When I was looking for the Market of the Month, I came across a note I’d made about Flashlight Memories. But alas (and alack, even), submissions are due by March 15th! Technically, that would be a Market for the Half-Month.
But why should I let a few days keep you from submitting to a delightful anthology? Especially one by my friends over at Silver Boomer Books? And most especially for an anthology that’s so dear to my heart.
Flashlight Memories will features poems and prose re: childhood reading. Oh, it makes me smile, just thinking about “A Pickle for a Nickel.” Or the Just So Stories. Or reading in my secret hideout with- you guessed it- a flashlight. In fact, I have so many childhood memories about reading, it’ll be hard to choose just one to write.
So, I have to run. By the time I decide what to write, the month will be half over!
About 47 minutes into my work day here, I thought of something I used to do when it came to finding the right market. Notice, grasshopper, that I said used to do. As in the past, way back when, long, long ago.
Okay, maybe it was just last year. That’s not the point. The point is, I have learned my lesson when it comes to finding the right market for my work. And now, I’m passing along that lesson to you: Research, Research, research.
Here’s what Used To Do Cathy C. Hall did when it came to finding a market:
Step 1. Thumb through market listings in Writer’s Market, or Duotrope’s Digest, or any market newsletters I might have on hand. (So far, so good.)
Step 2. Find a market that accepts what I’m looking to place. (Sounds reasonable, right?)
Step 3. Go online and check out market for guidelines and such. (Of course, I’d do that. I’m a pro, you know.)
Step 4. Submit. (Wheeeee!)
Well, that plan looks jim-dandy, doesn’t it? Except for one teensy, little thing. It wasn’t working so well. Eventually, I woke up and smelled the step I was missing: Step 2a. Read the market.
See, I thought I’d take a shortcut. You know, scan the masthead, give the market a real good skim, even peruse a page or two.
Don’t do that, grasshopper. Unless you like rejection. Take the time to read the entire magazine or webzine, or at least as much as is available online. Or check out an anthology from the library and read the whole thing.
Yep, the whole thing. That way, you’ll get a good idea of the voice and style of the market. You can get a feel of what an editor likes. And that will tell you whether your work has a chance with that editor…or not.
And yes, grasshopper, it takes awhile. Which is why, here at the end of the day, I’ve only sent out one story. But midway through my market madness, I had to update my website. Which I should have done last month. But that’s an entirely different What Not To Do (Sheesh).