The Writer’s Toolbox – Online Part 2

Hello again, Constant Reader. (Oops. Slipped into some Stephen King verbiage. Let me change that up to….)

Hello, kiddies. (Ok. The Crypt Keeper will have to do. Definitely suits me better.)

Here we are with The Writer’s Online Toolbox Part 2.

Today we’re going to discuss the various websites at your disposal, in particular market websites.


Now, when I first began writing seriously and looked for publishers, I hit a major obstacle. I had a copy of The Writer’s Market. I used it. I recently gave that copy away, marked up but still mostly good, to a friend of mine who needs to get moving publishing her work. (You know who you are.)

But when it came to the search for markets online, I was stumped. I googled “horror story publishers” and “horror magazines.” Neither of which provided any good results, all of which required I click on individual links.

Google search is one of, but not the best, way of searching for markets.

Finally, after many a moon of not knowing what to do when it came to the online search for markets, I stumbled across Ralan’s SpecFic and Humor Webstravaganza.

Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza - Frameset_1249542644884

As you probably can’t see, the website breaks down markets according to pay.

Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza - Frameset_1249542915806

On top of pay, it breaks down into Anthologies, Book Publishers, etc.

This is very helpful for the newbie writer. No longer must you browse through your Writer’s Market, searching endlessly between entries and index to know what the little symbols mean, which market pays a lot of money, which pay none at all, etc.

I personally find the information provided in the entries section at Ralan’s to be quite helpful. Take a look.

Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza - Frameset_1249543179042

(Sorry about this image being larger, but I would like for you all to have a peek at the going’s-on at Ralan’s.)

The entries are easy to read, easy to understand and best of all, no-nonsense. Exactly the type of thing I enjoy seeing in my market databases.

Ralan’s is my first go-to. Here is where I begin all my market searches.

I should also point out the website is free to use and runs entirely on donations. So in this hard economy, let’s remember that writers aren’t the only ones struggling — so are our publishers and the people who help us find the publishers.


Duotrope's Digest_1249543311373

Duotrope’s Digest is my second go-to for market searches.

The reason I enjoy this site is because, as I’m sure you can see, they actually provide a membership option. The website is entirely free, and runs on donations as well, so if you find yourself with an extra ten dollars this month and you were going to spend it on books, try sending some of that their way.

Having a membership at Duotrope isn’t necessary. You can anonymously access their database, perform searches that go into lots of detail….

Duotrope's Digest_1249543573734

And incredibly, report your market reponses!

Duotrope's Digest - Publication Details- Albedo One_1249543698782

They also have a wonderful facet to membership. You can create your own Submissions Tracker. You input the various data requirements, and the program tracks your submissions. As well as let you know what your average acceptance vs. rejection ratio is. (It’s not anything major. I would honestly prefer a lower acceptance vs. rejection ratio, because I don’t submit as often as I should. If I had a lower ratio, it would reflect how much I submit.)

Ultimately, this is again, a fantastic site. It’s difficult to browse the site. You can’t break down the markets by genre or any other category when exploring the site. All markets are put on a single page in alphabetical order. If you have a story in mind and are looking for the just right market, Duotrope is the answer.

If you’re cruising for a market to sub to, then I would suggest Ralan’s.


Another favorite website of mine that is both amusing and helpful, is Submitting to the Black Hole. This is just another submissions tracker, though completely anonymous and designed to showcase the response rate of the markets in question. The markets on the list are broken down by Books and Magazines, then listed in alphabetical order.

Submitting to the Black Hole_1249544236702

You’ll have to click on the above link and check this website out in full.

If you’ve sent off a story to never get a reply, come along and find that market on the list and report the negative response. If you’re just curious how long that one short story will take at a certain magazine, come along and see their average response time.


These websites are amazingly helpful to me when it comes to searching for a market to submit to. Give them a try and see how they work for you.



On one of my nightly walks, I will come across a foggy patch of road, where I’ll be swallowed into the greyness…. never to see the light of day again. And force fed pea-soup until I die.



There you have it, kiddies. Part 2 of the Writer’s Online Toolbox series. Next we’ll tackle work-shopping/tip websites and where you need to be at right now.


Until next time………

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