Monday, December 20, 2010

Why 'fledgling markets' are worth looking out for

In previous posts I've talked about things like where to look for outlets for your prose and poetry, and writers' guidelines; today I want to talk about "fledgling markets," as Duotrope's Digest terms them specifically. These are new markets, often times these days, electronic journals, that tend to be more open to writers and poets who haven't been published, or published much, previously. In Duotrope's Digest, an outlet is "fledgling" if it's been around for fewer than six months.

The reason these markets may be your best bet if you haven't published much is largely a numbers game. While well-established journals will receive tens, even hundreds, of thousands of submissions in a year -- these newly established journals will receive only a tiny fraction of that number from hopeful writers and poets. You still need to read these new journals' guidelines carefully, and avoid sending them what they aren't interested in seeing. But there are enough of them cropping up regularly that you should be able to find a fledgling journal or two without too much bush beating.

As I recommended in my earlier post, you should sign up for Duotrope's Digest's weekly email update on markets, as it's your best resource for finding these newer outlets. Here are a few that I found via Duotrope's that sound intriguing -- and worth contacting, especially if you're an unpublished, or underpublished, writer/poet.

The Scarlet Sound -- According to its website, "Founded through Rutgers University, The Scarlet Sound builds upon the idea that through diversity and recognition of others, community arises." The journal's editors are looking for a variety of things, including flash fiction of fewer than 1,000 words and poetry of 25 lines or fewer. They're also interested in audio and video files, which is becoming increasingly common for online journals (or the online components of traditional print journals), as the technology is making it easier and easier to work creatively with sound and images.

Beecher's Magazine -- Established in conjunction with the MFA program at University of Kansas, Beecher's Magazine will have both a print and an online edition. Its editors are looking for poetry, fiction and nonfiction. I notice that they're willing to consider fiction up to 10,000 words -- which is a lot. So if you're a newish writer with a long manuscript, take a look at Beecher's Magazine's guidelines. Journals willing to read pieces beyond 5,000 words don't grow on trees, so take advantage of their editors' open-mindedness (and stamina).

Ad Hominem -- Its homepage says that Ad Hominem "publishes good art that can be enjoyed in minutes." The editors are looking for poetry, fiction, essays, and photographs. Founded by a group of artists in Hampton Roads, Virginia, their "about" page says they "spread the word about people we like." Unlike the previous two journals I mentioned, Ad Hominem has published some work already, so check it out to get a better sense of what they seem to like.

Let me stress: These three journals are just a sampling of the information available in one email update from Duotrope's Digest, and it took a modicum of effort to find some very interesting-sounding new journals. If you're serious about getting your work out there, you have to sign up with Duotrope's Digest.

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