Ralan's Webstravaganza (Ralan.Com) Market Database

Ralan.com was an online source of information about dark and speculative fiction markets. It grouped the markets via several sections including, non-paying markets, markets that offered token payments, and those that paid professional or semi-professional rates. The site was free to use and presented stiff competition to Duotrope.com, which is also a great source of information about writing markets but is only available to those who pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Ralan.com was created and maintained by Ralan Conley, a writer with first-hand experience of how difficult it is to find good markets for speculative fiction. Ralan created the site in November 1996 as a free resource for writers struggling to locate markets for their fiction. It became very popular and won a Stoker Award in 2004.

When I was writing and submitting horror fiction regularly, I used to use Ralan’s site a lot, visiting it at least once a week to find suitable markets for my short stories. Many of the stories I’ve sold were published in print or online magazines that I located via Ralan.com.

I haven’t written any short stories for a long time and, although I have a considerable amount of stories that have never been published, nor have I made any story submissions but lately I have been toying with the idea, so a couple of days ago typed “Ralan.com” into the address bar on my browser, hit the enter key, and got a surprise—Ralan has taken the site down! I couldn’t believe it. Instead of the homepage I was so accustomed to, I got a message on the screen stating “01 February 2023: This website is now closed.”

Ralan.com: Site Closure Notice

I wanted to know what had happened. I still do and I’m sure lots of people feel the same. The first thing I did was check with the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find the last page archived just before the site disappeared. I figured Ralan may have provided his site visitors with a warning about what was going to happen, along with an explanation as to why he was going to call it a day. The last archived page I found was from January 31 2023—the day before the resource was replaced by the closure notice. There was no warning at all. Everything was normal and the site had been updated, with fresh markets added, 10 days previously.

Still curious about the reason for this bombshell, I spent a little time researching online. I drew a blank. After 26 years on the web, Ralan.com vanished overnight.

If you are reading this blog post because you are trying to find out what happened to Ralan’s “Webstraveganza,” I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. However, if your hunt for answers has been more successful than mine or if you have insider information, please enlighten me via the comments section below.