Every beginning of the month (or now first day off of the month) I got through Duotrope listings of what's open now. Today was 367 listings with open deadlines or upcoming deadlines.
I started at 7:00 a.m.and ended just about now. I did eat, and then take a nap, a play a little bit of League of Legends, I think I could've went through the all 367 listings in eight hours, but it's my day off.
But wait the number says there's 298 listings. That is correct. I recently decided to use the "ignore" function on Duotrope. Since I do this every month, there are places I know I'm not sending too. Here's the list:
- Only "X" group of people should send to this magazine where "X" equals one or more of the following: of certain gender, race, location, sexuality, spirituality, environmental awareness, loves dogs, loves cats, loves meter, hates meter, has read our magazine since our inception last year, ten years ago, since 1889.
- We moved up the deadline is today, you have 6 hours to prepare something.
- We received a lot of great submissions so we closed the deadline early.
- Great we're past our first issue and we're looking for new submissions (2010).
- Great we're on our 16th issue, but now we're moving on to theme issues. This years theme is "Delectable Monkey Parts."
- Error, website not found.
- Our Magazine is located in: Canada, China, Bangladesh, India, U.K., Mexico, Portugal, Spain -- please mail with correct international postage, and for your SASE please put international postage.
- This magazine looks nice, but wait, I burned bridges with this magazine because of "X" where "X" equals one or more of the following: addressed the magazine as a different magazine, e-mailed the magazine too many times about when I would hear from them, didn't e-mail the magazine when a piece of mine was already accepted, I met the editor and she personally hates me -- no really she does, I sent in poems and didn't know it was themed, didn't know the deadline, didn't know it didn't accept simultaneous submissions.
The list above isn't a reflection of the quality of work within magazine -- but sometimes we don't fit. I realize the the list above is probably really facetious, but I've done this too many times to know problems occur when I try to adjust too much for a magazine.
And I make sure too, reading poems listed on their website, or looking up the published poets in the most recent magazine to see if we have a similar style.
I don't think this is a shotgun approach, well sort of. Yes, I send out to many places a month, but I make sure the places I send to would probably accept a poem of mine and I would be proud to be in the magazine.
And I do have standards, the magazine should have one of these two qualities:
- University backed magazine with at least 2+ issues under their belt.
- Independent publisher with at least 5+ issues under their belt.
Then I go to Duotrope's listing for more details:
- Acceptance rate 10% or below.
- Response rate is reasonable (4-6 months the latest).
- I'm more inclined for print publication, but there are some really good online lit mags like Tri-Quarterly.
Why these standards? As stated before, I learned the hard way about not having set standards or a system -- saves me time, embarrassment, and money in the long run.
In the end of it all, overall I ignored 87 listings, found 43 places to send, and left the rest to mull over for next month when some magazines open up to submit so the calculations are never done.