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The overhaul of Duotrope = the end of writing scopes?

Updated on June 19, 2013

I thought I would have a smooth transition from a novice writer to an established, adept one with the help of Duotrope. The not-so-distant revamp of its website design accentuated the feasibility and credibility of Duotrope's unwavering perseverance in offering listings for fiction and poetry markets for the future. Nonetheless, the recent overhaul of its system was definitely unexpected, and lots of writers, who grudge against paying for its services that were once given for gratis, sparked a backlash in the Internet.

People who use the site for free will only be able to see limited details on markets. The subscription cost is $5/month or $50/year. This new model goes into effect from January 1, 2013.

It had been a month. Duotrope is still adamant about keeping the controversial mode, and I do not know where I could find a credible directory of fiction and poetry markets elsewhere. There is also no indication that Duotrope will tweak its practice.

Pertaining to the cost of subscription, referring back to my previous article on gaming subscription: Why it is so hard to level up in games - the real motive behind the game developers, I think that paying for the game subscription is more reasonable. Don't berate me - it actually is contingent on your priority; however, Duotrope is merely a directory of writing markets. It serves as an agent, an intermediary. If you are craving to be published, the conclusion is that you have to approach a publisher directly, and not Duotrope. Duotrope solely tells you what markets are available, how they are advancing and how good their statistics are, but it does not do the job of publishing your work. There is an analogy: career agencies are just like Duotrope. They inform you the jobs available, but at the end of the day, it is your choice on whether you want to go to the company and interview or not.

I will not perish because of Duotrope. To the writers who keep on carping about its overhaul: don't complain and move on. Ask your congenial friends on the markets available. Create your own directory of markets gleaned from your constant querying. You actually don't have to pay to know what markets there are in the world. If you are the parsimonious, cheese-paring type (sorry for the stereotype), why not ask in writing forums, your friends or relatives about writing markets? I believe that writers, who are affected by Duotrope's update, will help you because they want to keep the spirit of writing alive.

In conclusion, the crux of the predicament is not about money. Money does affect your writing profession, but would you simply give up after years of toiling because you are unable to afford the subscription fees? There are an eclectic mix of websites where you can submit your articles to. There are also freelance writing jobs from credible websites. There is no point to be indignant of Duotrope because they simply could not afford living with meagre donations given the high standard of living.

But, honestly, I am indebted to Duotrope for their services all these years. I would subscribe whenever I have the means to do so. Without it, I wouldn't have get my first fiction published.


People who would like to use Duotrope for free can now sign up for a free trial on its website. According to its website, it is mentioned that ''after a one-time, 7-day free trial, subscriptions cost just USD $5 a month. If you commit to a full year, you get the discounted rate of $4.17 per month (USD $50 charged annually).''


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