Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Getting Published - Part 2

Part 2 of the talk given by Terry Quinn

Pointers about Submitting

Where and how

You can be published in a range of places including: Poetry Magazines/Parish magazines/neighbourhood magazines/emagazines/vanity press ( not just books but anthologies)/competitions/local publishers like Universities e.g. Ceth Anthology/Litfest, Word Soup do an Anthology. (Editor: Poetry magazines website maybe of some use)


Read the style of the magazine/comps/know the name of the editor. I once called the editor of a magazine Pat instead of Patricia and got a stinging letter back.

Length of the poem:

Depends on the magazine but if an editor has 500 poems and has room to print 50 then short is better. There are Magazines dedicated to long poems.


A vast majority of submitted poems are about love/death – so they have to be exceptional to catch the eye of an editor.


The Internet has greatly expanded the market for getting your work published. Web sites like the Poetry Kit will list magazines in countries such as America and Australia.

Do not....

Do not Write an intro telling the Editor that they have the first chance to take these poems

Do not give life story

Do not say your friends and family think the poems are wonderful

Do not write back to editors pointing out their mistakes


Do keep records or a database to keep track of where you have sent poems. You may think you will never forget that acceptance from your favourite magazine. You will. If you’re juggling with anything over 50 poems ( my guess ) then you will mix up dates and where you have sent them. I’ve come across a database called Duotrope , it’s available from the internet. I use Access to keep mine up to date. (Editor: of course there is also Open Office available which is free)


Presentation of your poems is of major importance, and it is advised that you spend some time doing this. The following points, although not true for every magazine, are intended as general guidelines you should check before submitting your work:

• Make sure that your poems are typewritten on a separate sheet and that they look clean and presentable

• Do not send more than six poems unless the publication asks you to do this

• Include a short and polite covering letter to the editor

• Always be sure to send a stamped addressed envelope with your poems, for the editor/s to make their reply

• Always keep your own copies of poems in case the ones you send go missing

• It is usual to have to wait for a period of time to get a response.
Depending on the magazine, the Editor/s may be inundated with submissions and need time to get through this

• It is unlikely that you will be paid in money for having your poems published, but it is usual to at least receive a free copy of the magazine. It is not usual to have to pay yourself to have your work published

• Do not use Jazzy fonts

• Do not indiscriminately centre-justifie poems

• Do not send simultaneous entries

• Check restrictions on line length

• Check whether your name needs to be on each sheet

• Email – check whether the poem needs to be in the body of the email or as an attachment

Part 3 next week about specific poetry magazines

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