I’d first heard of Diabolical Plots when they started doing reviews for the stories on Daily Science Fiction, to which I subscribe (free spec-fic in e-mailbox everyday!), So, they’d been on my radar for about a year before they became my best writerly friend.
The (Submission) Grinder is an online tool for writers to search for markets and–more vitally–to keep track of submissions to those markets. And it’s free! I used to use (and donate to) Duotrope, but when they went to being a paid service without any incentives but for preserving my data, I went looking for a new submission home.
Hooray for Diabolical Plots.
The search engine for finding a home for each individual piece is just awesome. It’s easy to tweak for when you edit that short story down to a flash or decide, yeah, this draft’s ready for the semi-pro markets. I’ve only been using the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres, but the grinder has options for the whole spectrum (though not nonfiction).
If you register, you also get access to your own dashboard, which keeps track of all your submissions–pending, accepted or rejected.
Now that I’m getting back into cranking out the stories, I’ve become much more interested in the market reports. The homepage for the Grinder shows recent reports from various markets (so if you have a story in one of those markets, you hustle over to your e-mail and see if your story was in the same slush pile).