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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tips on Guidelines

You can glean market lists from all sorts of venues. Take note when people announce their recent sales. Visit their blogs and writer forums for insider information on markets and publishing news.

I jot down contact information from magazines I find at the doctor's office. (mine is well stocked) I also belong to a couple of email lists specifically for paying markets.

Once a week, I'll post speculative and some nonfiction markets here; those that sound interesting--and more importantly, those that pay.

Guidelines can be a bear to find. There have been a few magazines and websites that REALLY don't want you to contact them--or so it seems. Their guidelines are nowhere on their site map and their search function will spit out a nasty retort that the word, 'guidelines' does not exist in the English language.

That's okay. You can still get around that.

If all else fails, Google the magazine's name and the word, 'guidelines'. For example: Smithsonian, writer guidelines. If 'writer guidelines' doesn't work, try other key words like 'contributor' or 'writer information'. If the page has been accessed, the search engine will find it.

Research is key to finding potential markets. You just have to learn where to pick up the trail.

Fiction Markets: Sadly, speculative fiction markets dry up faster than grapes under a blistering Texas sun. What seems like a perfectly healthy market one day may disappear the next. Sometimes their pub dates are erratic or their response time is eons long. SF and fantasy zines are particularly notorious for sudden death. Mystery and horror seem to fair much better.

Some webzines have made their mark with their very shiny sites and high standards. Clarkesworld and Farthing come to mind off the top of my head. They are "relatively" new yet appear quite robust.

You won't make a living writing for fiction markets, but they're a nice way to pad your bio when you query agents for that novel.