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The Taxonomy Universe: 5 Lessons from Discover


Over the last few months, our team has been testing and tweaking the new Discover feature, a creative marketplace that enables submitters to search through and submit to thousands of opportunities. We’ve combed through every live creative opportunity to ensure it has up to five tags, or search terms, for which it will show up in Discover. Tags include themes and genres, like comics, novel, social justice, public art, and more. So far, the Discover team has reviewed and tagged 6,300 opportunities by hand. Here’s some of the data:

1. Coming To A City Near You

A large number of organizations are creating opportunities for writers, artists, and other creatives with a specific location in mind. This includes writing residencies, calls for public art projects, jobs, grants, scholarships, and more. The states with the most location-based opportunities are: New York (200), California (96), Pennsylvania (86), Florida (55), and Texas (52). 
Here’s the breakdown:
Submittable Discovery Tool
Just across the border, Canadian organizations currently offer 64 unique opportunities. This includes a call from Lycan Valley Press Publications for stories set in one of Canada’s 13 provinces or territories that highlight the country’s “culture and historic landmarks in a way that prevents the story from being told anywhere else.” We also found location-specific opportunities in Europe (49), Australia (44), Asia (6) and Africa (6).
2. Social Justice For All
Social Justice For All
Reading through calls for submissions, our team noticed a happy trend: Many organizations, such as literary journals and art galleries, feature themed calls that engage with social justice. The “social justice” tag has been used 105 times (and counting.) Here are a few open opportunities that emphasize community and empowerment: the “Issues” Issue and Indivisible We Stand anthology.
3. Hacking The System
Organizations use Submittable for all sorts of things besides accepting and reviewing manuscripts. Here are some ways they’re using the platform:

  • Literary magazines selling back issues, subscriptions, and swag (you can do so, too, via the free Add-on Payments feature)
  • Conferences collecting abstracts, panel proposals, and feedback
  • Summer camps and writing workshops accepting registration fees
  • Nonprofits advertising affordable studio spaces
  • Businesses posting job openings
  • And this anthology is looking for stories about the lonely wireless printer

4. Opportunities for All Ages
Opportunites For All AgesOrganizations are offering opportunities for a range of ages, from our youngest submitters to women over fifty, and everywhere between. Are you a high school or college student? We uncovered 54 opportunities in 14 different states (plus Australia) for high school students, everything from chapbook contests to research expeditions. We found 92 opportunities in 15 different states (plus Canada and Australia) for college students, including a playwriting scholarship, a call for fiction by undergraduates, and a publication looking for visual art from Indiana students.
5. But You Don’t Need Us Anymore
In July, the Discover team added the ability for organizations to tag their own opportunities. (If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this step-by-step guide). To date, organizations have tagged 1795 opportunities on their own. So we wondered–out of the 150+ tags you can currently choose from, what are some of your favorites? Here are the top ten: Poetry (359), Art (310), Fiction (285), Contest (263), Creative Writing (210), Literary (173), Nonfiction (171), Visual Art (150), Photography (142), and Short Story (134).
Have you been using Discover? What do you think? We’d love to hear from you. Share your story here.

Jolene Brink

Jolene Brink is a product marketing manager for submitter growth, which means she spends most of her time thinking about ways to connect Submittable's creative community with more than 10,000 organizations using Submittable to collect submissions. She's also a poet, essayist and visual artist. You can see her work here: jolenebrink.com