I use Duotrope’s Digest’s free services to research potential markets and track my submissions. Other services they offer include market response statistics, interviews with editors, a newsletter, market updates and personal stats. Here’s an example of my stats:
Pending responses for last 12 months: 15
Submissions sent last 12 months: 55
Submissions sent this month: 15
Acceptance ratio for the past 12 months: 12.50 %
Congratulations! Your overall acceptance ratio is higher than the average for users who have submitted to the same markets. (They're nice too.)
Duotropes lists the top twenty-five markets, sorted by poetry or fiction, in these categories: The Slothful, The Swift, The Challenging and The Approachable. The Slothful and The Swift are markets with the slowest and fastest mean average response times reported. The Challenging lists markets with the lowest acceptance percentages. Topping this list is Hayden’s Ferry Review with a .14% acceptance percentage. If you’ve been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review and you’re reading this, I’m shocked. But happy.
The Approachable list includes markets with the highest acceptance percentages. Weirdyear has a high acceptance ratio at 96.15%. Following Weirdyear is The Fringe, accepting 95% of work submitted for publication. I haven’t submitted to these markets because I only submit to markets with an acceptance ratio less than 15%. Apparently I like torture.
I was ecstatic when I found The Swift list. (I get tired of waiting around for rejections.) Topping this list is Camroc Press Review, which responds in half a day. I submitted to Anderbo, average response time of 2.5 days and Neon, response time of 2.7 days. It’s been eight days since I crossed my fingers and sailed my words to Anderbo and one day since my Neon submission. Neither have responded yet. I have no idea what this means.
When editors were asked in Duotrope’s Digest to describe what they published in 25 characters or less, Neon’s editor said, “Prose, poetry and other.” Another editor, Georgio*, said, “Beautiful thinking.” Lars* responding by saying he requires, "Oblique strategies.”
Even more confounding was the short, sweet email I received the same day I sent my submission to a literary journal not listed on The Swift List.
It said, “Very sorry Jules. Not this batch. Pax, Caesar*”
What am I, I thought, a Toll House cookie?
Give me a personal or straight forward rejection any day over something like this. And why was his ending salutation “Pax?” Was it a test to see how many rejectees knew Latin? Or was it to keep the ones who knew pax meant peace from writing back to question what the hell he meant by the batch comment?
My second thought was, Is he saying I might make it out of the mixing bowl onto the cookie sheet next time?
I’ll be damned if I ask him. I’m going to work on my oblique strategies instead. And come up with some beautiful thinking poetry.
*Names have been changed to protect my “career.”
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...