Duotrope’s Gonna Want Some Money, Honey! $$$$$
© copyright 2012 by Sara Jacobelli
If you are a writer, you are probably aware of the online writer’s resource called Duotrope. Duotrope is a remarkable search engine that provides regularly updated lists of over 4,000 fiction, nonfiction and poetry markets. (including online and print publications). It lists both paying and nonpaying markets, including contests. Links are included to the publication’s website, if they have one, so you can read samples of previously published works before submitting your own. It also provides a handy-dandy user-friendly submissions tracker.
Duotrope, a free service since August 2005, has been asking, well begging, for donations from eager users. As of January 1st, 2013, they are moving to a paid format. Five bucks a month, or yearly subs for $50. It’s not a bad price for the incredible service that Duotrope provides. The site is valuable, thorough, and obviously labor intensive, so I can’t blame them for moving to paid subscriptions.
I must confess, I am one of the guilty parties who never sent Duotrope any money. I started using the service in early 2012, and published six pieces in Postcard Shorts, two in Flashshot, one in First Stop Fiction, and one in Fifty Word Stories. That’s ten pieces of flash fiction and flash nonfiction. (And about twenty rejections). However, before you call me a deadbeat, I must tell you this: my grand total of payment for these pieces is, uh , well. . . zero.
I did earn something for my writing this year, I tied for second prize in Finn McCool’s Irish Pub’s Short Story Contest, and was rewarded with a bottle of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and a Finn McCool’s T-shirt. (That’s a local New Orleans pub, and they are planning on putting together a print anthology of the stories).
So this writing business is not exactly making me any money. And of course, the landlord wants the rent. Fifty bucks a year is a lot of money for me to come up with. And WordPress.com wants thirty bucks a year if I want to upgrade to a site without ads and with more flexibility with fonts and style. (Yeah, I want that too, but I’m broke).
And yes, I have actually survived by just writing. Wrote for an alternative newspaper for three and half years, for very low wages. At least my wages were supplemented by showing-up-at-every-event-that-I-could-bum-food-and-drinks. (Gotta love those press passes).
But. . . I am now completely addicted to Duotrope. Every time I get a piece accepted, and Duotrope tells me, “Your submission rate is higher than average,” I just melt. I just love you, Duotrope, and I don’t think I can leave you now.
Oh, and they are offering gift subscriptions. This is one of the best presents you can give to a writer, in case you were wondering.
(Along with Writer’s Market 2013. Any writer worth his or her salt (or Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning) should already have dog eared copies of The Elements of Style, The Elements of Grammar, and The Elements of Editing).
PS: Are there any alternatives? Yes, but they aren’t very good. There’s a free site called Ralan, which I can’t use. I can’t even stand to look at it, it gives me a headache. It seems to be aimed at the fantasy crowd anyway. http://www.ralan.com/
Duotrope’s web site:
Some more thoughts on the Big Change at Duotrope:
September 16, 2013 Update: The Review Review is free and looks promising:
Photo Credits: “Dollar Sign in Space-Illustration,” by DonkeyHotey. CC License Attribution Only. Flickr.
“Money,” by 401(K) 2012. CC License ShareAlike. Flickr.