Duotrope's Digest is an excellent submission tool for writers
A few weeks ago storySouth's fiction editor, Scott Yarbrough, mentioned a new site called Duotrope's Digest. It seems a writer had submitted a story to him after first learning about storySouth on Duotrope.
As is the way of the modern world, I immediately Googled Duotrope and soon wondered how I could not have known about this amazing submission tool. In short, Duotrope's Digest is a free online database of over 1200 current markets for short fiction and poetry. Complete guidelines are provided for each market along with a link to the market's website. (As an editor, I like this last feature since it requires that anyone submitting to a place at least check it out online. I'm always amazed how many writers submit to magazines without actually reading said magazines). The report on each market also includes average response times to submissions, as provided by anonymous and registered users, along with acceptance rates.
The fact that Duotrope can track submission times and rejection/acceptance rates leads to an interesting part of Duotrope's Digest, the response time stats. Here a writer can see which magazines and markets are among the fastest responders and which are "the slothful" (to use Duotrope's phrase), which have high acceptance rates and which are "challenging" (to again use their phrase). Of course, any writer should take these stats with a pinch of salt since they are dependent on the self-reporting of fellow writers, a notoriously unreliable means of collecting information. In addition, the website's servers are extremely slow, meaning it can take long periods of time for needed information to pull up.
Still, Duotrope's Digest is an amazing aid to any writer submitting their poetry and fiction to different places. I'd recommend that all writers sign up for their free service, which enables one to use their submission tracker and also receive their weekly newsletter (which I enjoy because of its regularly updated market news). If you really like what Duotrope's Digest is doing, then consider supporting their enterprise with a donation.