Some handy advice on how to find new writing markets.
No matter what you write, you can find new markets without spending money by simply visiting your local bookstore and knowing exactly where to look. No, it's not in a book--after all, today's writing market is changing on a weekly (if not daily) basis, and books are generally published on a yearly basis. By the time a new edition is ready, some of the markets contained within could already be shut down!
But writing magazines run on a monthly basis. And in every writing magazine, there are advertisements aimed at writers. These ads can vary from writing school MFA programs to publisher listings of the newest books available, but some also include editing help (which a lot of writers need, unfortunately!) and calls for entries into contests with large cash prizes. These contests are typically sponsored by fiction magazines, and are an excellent way for writers to "break in" with a magazine that may traditionally receive thousands of submissions on a monthly basis.
In the classifieds section, there will also be advertisements from new magazines and Webzines looking for a variety of writing, be it fiction, non-fiction or poetry. There will also be established magazines putting out a call for new fiction. Any magazine putting out a call for contributions is telling writers out there one specific thing: "Hey, the submissions we're getting right now just aren't good enough! Send us yours!" After all, they wouldn't be advertising so much if they had an ample supply of GOOD writing to fill their pages!
The classified sections of these magazines can also provide writers with a number of interesting freelance services. While browsing through just one issue of Writer's Digest, I found a company looking for writers to contribute greeting card ideas and another company that needed help with a variety of writing services for its Internet start-up.
The classifieds also post requests from agents and publishers who are seeking new representation. Take special note of these, because--just like the magazines--they're advertising because they're specifically looking for new writers to work with. You won't find the New Yorker anywhere here asking for fiction contributions because, quite frankly, they get more than enough qualified submissions.
These magazines make their money through advertising, and so itís a good idea to browse them at length with a cup of coffee. Tucked between the larger ads for college MFA programs might be an invitation for writers to compete in a fiction contest. Every ad is geared specifically toward writers, which means the articles themselves are resources as well as the advertisements dividing the text.
Now you know where to look. What do you do next? Take out a pen and a tablet, and if you donít have a tablet you can improvise, like the example provided in the picture. Write down the markets that you find interesting and look them up online. Most new markets today offer email submissions, making it even easier to submit your work if you have a laptop.