I have been thinking about how my submission process has changed over the years for both online and print journals. I used to use the Poet’s Market book and Poets & Writers print magazine to determine where to send work, but there are online, searchable listings that have become central to my strategy. Following is a list of online and offline resources I use and some ideas for where to submit.
- Duotrope.com. I’m a huge fan of cross-referencing. One of my favorite features of Amazon.com is the “people who bought this book also bought these books.” Duotrope provides this same cross-referencing for poetry and other genres. The searchable site is a catalog of literary journals providing submission statistics (acceptance rates, average response times) and a link to each journal’s website. The statistics section will also provide information such as writers who have submitted to Paris Review have also submitted to XYZ, ABC Journals, and people who have had work accepted by Paris Review have also had work accepted by XYZ, ABC Journals. Upcoming anthology themes are announced on the site, and new journals are marked as *fledgling.* A weekly email will update you about new markets and journals open to submissions. The site allows you to track your submissions. The cost is $5 per month, with the option of a one-month free trial. After the free trial, I decided that the information was worth the fee.
- Poets and Writers magazine has both print and online classifieds for anthologies, chapbooks, poems, and books. The magazine requires a subscription, but at least a percentage of the classified information is available online to anyone. Writer’s Chronicle would fall in this category as well.
- Twitter. Social media can be a good source of real-time information. Follow literary journals you are interested in on Twitter, and Twitter will send emails daily that will alert you to other similar journals you can choose to follow. (It’s that cross-referencing again.) Editors of journals may announce calls for submissions and new projects on Twitter.
- Newpages.com is an extensive site that does not charge a fee. It lists calls for writing, art, and photography by literary journals, publishers, and conferences. The listings will cover poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and cross-genre. There are plenty of additions daily. Some of the listings are so detailed they can serve as writing prompts/exercises. The site also has information on creative writing programs, blogs by writers, and more.
- Facebook. Follow your favorite journals for deadlines and contest announcements. I have found that former professors or writing friends will announce new journals they have discovered or founded, poems published, or featured articles. Overall, Facebook provides a good way to find out what is going on with specific journals. Similar to Twitter.
- Word-of-mouth. This is hard to categorize other than to say that I’ve had good success at workshops or conferences just hearing where other poets are publishing and having good experiences. At just about any workshop you can ask the participants or the instructor if they can suggest journals that will be a good fit for your work.
- Institutions or workshops sometimes sponsor their own literary journals. For example, if you have ever attended classes through the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, you can submit work to 24PearlStreet, their new online journal. Local and state poetry societies often have a yearly anthology of members’ work.
- Subscribe to and read literary journals, anthologies, and blogs.
- Attend open mics and give readings, and occasionally editors will introduce themselves to you and suggest that you submit to their journals. Readings are a good chance to network with others and to hear about local projects through word-of-mouth.
- Find authors you like and research where they published their poems (if they write similarly).
- Attend local book festivals and the national AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference. Publishers will have tables with sample books and journals, and flyers about upcoming contests or submission periods.
- Safe harbors. This is what I would describe as finding an editor who likes your writing style and publishes your work consistently. I’ve been lucky to find a few of these. The reality, however, is that literary journals are in a state of flux. They change editors and editorial staff, or they decide to cease publication or to change focus, so the safe harbor concept has to be frequently revisited.
I will update these ideas as I have more experience with the sites. This should give you plenty of starting points for your research!