Five Fab Things – Submission Tools

*This post is the first of a weekly series.

One of the hardest things about submitting poetry is knowing where to begin. These five tools are where I do most of my submission ground work, and they’ve helped me sort out markets which are good candidates, and ones which I might not fit.

1. Duotrope

While there are those who complain about the subscription fee, the amount of crowdsourced information here can’t be beaten. Five dollars a month in the grand scheme of things isn’t much compared to the value it provides. I use the calendar feature to sort out what deadlines are upcoming, and then click on each link to investigate which journals/contests work. I end up printing out the entire month, and crossing things out manually as I go. For this feature alone, I’d pay $5!

2. Poetry Has Value

The amazing Jessica Piazza set a yearlong challenge to herself to only submit to paying markets. I usually offset this reasoning with whether a market is one where writers I admire appear, or how badly I want to be in a specific market.

3. Aerogramme Writer’s Studio

This monthly list has great descriptions of markets, hot linked for your many-tabbed convenience. I usually print this out at the same time as Duotrope, and cross reference the two, so that I don’t miss anything. It ends up saving time, because the blurbs Aerogramme provides often are enough to tell me whether or not I want to investigate further.

4. Submittable Blog

For those of you who don’t use Duotrope, Submittable does post some upcoming deadlines in their blog. I’ve found things there that I might have otherwise missed (Fellowship opportunities, residencies, etc.)

5. Twitter

Ok maybe this is not technically a submission tool, but I find that many of the journals I like best have Twitter accounts. They tend to tweet their open submission periods/information about what they like to read. (*My handle there is @blueaisling. I sometimes retweet openings which look interesting!)

Happy submitting!cherry tomatoes

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