the SFWA (science fiction and fantasy writers of America) professional rate. Each listing includes a link to the market’s submission guidelines as well. These are very exclusive markets, and some accept only a handful a year.
  • Flash Fiction Chronicles– a listing of markets under 1500 words, broken into several categories, by length (such as less than 300 words). Some are pay, most are not, and there’s something for every genre. It’s a lot like Ralan’s for flash fiction.

Sites and sources I don’t recommend:

  • Critters black hole– this site is intended to track market acceptance rates and time to response, similar to Duotrope. However, the info is unacceptably out of date. You are as likely to find a dead market from the 90s as an active one. Critters.org is an excellent critique site, but skip this feature.
  • Writer’s Digest Science Fiction Markets- I wondered if I should buy this, recently. When I did the research, it sounds like it has some errors. It’s only $6, but you can do better with the sites I list.
  • Quintamid– A great looking site, but alas, out of date too. I thought this would be a good resource, but I got a helpful tip in the comments about it.

Happy writing! And go join Submission Grinder–the more information it has, the better for all!