Sunday, November 28, 2010


I wanted to take some time to give a shout out to the folks at Duotrope. This is one of the best services for writers around--for me, it's been an invaluable source of information. The search function alone is worth the cost of membership (which is free, although donations keep it that way). I use their submission tracker, which alerts you when you should query an editor about your submission. Also it's an easy way to keep records of how successful you've been submitting material.

Duotrope keeps track of the acceptance/rejection rate of each publication, as well as how quickly publications respond. For example, I'm not going to bother submitting to a publication that doesn't respond to 25% of submissions they receive. And for some publications, Duotrope offers interviews with the editors, who offer specifics about what they're looking for. It's one of the only lights in the dark forest that is sending out your work. (Ugh, that's a bad metaphor, but you know what I mean--the waiting game sucks!)

Part of the reason I bring this up is it seems that Duotrope is more popular with literary and horror writers than crime fiction writers. The more people who use Duotrope's submissions tracker, the more accurate their numbers are, which is essential to how useful the site is.

So how about you--have you ever used Duotrope?

And for the editors out there, do you think Duotrope is a good thing? Does it just add to the number of bad submissions you receive, or does it help weed out material that doesn't fit?


  1. I'm famiar with Duotrope. Have not used it in a while, but it was pretty helpful in finding different markets for fiction. I'm sure there were a lot of features that I didn't use, but I'm sure i'll revisit it now that I am also trying to write some shorts as well as another novel. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I like Duotrope and love that they exist. They seem like nice folks, too.

    My problem, as a magazine editor, is that we get many, many, many submissions through Duotrope from people who just see our magazine in a list, by searching for a keyword. I'd kinda prefer people actually know a little about the magazine they're submitting to before they send out their stuff.

    Read a copy. Buy a copy. That sort of thing. Maybe that would prevent a crime fiction magazine getting about a dozen horror stories a week. Or the nine sc-fi per week, on average.

  3. Steve--I thought that might be a problem. I only submit to publications that I have read at least a couple of issues.

    Though even if one hadn't read Needle, the description on Duotrope specifically says you only take Mystery and Thriller... I guess people don't read that either!

  4. Very effective tool and great detailed info, keeping your acceptances and rejects also helps the accuracy of their reporting percentages..a great tool

  5. Duotrope has been good in getting us submissions, but I'd say the submissions we get from it are still a mixed bag. As to the accuracy of acceptances and rejections, it's only as good as the information people put into it or respond to. I'm glad we're listed there, but I'd say it's about the same value as any other market listing.

    Jay Hartman
    Untreed Reads Publishing