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How to Hunt For Markets Over the Holidays

by Dr. Erika Dreifus

Chances are, you'll be busy over the next several weeks. Between preparing for, celebrating, and unwinding from the holidays it may be difficult to maintain your regular writing routine. And if researching potential homes for your work is part of that routine—as it is for many of us who regularly submit stories, essays, poems, articles, and reviews for publication—you may be worried about falling behind.

But it's time to put those worries to rest. In truth, there are many ways to keep up with your market hunting over the holidays. Here are just four possibilities:

  1. When you visit friends and family, peruse the magazines they may have on their coffee tables or stacked in their recycling bins. They may subscribe to some that you don't receive. Who knows how many new markets you may discover? (Just be sure to ask for permission before you start rummaging!)
  2. Be bold with your gift list. If someone close to you should ask what you might like for the holidays, go ahead and say it. Go ahead and tell that person: "I'd like you to bring me/send me all the magazines you've received for the past six months—and haven't yet thrown out." That person won't need to shop, and you will be able to spend the rest of the winter researching markets.
  3. If you'll be traveling, take advantage of any complimentary publications that may come your way: in-flight magazines, morning newspapers at hotels, and so on. Again, these may provide you sample issues for markets that you haven't considered before.
  4. If you're visiting anyone out of town, stop by the local library, and check out the magazines the library keeps stocked. It's quite likely that you'll discover some—especially regional publications—that you won't be able to research as easily back home.

Can you think of other possibilities? Add them to the list! Happy holidays, and happy market hunting.

—©2004 Erika Dreifus. All rights reserved. Article reprint permission is granted provided that the entire article--including the Author Bio--remains intact and unaltered. Dr. Erika Dreifus edits the free monthly newsletter, "The Practicing Writer," and is author of several resource guides, including "The Practicing Writer's Directory of Paying Short Story Markets" and "The Practicing Writer's Guide to No-Cost Literary Contests and Competitions." Visit her Web site at



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