Why the New Duotrope Makes Me Happy

Philip HarrisChatterLeave a Comment

Today is a contentious day – at least for a subset of the internet. Today is the day Duotrope switches to a subscriber model. For those who don’t know, Duotrope is an online database of fiction, poetry and non-fiction markets. As well as the basic listings and a weekly email detailing new markets and upcoming anthology deadlines, Duotrope provides a submission tracker and they use the information gathered from it to provide response time statistics for each market. There are other market sites (Ralan for example) but in my opinion Duotrope is the best. It’s professional, the site design is crisp, clean and generally easy to use and I’ve always found the information to be very reliable. I have a selection of sites that I submit to regularly but I also use Duotrope’s weekly email to to find new markets and anthologies and I do the occasional targeted search if I’m looking for a home for a specific story. I don’t use the response time statistics too much but it’s interesting to have it there. For the past seven years, Duotrope has been run entirely on donations but only 10% of users ever contributed. That’s not enough to keep the site running so, as … Read More

Heinlein’s Writing Rules

Philip HarrisMeaty Mondays, Writing AdviceLeave a Comment

This is the third in a series of Meaty Monday posts – longer posts where I ramble on about writing related topics. You can find the first Meaty Monday post here. This time I’m talking about Robert A. Heinlein’s five writing rules. I first heard Robert A. Heinlein’s writing rules quoted by Neil Gaiman when he was in Vancouver promoting Anansi Boys and they’ve stuck with me ever since. They were originally published in Heinlein’s 1947 essay On the Writing of Speculative Fiction (republished in Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, among other places). The bulk of the essay is about the types of science fiction stories (human interest or gadget-centric) and the three plots that human interest stories can have – “boy meets girl”, “the Little Tailor” (the little guy who becomes a big shot or vice versa) and “the man who learned better”. It’s Heinlein’s five rules or “business habits” as he calls them that have gained the most attention though. 1. You must write This one is obvious really, let’s face it, but all around the world there are people that would like to be writers but aren’t actually doing any writing. 2. You must finish what you start More good, solid advice. This is one I follow … Read More