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How do you decide where to send your work for publication? Do you search blogs for ideas (check out Emerging Writer). Do you look at other writers’ acknowledgements pages or spend ages googling literary or genre outlets? It’s tedious and takes up valuable writing time.

A conversation with a friend in a similar situation prompted me to try another way of sourcing outlets for submitting work.

I’d heard about Duotrope before, but never tried it – here’s their description:

‘an award-winning, free writers’ resource listing over 3550 current Fiction and Poetry publications. Use this page to search for markets that may make a fine home for the piece you just polished. Use the menus at the top and right to explore the rest of the free services we offer writers and editors, including a free online submissions tracker for registered users. We usually make several updates per day, and we check each of the current listings regularly (at least once a month) to ensure the most up-to-date database humanly possible. So far this week, we have checked guidelines for 750 listings, and we have made 502 listing updates.’

I did a bit of experimental writing recently and couldn’t decide where to send it. On Duotrope I came across Fugue – some might know it already, but I hadn’t come across it before. Not sure if I’ll be brave enough to submit yet, but it’s good to know what’s out there. Some more familiar names appear, like Café Irreal, and it was handy to click on the site and familiarize myself with the look of it, back issues and submission criteria etc. Another interesting one open to international submissions is Jabberwock Review. Surprisingly, some of these are open only to postal submissions. Hopefully they’ll all get around to submishmash soon.

You can search webzines and magazines by genre, word length, payment offered etc. It works best if you keep your search criteria as simple as possible.