I’ve been unsure of what kind of resources I would need to get started as a writer, but I decided to grab the Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published, as well as the 2014 Writer’s Handbook Magazine from Writer’s Digest. I nearly bought a guidebook on writing a stellar first 50 pages to sell a novel, but thought it might be handy to have a guidebook that encompasses the big picture of publishing. The magazine just seemed like something neat and up-to-date that discusses recent literary news, contests, helpful new websites for writers, as well as a listing of a few markets to submit work (as well as how to submit to them).
The magazine has been pretty helpful, but I haven’t cracked open the guidebook. However, while checking out at the front counter the woman at the register looked at what I was purchasing and asked if I knew about duotrope.com
“Umm… no, I never heard of it.” I said, bending my mind around the name to figure out what it could possibly be.
“Oh, well it’s great. I totally recommend it.” She gleefully started to write down the web address on a scrap piece of paper behind the counter. Then she paused and slowly peered up through her bangs at me, looking like a kid that had bad news to deliver to her mother. “Well… it used to be free but… now there’s this subscription fee. It’s not a lot but… I still think it’s useful.”
“I see.” I acknowledged, still not understanding what the heck she was talking about. I took the bag with my newly purchased loot and the woman handed me the scrap of paper with the web address. “Thanks a bunch.”
“Good luck!” She called out as I stepped towards the door. I smiled. I was genuinely thrilled to not only gain new resources for my budding writing career but also to receive help from someone who apparently found a little success as a writer while still maintaining a day-job. That’s good news for me and my students!
After returning home I immediately looked into duotrope.com. For those who don’t know, it’s a website that helps you track your submissions and assists you with finding someone to submit your work to with a sizable database of known markets. From what I understand, the database is very extensive and even provides estimated wait times for responses to submitted work. It’s $5 a month, or a discounted $50 a year to subscribe.
I think once I actually have work to submit I’ll look into investing into duotrope. For now, I’m going to write.