Six Things About Duotrope’s Digest…


Fifty percent of this country’s truck-drivers are on black tar heroin. Half of them!

(But I forget to mention I only interviewed two truck-drivers for this report)

1.) What exactly is Duotrope‘s statistical method? Is it all self reporting? I hardly see this as accurate, reliable, or significant.

Crazyhorse rejects 84.1% and has an acceptance rate of 0.5%?

How about this: ClapBoard House accepts 40% of submissions!!! (Oddly, they also reject 40%)

Uh, ok. I read the latest issue of Clapboard and although it didn’t wow me, and some of the editing was sketchy, I feel they probably accepted just a smidgen less than 40 percent of submissions. But it must be true, since in the last year TEN people have reported it on Duotrope’s.

Are these rankings meaningful to anyone out there?

2.) Am I the only one to notice Duotope’s interface/home page looks like it was designed on an Atari 2600 by a young, goofy looking Whiz Kid with plaid bell bottoms and an addiction to Pong? I keep wondering if their offices have printers with perforated paper. Or maybe they really decide their Lit Mag data by Magic 8 Ball?

Busted! For Bland Design of Duotrope.

3.) They do note that writers want to get paid. Word on that. Although attempting to pay my mortgage with copies of magazines is a nice trick.

4.) Here’s a new Flash Fiction I wrote two days ago:

They woke one morning with a Duotrope between them. Oversized, enormous, with an oily sheen and silent density; a gravity tugging them to the center. They couldn’t see each other, only the black planet of the Duotrope…

(There’s a bunch here in middle but it didn’t click. Let’s pick up near the ending…)

They lay there in separate furrows, both staring at the ceiling, both turning the identical thought: “I wish we’d flung away this Duotrope when it was the size of a Duotrope.” But neither knew the other’s mind. What stirred in the black-lit hallways of their hearts. Because they voiced nothing. Instead sighed and rolled over, spine to isinglass to spine. In the arching shadow of the Duotrope, they hugged themselves and listened to the weather rolling in: Push of wind at glass. Strike of lightning. Thunder. Then rain.

5.) What the hell is a Duotrope? I keep thinking of a dinosaur.

AHHHH, A Duotrope Attack!!

6.) Have you noticed? So many of the magazines on Duotrope are expired, or offline, or simply do not exist. Then why list them, I wonder?

As many of you know, I once ate nachos for 41 days. I’ve been considering breaking the record, as an act of spiritual cleansing. Updates later.


11 responses to “Six Things About Duotrope’s Digest…

  1. hey sean –

    i agree. fuck duotrope. i only like the swift list because i think people submit more to places that respond quickly.

    i have no idea what a duotrope is. the name sounds cheap and senseless like all the other tropes.

  2. I too wondered what a “Duotrope” was.

    Upon discovering Duotrope I figured it was the standard for people finding places to submit their junk, but their system does seem pretty unreliable.

    40% acceptance and 40% rejection? Meh, those odds sound pretty good to me.

    be well,


  3. duotrope is great in theory. like uh… democracy. it does a really good job of telling me that the places where my work has been accepted have very high acceptance rates so I should’nt get too excited.

  4. I appreciate these six things. I tried to get Duotrope to update the Publishing Genius stuff (they located PG out of the ether, which I thought was nice), and it hasn’t happened yet. Still, I feel more validated now that you think they merit comment at all . . .

  5. I’m just wondering how much criticism a free service can actually merit? I mean, people donate their quatloos to keep it spewing packets. Gotta be something there, huh?

    PS Must be mopping out the flotsam you guys spotted, ’cause they’re offline as I type.

  6. I need an e-mail address for sending my submission to Creature Features Anthology from overseas. Help please.

  7. How do I tell a friend she’s been duped by Duotrope? She’s a nice person and we don’t know each other well. Still I hate the idea of her feeling embarrassed when I tell her what I see has happened (she was published by some online connection to Duotrope) or worse yet, I’m afraid she’s going to give D. a donation! Yikes!


    • Annie, what are you talking about? Duotrope is a search engine? What do you think it is?

      > embarrassed when I tell her what I see has happened
      > (she was published by some online connection to Duotrope)
      You mean, she searched through available markets that were listed on Duotrope, submitted to one, and was accepted? Hooray! The girl did good? What is your problem with this exactly?

      > or worse yet, I’m afraid she’s going to give D. a donation! Yikes!
      And so she should? What do you know about duotrope that no-one else does? Are they a front organization for Scientology or something? Are they a secret plot to brainwash people? Are they a subsidiary of BP? What? What do you have against a market search engine?

  8. I think you’re pretty unfair to duotropes.

    Going through your points:

    1) What’s the alternative? Employ armies of people to survey the mags as to their acceptance ratio? That’s never going to happen, is it?

    2) The interface works. Duotrope isn’t a toy or a work of art, it’s a tool. I don’t want them changing it for some wizzy-bang interface that will then require me to upgrade my browser/change my OS/buy a new computer. I just want a nice, simple tool that works.

    3) and 4) I can’t really say anything about.

    5) What’s a “Sean Blog: Nachos Miles Hack Disc Clank”? What’s an “Ebay”? What’s a “Google”? What’s a “Boing Boing”? Webpages have dumb-ass names these days, they almost all do, why pick on duotrope?

    6) No, I’ve not noticed. I’ve never done a search on duotrope and been confronted by an expired magazine list? Maybe it was true when this post was made, I don’t know, but I’ve never encountered it.

    There’s a lot of hate for duotrope knocking around on the web these days, and I wonder why. Someone puts a free tool online and does all the work to keep it going, and all anyone can do is whine about it. What is your problem with duotrope?

  9. First thing, look when I wrote this post. I have no idea about duotrope now. I don’t use them.

    I already said my problem, at the time.

    As for stats, who cares?

    Pick a mag you love and send your work to it.

  10. black tar heroin? i heard they smoked asphalt. oh, you want a percentage. 192 percent of black tar heroin in smokin’. .5 percent of asphalt is accepted by Paris Review.

    at your service…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s