I subscribe to a weekly newsletter that provides leads to current publishing venues in a variety of genres. Of particular interest are opportunities specifically promoted to traditionally marginalized and underrepresented communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQ, and Indigenous or Native peoples. As I scan these postings, I wonder whether they've produced their intended results, presumably to reconcile historical biases, or are they simply window dressing?
As a member of the BIPOC community, I've submitted my work with zero success thus far. I'm well aware that getting published is a crapshoot for any demographic. But it seems that the collection of racial and sexual identity information as qualifiers for access to these special opportunities might be collated into before-and-after statistics to present to the writing public for scrutiny.
The other curiosity I've come across while perusing these submission opportunities is the plethora of somewhat esoteric subgenres, all of which are easily found through a simple Google search. They range from Gaslamp (a combination of fantasy and historical fiction) to Weird West (combines Western elements with another genre such as horror, occult, fantasy, science fiction); from Arcane Punk (fantasy with multiple aspects of different genres) to Noble Bright/Noble Dark (fantasy fiction involving a heroic quest and the triumph of good over evil); from Flintlock (a fantasy subgenre set in an early modern setting) to Climate and Nature. There seems to be a subgenre for every theme!
While some pretty kitschy writing might be found amid these seemingly "arcane" subgenres, it appears that there is a forum for every writer, particularly those who deliver a great product. Whether or not you fit into the traditionally accepted norm of what constitutes a publishable writer, you'll never know which submission will stick unless you submit.
So here goes my kitschy advice to keep yourself motivated at writing: "If you want a fit, you must submit!"