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Submittable is the most widely used online submission management system. It is used by literary journals and scholarship programs to help users manage and track submissions and applications. It is also an excellent place to discover new opportunities for submitting work and finding funding opportunities. While creating an account is free, some publishers do charge a fee for submissions.
Duotrope's Digest is meant to be a jumping-off point. The process usually goes something like this:
1. After you have written and polished a poem or work of fiction, enter the details of that piece (length, genre, theme, etc.) in the Search form on our main page (see our Glossary page to get a better idea of the terms we use across the site). Include what pay you are looking for if that's something that's important to you.
2. Go through the list of search results to find markets that might be a good fit for the story. Not all the markets in the search results will be. So that you don't have to comb through too many markets, we highly recommend that you finetune your search to match what you are looking for.
3. Visit the websites of the publications that interest you to get a better feel for them. Closely follow the submissions requirements and procedures of the publication(s) where you choose to send your piece.
5. When you have received a response, update your submission through the Submissions Tracker.
If it wasn't an acceptance, repeat steps 1-5. If it was, congratulations! When an appropriate amount of time has passed, you may want to look for reprint markets for the piece.
Note: while Duotrope offers a free trial for first time users, there is a subscription fee, offered on either a monthly or yearly basis.