Finding Homes for Your Homeless Stories – Duotrope

In a perfect world, every writer would have a placement fairy waiting to find homes for the stories they finished. It only seems fitting, doesn’t it? You spend hours and imagination crafting beautiful, provocative tales that are edited and honed to perfection. They should see the light of day. The problem is, for most of us, the fairy never materializes and we end up with a closet full of words that never gets cleaned out.

If you are a writer with a hard drive full of stories and no idea what to do with them, this is for you. Specifically, Duotrope.com. It’s a website and service that catalogues the needs and guidelines of thousands of literary magazines and provides focused searches to help you narrow down the options of where to submit your work. This is a flipping miracle.

As someone who has spent days trying to figure out how to creatively search for mags that accept gritty experimental fiction between 2,000-7,000 words, pay, and take electronic submissions, Duotrope has become my oasis in a desert of blind questing for literary venues.

I use this example to illustrate how specialized the search function can be. Duotrope covers all genres, lengths, compensations, and subjects. It also allows writers to filter the results by acceptance rate, pay, response times, and more.

So far, I have had a 100% response rate on my recent batch of submissions over the last week, which I am extremely pleased with. Twenty percent of those have been accepted. I can track the status of each piece along with where and when I submitted them. It’s like having a placement fairy for 50 dollars a year. They also offer a free trial for skeptics, or the frugally minded, so it’s a win-win all around.

Now granted, acceptances are not guaranteed, but at the very least you’re creating more space and opportunity for those homeless tales to find forever families.

Jaime Mathis grew up half feral, half in a cult, in the countryside near Oregon City, Oregon. Without books she would have gone pure Tarzan and hence, thanks literature for both sanity and social skills. After travelling the world and picking up a husband in Spain, she returned like a salmon to her spawning grounds where she now resides with 13 chickens, a son and her Dane. You can see her work in places like FORTH MagazineDirty Chai, and The Flexible Persona.

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