Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The (Submission) Grinder

Tools Tuesday is back after a lengthy hiatus!  Yay!

This week, I want to introduce a free site designed to make submitting pieces to literary magazines a total breeze.

The (Submission) Grinder

The (Submission) Grinder is a free website designed to track literary magazines.  It maintains a huge list of them, including information about whether they're open for submissions, which genres, types and lengths, and how much they pay for these submissions.

It also includes information about how long the editors of these magazines usually take to get back to prospective contributors, what percentage of rejections tend to be form letters or personalized, and whether or not the magazines can contribute to membership in organizations like the SFWA.

You can also track the work you send out, which is incredibly handy since most editors don't like simultaneous submissions.  Tracking your queries on the site also contributes to their data on response times and types.

The Facts:

Type: Website
Maker/Publisher: Anthony Sullivan and David Steffen
Price: Free!
Created: January,  2013

What I like most:

  • It's a Vast Resource: As someone who's just starting to submit their work to publications, I can't help but appreciate the fact that they have information on thousands of lit magazines all in one place.  It makes finding a fit for my stories so much easier than online searches and digital leg work.

  • It's Thorough: Not only do they have listings for which magazines are open to submission, each listing tells you all sorts of handy stuff, like the maximum amount of time editors say it will take to get back to you, the average it actually takes, the percentage of people who are accepted or rejected, how many of those rejections were form or personal, how much the magazine pays for submissions, which organizations contributing gets you credit for, etc.
  • The Submission Tracker: You can add your pieces to your own private database and then track which markets you've submitted to.  It's pretty handy.  The site only stores information like the title, genre, length and type of your piece, so you don't have to worry about uploading it or anything like that.  And, when you track your submissions on the site, the anonymous data is used to keep information on the magazines up to date.

What I like least:

  • It Can Be a Little Clunky: Initially, I had a little trouble getting the piece I was submitting to stick in my database, which resulted in two identical pieces.  I left the page, came back and had to delete the extra piece I'd created.  Not a big deal, but it could be smoother.

  • The Interface: Call it personal, but I actually prefer SpaceJock's Sonar III for tracking my submissions.  I just feel like the interface is a little more friendly.  I'll probably end up using both though, since Sonar isn't attached to an awesome well of knowledge like the Grinder is.

  • No Apps or Offline Capability: You can use the site on your phone just fine, but it's not that great without the internet.  Not a deal breaker by a long shot, but I do enjoy a handy app when I can score one.

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