No Calculators Were Harmed

In my first year of university, no calculators were allowed into the physics exams. The same rule applied to my calculus exams, which meant memorizing hundreds of equations and formulas, and having to remember how to use them.

I am still convinced my math and physics professors were conducting a joint experiment with the psychology department. I am sure they embedded sensors in the auditorium seats to measure our autonomic response to stress, to record the changes to our brain patterns over time, to determine at what point the formulas were integrated into our neural pathways.

All I remember is every exam felt like infinity.

Writing Means Waiting

It is clear that there are often long delays between submitting writing and getting replies. Whether a piece is accepted or rejected, the waiting feels like you are on a infinite calculus curve. I decided to start using a calculator instead of trying to do it all by hand. Here are 2 online programs that are really useful.


The news of the week is I was accepted as a Curator for Fiction Magazines. This means I now have both a Staff Account and a User Account in the Submittable  system. Last week I used this software to submit to A Room of Her Own and Crazyhorse. In my archaic spreadsheet where I listed and catalogued hundreds of publications, I discovered that many publications pay to use this system. In addition to the writing and publishing sector, Submittable is also used in the film, music, art, and photography sectors, as well as for nonprofits and universities to manage their applications and grants.

As a User Account

There are still many publications that use their own online submission systems or require a paper copy by snail mail. As a user I appreciate having all the current contests or deadline dates collated in one screen where I can easily click a button to submit my article or story.

I like having a list of where I submitted my work. The lovely Accepted notification is not for writing but it still feels like an accomplishment, even though I don’t get paid for this Curator role.

submittable, databases, publishing

As a Staff Account

It’s only day 2 of my Curator job, but I have read and commented on some submissions. For the publisher, who has the final say, Submittable is an invaluable tool because it collates all the information to help them get a sense of what pieces might be worth reading and maybe publishing.


I came across Duotrope  about 3 weeks ago. I postponed signing up for a free trial until I had done more research.

This is what reminded me about having to memorize all those equations.

Yes, I took the long way up the mountain, but I believe in the value of hard work. I’ve learned a lot about the publications I am interested in and I have discovered hundreds of publications that interest me. I did a random search of the publications in Duotrope compared to my spreadsheet and found that most are listed. This is exciting as I can see the benefit of investing the U$5 a month subscription fee for a user friendly service. According to Duotrope, as of today they list 4,913 “markets”.


Hey…go check out my friend BlogDogIt. He happened to send me a note about Duotrope a couple of days ago, although I had already decided to do this post. He is also the Infinity inspiration.


4 thoughts on “No Calculators Were Harmed

  1. You can only use a calculator to its fullest potential when you understand exactly what it is doing for you. 😉

    Congrats on the curator gig. It should be reassuring to those submitting to Submittable that they may have Amanda Wood evaluating their work.

    I had to laugh a bit at your plug for BlogDogIt – I appreciate it no end… I must confess that when I saw the “infinity” comment I thought briefly “hey, I resemble that remark – how presumptuous of me” 😀

    Best Wishes!


    • Exactly…I also thought about digital versus analogue watches as an example. I have heard tales of parents flabbergasted that their kids could not tell the time on a clock with hands. And I am happy as always to support amazing supporters and friends like you, to infinity (and beyond).

      Liked by 1 person

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