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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sending Your Poems To Poetry Journals

If you’ve written a number of poems and, more importantly, practiced the fine art of revising, you may be ready to submit a batch of poems to an editor. To go about this:

• Read, study, and support poetry journals, contests, and e-zines.

• Notice who publishes poems you actually enjoy reading.

• If these poetry journals or magazines have a website, study the poems archived online.

• List contact info for publishers whose work has a similar feel to yours.

• Carefully follow poetry guidelines on each company's website.

• Type each poem on its own page with your name and contact information across the top like a letterhead.

• Submit a batch of 3-5 poems to one editor at a time.

• E-zines will usually accept poems by email or online managers, while other publications may want poems sent by postal mail. If so, always enclose an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope with enough postage for the return of your work.)

• Keep track of where and when you sent your work. If you do not have a response in 3 to 6 months, follow-up.

• While you wait to hear about one batch of poems, start another.

• If an editor returns your work, read each poem aloud. Listen for rough spots. Revise as needed, then submit your poems or manuscript to the next publisher on your list.

• If your poems keep coming back, consider studying poetry. For professional feedback on your poems, see Contacts & Critiques.

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