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Last time I wrote under the heading “The Writing Thing,” I was experiencing some amount of intimidation or lack of confidence in my ability to get published.   When I was younger, I was told that getting published meant going to the library and rooting around in the reference section for a book about active magazines and publishing houses that detailed what they were looking for, who to write to  and how much they were likely to pay.  Today, however, I discovered a hitherto unknown resource for writers.  It’s called Duotrope.

Duotrope is a resource for creators of all kinds of work who are looking for a good place to publish.  No, Duotrope isn’t a magazine.  Duotrope is an entire database of magazines, anthologies, contests and all other ways an artist can be published.  When you have something you want to publish, once you have an account, you enter their submissions form and put in various details about what you created, such as what type of creation is it?  If it’s fiction, what’s the genre?  How much do you want to be paid? Are you willing to pay a set-up fee?  Would you rather submit your work electronically or through the mail?  Once you have everything filled out, Duotrope does all the legwork for you.  They have a fairly sizable database of magazines and publications that are looking for submissions and they can more or less match up the details you give them about your work with a publication likely to accept it.  Each publication (referred to as a “market”) has a page that details more or less what they’re looking for in a submission.  Each contains a link to their website, if they have one, so that you can find out exactly who to address your cover letter to and what that person will be looking for in your work.

After you’ve submitted your work, Duotrope will help you keep track of every market to which that particular work has been submitted.  So that market won’t turn up in subsequent searches for that particular work.  What’s more, Duotrope keeps track of which markets are still active and which have died or gone dormant, so you won’t have to waste your time submitting your work in vain.

I don’t know how many of you reading this may have discovered Duotrope on your own.  If you have, give us a personal review in the comments section below (I’ll accept both positive and negative comments.  Just, please, don’t swear).  If you haven’t and, like me, you’re considering publication of some of your work, Duotrope may be the place to start.