Duotrope and The Grinder are like your word processor, the leprechaun in the back of your brain who keeps coming up with stuff to put in stories, your nerdy and semi-autistic personality*, or your difficult childhood: indispensable ingredients for your writing that you would pay** to use.
As a matter of fact, you can pay for one of them.
Duotrope is a huge online index of markets, fully searchable, with a wealth of information on the markets they list, from genre preferences to pay rate, from submission methods to rejection statistics, updated on a very regular basis. As an additional feature, they offer an online submission tracker system, where you can enter and keep track of all your submissions, rejections, rewrite requests, and acceptances. Duotrope charges a measly $50 a year for this wonderful, indispensable, extensive service, and seldom was money better spent on your writing career.
The Grinder is the same, but free.
In fact, Duotrope started charging for their services only last year, making a lot of users (not including myself) very angry, and leading to the budding-off of The Grinder, an approved spinoff. Their database is slightly smaller as yet, their design slightly more basic, and their statistics slightly less comprehensive. On the other hand, The Grinder has the very nifty submission stats histogram, where you can watch the purple dot that is your submission crawl ever closer to the Green Columns Of Acceptance. I’m currently using both, paying for Duotrope to have access to their larger database while test-driving The Grinder to see if it’s as good as Duotrope.***
If you’re an English-language writer, Duotrope or The Grinder are the places to find your submission markets. If you’re a non-native English-language writer living outside Anglophonia, that goes double for ya.
* My apologies if you are in fact a smooth, socially adapted, outgoing, and balanced individual. But in that case, what on Earth are you doing writing speculative fiction?
** Okay, so maybe you wouldn’t pay for your word processor. But bear with me here.
*** I also have a home-built Microsoft Access submission tracker application. Does that mean I keep track of my subs in three different places? Yes, it does. Is that extremely nerdy? Yes, it is. But think of this: I get to record every acceptance three times!