Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net
Holly Lisle's Vision

Ralan Conley's Webstravaganza

by Justin Stanchfield 

2001, Justin Stanchfield

Okay, I'll admit it... I'm a market-ahololic. I actually enjoy perusing through the long lists of possible markets, studying the guidelines, wondering which editor to torment with my latest offering. Once upon a non-digital time this meant I would pick up my trusty, dog-eared copy of the Writer's Market and start thumbing. Today, while I still have a current (almost) copy of that venerable book, I'm far more likely to go searching through on-line market lists for the most current information about who and where to send a fiction submission. And, while there are many excellent spec-fiction lists maintained, some professionally, some done as labors of love by fellow writers, of all of them my personal favorite is Ralan Conley's Webstravaganza. http://www.ralan.com/ 

While not as fast to load as some other market guides, such as Paula Fleming's Market List http://home.att.net/~p.fleming/Sfmarket.html  , nor as detailed as Spicy Green Iguana http://www.spicygreeniguana.com/  , it does offer a good compromise between speed and inclusiveness. And, best of all, it's 100% free to use.

Maintained by Ralan Conley, himself a talented and much published author, the site is straight forward and easy to navigate. The front page includes navigation links to the various lists, site update information, links to Ralan's own works and bio, and of course, an animated greeting from Phil, the sites monstrous mascot. The lists themselves are divided, each on a separate page, into Pro (3 cents/word or more), Paying, 4-the-Luv (non-paying), Humor, Novel and Anthology, Response Times and Writers Links. Both electronic and print magazines are included. Each page contains a scroll-down list with the markets arranged alphabetically, the titles linking to separate window in-depth guidelines, most of them taken verbatim from the magazines own sites or printed market listings.  Email and web-site URLs, when available, are also provided. Standard abbreviations are used throughout, easily understandable by anyone familiar with printed market lists, such as those found in Writer's Digest or the SFWA Bulletin.

One of the nicest features about Ralan's Webstravaganza is its timeliness. The list is up-dated on a frequent schedule and as new information becomes available. I have actually seen updates within hours of new or changing info having been announced or discovered elsewhere on-line. Relying heavily on tips from other writers, who are unfailingly credited for their assistance, the site provides a wealth of fresh, updated and verified material.

The bad news is that, for novelists, with the exception of numerous E-Book and chap-book publishers, few major publishing houses are included in the guidelines, although links to other on-line market lists are given. Agents, likewise, are not included, but links to agent-related sites are. General information, such as on-line dictionaries, writer's organizations, articles on craft and publishing, even software and song writer's markets are also to be found on the Writer's Links pages. There's even a link to Vision provided.

So, the next time you're in need of fast, up-to-the-minute guidelines for all your science fiction, fantasy and horror needs, don't forget to check out this wonderful site. One-stop shopping for all your spec-fiction market needs!

http://www.ralan.com/