For years, hopeful fiction writers have depended upon Duotrope to search for fiction markets for their work. Duotrope has, and still does, provide an excellent service, including a search facility filtered on genre, length, style and other factors, but since January 2013 has become available to paid subscribers only. As someone who did actually, frequently, donate to the old Duotrope, I don’t have a problem with this. At just $5 per month, I think it’s cheap at the price. However, as all this was happening, enter a new fiction markets database, The Grinder, which declares roundly on its home page that ‘The Grinder is and always will be free to all users for all features.’ Although The Grinder’s 1569 listings (only 818 of them open) cannot yet compete with Duotrope’s 4606, it contains some different ones. I intend to use both.
Both Duotrope and The Grinder host a ‘submissions tracker’, which they exhort you to use in strongest possible terms, because they depend upon members reporting progress of submissions for their data. Both Duotrope and The Grinder’s trackers look eerily similar, with The Grinder offering the facility of transferring your subs from its rival.
There are other fiction markets databases, including Ralan’s Webstravaganza, which, I must say, I’ve never properly explored.
However, none of these databases are the whole solution. Duotrope, The Grinder and Ralan are American-based, with a bias towards online ezines. Our British womags don’t get a mention, for instance; for these, you need look up womagwriter’s blogspot. To find out about calls for submissions and competitions in the UK, read the listings at the back of the (print) magazines ‘Writers Forum’, ‘Writing Magazine’, ‘Mslexia’ and (online) Patsy Collins’ blog Words about writing and writing about words (for free writing comps) . And, of course, keep watching Twitter.