Writing can be difficult enough. Submitting is a whole ‘nother game. Whether you are trying to crack your first published work or you have have a few publications under your belt, the submissions process can be overwhelming if you don’t have a system and need one.
If writing requires the focus and attention that any job (paying or not) asks of you, submitting is no different. It’s a fast-moving river current of magazines, literary journals, blogs, and contests that rise up and disappear faster than you can finish your first draft.
Duotrope is an online database, a boat in this metaphor, to help the writer (the captain, I suppose, or perhaps the boat’s captive) sift through that fast-moving current. At the time of my writing this, Duotrope has 4,423 publications listed. Each one is searchable, with its own information page full of helpful knowledge, such as what kind of publication it is, what the deadlines are, whether they allow multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions, and publication success rates. If you sign up for Duotrope, you can manage your own submissions tracker, where you can follow certain publications, keep track of deadlines, and organise all those stories and poems that happen to be floating in the universe.
The best part is this: the easier the submissions process is, the more time and focus you can spend on actually writing.