Right now I know many fellow writers and authors are have a crazy time trying to get their work published or even considered right now. Many publishing houses and magazines have slowed down their production due to not having enough staff to make things happen. It's frustrating, I know. Especially when you rely so much on whatever income you bring in from your work.
But have no fear as there are a lot more opportunities out there than you think. Sure, some of them are contests but you have as much of a chance of winning the pot as any other writer who submits. The best thing to do is to stay on top of what editors and publishers are looking for, even now in the midst of a worldwide health crisis. How are you supposed to do this, you may ask? Find a search hub that shares all the latest calls for short stories, articles, contests and even remote writing opportunities. There are a few of these out there but my personal favorite is Submittable.
I have had great success finding work through Submittable from contests to calls for articles all the way up to legit publishing houses seeking editors or new manuscripts. In fact, there are many publishing houses that don't accept manuscript queries directly to them but prompt authors to submit through Submittable. This way, they can filter through tons of submissions in a shorter amount of time. Plus, it saves some worry and wonder on the author's side of things because they can see the result of their submission as it progresses through the filtering process.
When you sign up, you'll see several tabs labeled: Submissions, Discover, Saved and Following. The first tab, Submissions, shows all of the places you have applied or sent projects to. "Received" means that your work reached the destined place; "In Progress" means that your work is in the review process, which can take several weeks, or even months if it's a book submission. At that point, the place can either contact you directly through the email you gave at set-up or they can send messages to you through your submission page. After that, you'll see either "Accepted" or "Declined". Either way, you'll know since, as we all know, not all publishing houses or magazines will send you a decision.
Discover is checking out what is available to send your work to. You can "Save" certain things to apply later. As well, you can choose filters that limit searched with/without deadlines or with/without fees (SIDENOTE: A legit publisher doesn't require any sort of reading/reviewing fee. If they ask for one, inquire what it's for or just pass it over).
"Saved" is all of the places you researched to try as you have work you feel may be a fit for what's being asked for.
"Following" is basically watching a writing opportunity or the place who has sent the call out.
All in all, Submittable is a great writing search hub to add to your Bookmarks. Just be careful about who you send your work to and ensure they are legit, honest, well-known and fair. There are bad eggs out there, especially during times where we are searching for work more than before the pandemic.
Good luck and Happy writing!