Yesterday for various reasons I could NOT concentrate on writing. The sun was half shining, birds were singing, there were squirrels bouncing around in the trees, and Dave was making an ungodly racket in the study next door. In order to look and feel as though I was still doing something, I began to check some of the vast store of available markets in my 'favourites' folder.
I've collected these over a number of years. Markets I've spotted whilte trawling the net, markets I've tried and failed; markets I intend to try... one day. They're divided into various categories - magazines, small press, print publishers, electronic publishers etc - and for no particular reason I started with the magazines.
It soon became apparent that I hadn't checked them for a while, as link after link turned up dead. Some had posted nice little messages on a cut-down webpage ("We're sorry but we've gone out of business"); most had simply vanished without trace. I deleted all the ones that no longer led to viable publications and my favourites list is a lot less daunting as a result.
One or two of the dead markets were ones I'd had stories published in and at least one of these (Bent Magazine) had still been available until fairly recently. But, like the parrot in the famous sketch, it is no more, so the next thing I had to do was go and root out all mention of that story on my website. While I was at it I took a brush and dustpan to the site, fixed a few other broken links and did some general tidying up. Which means, hopefully, that it's also a lot less daunting as a result.
Some of the mags that had disappeared were small, amateur webzines that tend to be fly-by-night and have the life expectancy of a gadfly. One or two, though, such as The Reader and Pen Pusher, were well established print magazines and it's sad to see those go.