Mar's Market Report: Choosing Markets

Issue 61

Mar's Market Report:

A Survey of How Writers

Choose Their Markets

By Margaret McGaffey Fisk

Copyright © 2011, Margaret McGaffey Fisk, All Rights Reserved 


When creating a target list for a submission, writers have many different reasons for what markets are on that list and the order in which they appear. To give a glimpse into these reasons, I asked the writers who are members of Forward Motion ( to list their favorite markets and why. The answers offer a glimpse into their decision processes, with many responses as expected and others coming as a surprise. For example, one writer stated a preference for anthology markets in general, not because they're often printed, or because they are usually available longer than a single issue of a magazine, but because she enjoyed writing to themes.


Some of the other suggestions prompted discussion because one writer hadn't considered, for example, that though the Writers of the Future contest is considered a professional speculative fiction market based on payment, status, and number of copies sold for each issue of the resulting anthology, it is a target where a beginning author competes against other beginners for the limited spots rather than against professionals whose names as well as stories offer the editor a hope for more customers.


Then there are the other reactions such as one writer who plans to submit to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine because the name itself appeals while another considers a small market as a favorite because of the editor's attitude toward writers and stories.


So, now that you've heard about some of the highlights, here is the breakdown of the writers who responded:


Why did they choose these markets?


The biggest reason hands down was that the writer liked what they knew of the editors involved in the publication or publisher with nine responses listing this as why they submit to that particular market. Five people mentioned personalized responses, four enjoyed the stories in short fiction markets, and three mentioned professional pay rates. The remaining mentions were the editor's enthusiasm, quick responses, clear guidelines, a unique title, and the fun of writing to prompts and themes.


Note: All the below lists are presented in alphabetical order.


What sources did they use to find information about their markets?


  • Ralan's Webstravaganza (www.ralan .com)
  • Duotrope Digest (
  • Facebook (
  • The magazine or publisher's website
  • Word of mouth, including mention on sites like Forward Motion
  • Editor's call for submissions
  • Researching the markets that previously published authors in an enjoyable anthology


Short story markets that were mentioned:



Publishers that were mentioned:



A number of editors were mentioned by name as ones people appreciate:


  • Angela James of Carina Press
  • Annie Melton of Etopia Press
  • Elizabeth Bear of Ideomancer
  • John Joseph Adams of various anthologies, and also Lightspeed Magazine ( and Fantasy Magazine ( ).
  • Lea Schizas of Muse It Up Publishing
  • Ty Drago of Allegory