Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Writing Markets

Most of us who write professionally are aware of Writer's Market, the annual four-inch publication that lists practically every market for practically every kind of writing. While there are markets that aren't listed here (markets have to submit their information to the book's publisher), there are more than enough places to sell your work listed in this one volume. This past year I decided to buy the "deluxe" version, which includes a one-year subscription to This website includes all of the markets listed in the guide, but in a searchable electronic form.

Several years ago, I wrote a science fiction short story and submitted it to Analog. I got a nice letter from the editor rejecting the story, but making a point of telling me the writing was "quite good" and they wanted to hear more from me. Clueless amatuer that I was, I didn't realize that the story -- a tale with a teen protagonist and was really aimed at young adults -- just wasn't appropriate for their magazine, which caters to adult readers. Now that I know a little more about the science fiction industry, I wouldn't think of sending this particular story to a magazine like that (though I admit it was gratifying to have Stanley Schmidt call my writing "quite good"!). Not really knowing where else to send it, I put it away and have always planned to use it as one of my Clarion application stories.

I haven't played much with the electronic search features of the website, but for some reason that old story came to mind, and I wondered if there might be a home for it somewhere. I put in the search parameters, and lo and behold, no less than twenty markets came up. I noticed a lot of those paid in copies of the magazine (no thanks), so I further limited the search to markets that paid above a certain rate. I found the perfect market! The editor says they are looking for all kinds of fiction (but they mention science fiction specifically), but the protagonist must be a teenager over the age of 14. They prefer stories of 3,000 to 10,000 words (my story is 3500), and they pay 25 cents/word! For those that don't feel like doing the math, that's $875! And from the description of what they are looking for, I think my story will fit right in. I need to find a copy of the magazine first, of course, since I've never heard of it, but I think it sounds like a good match. I pulled the story out and (naturally) found some things I want to change, but they are all fairly minor. We'll see if it all pans out, but I have to say that thus far I've found to be worth every dime. There are other features to the site (submission tracking is one, though I have my own system), but just this feature alone is outstanding. It's worth your while to check it out!

No comments: