A Basic Guide to Using Duotrope
No matter where your creativity takes you, Duotrope will help you get there.
Photo by Annie Spratt.
What We Do
Duotrope is a resource for writers that offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and visual art publishing projects, a calendar of upcoming deadlines, submission trackers, and useful statistics compiled from the millions of data points we've gathered on the publishers we list.
Duotrope is meant to be a jumping-off point. Whether it's your first time submitting or you're a veteran, the process usually goes something like this:
How Duotrope Fits into your Submissions Process
Step 1: Search
After you have written and polished a poem or work of fiction or nonfiction, or created a piece of visual art, enter the details of that piece (length, genre, topic, etc.) and other desired criteria (such as payscale, submission method, etc.) on our publisher search page or agent search page. Need guidance? Read our guide to searching and study our glossary.
Step 2: Explore
Go through the list of search results to find publishers or agents that might be a good fit for the piece. So that you don't have to comb through too many listings, we highly recommend that you fine-tune your search to match specifically what you are looking for.
Read our listings for the publications that interest you, and be sure to visit their websites to get a better feel for them and to get instructions on how to submit to them. Learn everything you can about the publication and read samples if possible. Research is key to success.
Step 3: Submit
Once you've made your choice of where to submit, closely follow the submission requirements and procedures of the publication(s) where you choose to send your piece.
It's crucial to know what you submitted where, so immediately report the submission at Duotrope where it will be listed in your submission tracker. (Read our guide to reporting and tracking submissions.)
Step 4: Wait
And now the waiting game begins. One of the secrets to publishing success is patience. While you wait for a response, keep writing. When you start getting antsy, check in on your Submission Tracker, where we'll give you an idea of when you should expect to hear back from the editor.
Step 5: Report
Once you receive a response, update the status of the submission through your Submission Tracker.
Like the shampoo bottle says, "Rinse and repeat." Keep writing, keep submitting. Learn to shake off rejections and accept constructive criticism. Celebrate your acceptances. You'll have many more to come!
There's More on Tap...
This guide only covers the basics. Duotrope offers many more features that we cover in our Guides.
We hope this information has helped you understand the basics of how Duotrope works to help you through the submission process. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this guide, please let us know.
Visit our Guides for Writers, Poets, and Artists and contact us with any unanswered questions. (Note that we do not accept or read submissions, so please do not send us your work.)