Listing Criteria for Publishing Projects
(Journals, Magazines, Anthologies, Contests, and Presses)
See agent listing criteria instead
These are our general criteria for publisher listings. However, we reserve the right to refuse a listing or to remove a listing for any reason without notice.
To qualify for a listing, a market must meet these minimum criteria:
They must provide publication in print, electronic, audio, or video format. Duotrope is a resource for publication opportunities. We do not list contests or fellowships that do not offer publication.
Published authors and artists must be acknowledged as being the creator of their work, such as with a byline.
A note about anthologies: We will not list anthology projects with only a chance of publication. The project must already be "green-lit" by a publisher.
They must accept submissions in English and provide submission guidelines in English. (It's fine if they publish material in a different language.)
Material and Submission Methods
They must regularly accept unsolicited submissions, or queries for the submission of already-existing work, of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, or visual art submissions. These submissions must be from the creator of the work.
Exception: Projects that only publish translations, picture books for children, plays, greeting cards, novelties, and/or full-length graphic narrative do not qualify.
Exception: Projects that publish any derivative works (unauthorized fan fiction) do not qualify.
Exception: Projects that only accept agented submissions, submissions by invitation, or that use a nomination process do not qualify.
Exception: Publications that seek writers/artists for positions — such as columnists, bloggers, reviewers, or illustrators — or freelance/"by assignment" writers or artists, instead of accepting direct, unsolicited submissions do not qualify.
Publications that remain "temporarily closed" to submissions for two years or more do not qualify.
They must have an official, regularly updated, and up-to-date website. (An "official" site is one under the control of and maintained by the editorial staff. Sites maintained or owned by third parties are not "official" websites.)
Exception: "Pages" on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., do not qualify as official websites; however, websites hosted on blogging platforms, such as Wordpress, do qualify.
A note about anthologies: The guidelines must be posted on the publisher's official website. We will not accept guidelines posted on the editor's personal blog, unless the editor will be self-publishing the project.
Their complete, up-to-date guidelines must be posted on the official website in written format. At a minimum, this should include the type of material they wish to see (fiction, poetry, nonfiction, visual art), whether they are currently open or closed to submissions, and instructions on how to submit if they are currently accepting submissions.
These guidelines must be easily found from the home page and must be openly and publicly accessible (cannot require a login, CAPTCHA, or other prerequisite before they can be viewed).
The guidelines must be in HTML format (preferred) or PDF format (displayed in the browser without requiring a download). We will not accept any other file formats.
A note about third-party submission managers: While we prefer guidelines posted directly on the official website, we will also accept guidelines posted on our own submission manager, Duosuma, as well as Submittable, Green Submissions, or Moksha. No other third-party submission managers or form builders are approved. (Google Forms, JotForm, Cognito Forms, Airtable, and Oleada do not meet our technical requirements and cannot be approved.)
A note about contests: For a contest to maintain a listing with us, its current open/closed status must be listed year-round on the official website.
All the guidelines for a single publication should be in the same place. We will not create separate listings for individual sections of publications or special issues.
Editors should read our recommendations and always inform us when their guidelines page changes locations.
No Pay-to-Publish Models
If the publisher is a vanity press, subsidy publisher, or publishing cooperative, or if they sell any publishing services, they do not qualify. If they require those accepted to work for the company in any capacity (except promoting their own work), they do not qualify.
If they charge fees for any aspect of publication (including but not limited to editing services, cover art, ISBNs), they do not qualify.
If they require the creator to purchase or pre-sell a minimum number of copies (even just one), they do not qualify.
A note about reading fees and entry fees: As long as they don't charge for publication, it's fine if they charge submission fees.
The publication must offer full disclosure regarding any fees (or required purchases), rights assumed, and any other significant information.
The publisher, editor, and members of their staff must not misrepresent themselves.
Editing and Handling Submissions
The publication must be actively edited. An editor (or editors) must read and curate submissions.
They must not publish work without informing the submitter and receiving their permission. We will not list projects that take rights upon submission.
If they accept/publish all or most of the submissions they receive, they do not qualify. (We determine this based on our submission statistics collated from reports from our members, not on numbers reported to us by the editor.)
If they primarily publish their own work, the publication does not qualify.
If submissions are made available to the public prior to being accepted for publication, they don't qualify, since this adversely affects the creator's First Rights.
Broad Audience and Submissions Pool
The publication must accept submissions from a broad demographic, not just students at a single college, members of a specific organization, or residents of a small town, for example. The demographic of potential submitters must be at least one million people.
A note about local papers and niche publications: We will not list publications with a narrow and/or local scope. We look for an audience of at least one million people.
To maintain a listing with us, they must publish regularly and must have signs of recent publication on their official website. For those that list their publication frequency (i.e., quarterly, monthly, etc.) we expect them to maintain that schedule within reason. For book publishers and publications with an unspecified frequency, we expect publication at least once a year. Projects that do not meet these guidelines will be disqualified or "believed defunct."
For stand-alone anthologies, we require publication within two years of posting the call for submissions. Projects that don't reach fruition within two years will be disqualified.
Established Publication History
They must have published their first issue or book at least six months ago.
A note about new publications: We do list many new projects. Please see the information below for "fledgling" listings.
Three Strikes Policy: If a project gets disqualified for not meeting our criteria on three different occasions, the third disqualification will be permanent. We always attempt to contact editors about these qualification issues and give them ample time to respond before taking action.