ANSWERS: 6
  • You send them to publications that you would like to get them into. Look on their websites or call their offices to find out their submission requirements, and follow them exactly.
  • I'd add to that that it's important to read the journals/publications that you want to be published in. Editors don't like it when they get submissions that aren't in their style. (No point sending experimental free verse to a magazine that hates it, is there?)
  • A good place to start is with competitions - there are thousands of these, some on a very local level (run by local newspapers for example), others on a national or international level. You can track down hundreds of them by just typing "poetry competitions" into a search engine. Some of the more prestigious ones include the Cardiff International Poetry Competition (www.academi.org), and the Yeovil literary prize (www.yeovilprize.co.uk) but there are loads. Make sure you read their submission guidelines carefully, and read some of the past winners to make sure that the general "feel" of the competition fits your work. You will usually have to pay a small submission fee (typically around £4-6) but it's a very good way of getting noticed by people in the industry. You could also try some of the poetry and literary magazines- these have a small, but specialised readership, and are a good way to get editors and publishers familiar with your work. I particularly like MsLexia (women's writing), Aesthetica magazine, and The Interpreter's House, but you will probably develop your own favorites. Always order a copy to read and study before sending any work in. Also, don't rule out the prospect of self-publishing a small pamphlet of poems that you can sell yourself. Don't confuse self-publishing with vanity publishing- where a company promises to publish your book if you pay them huge amounts of money, regardless of whether it's actually commercially viable or not, gives you more copies of your book than you could ever hope to sell and then refuses to do any marketing. Instead consider getting a local printing firm to print up a small amount of well-presented pamphlets/ books, register the ISBN number yourself (There are instructions on how to do this on the web) and persuade a few local independent retailers to try and sell a few copies. You'll be lucky if you break even (there's never been much money in poetry) but it will help get your work out there. Be wary of websites that ask for poetry submissions then write back telling you how wonderful you are and promise to publish you if you pay a ridiculous amount of money for their anthology (In which your poem will be included in letters about a millimetre high amongst 6000 others). Their flattery is meaningless- I once entered an intentionally terrible poem to one of those sites and they still wrote to tell me I was a genius!
  • You can self-publish. Check on the following blog sites about self-published books on poetry and self-published book authors: http://www.iblogme.com/booklover/ http://booksandpoetry.wordpress.com/
  • By being born rich like I was and paying someone big bucks for nonsense to be published.Then give the books away.
  • Submit to printed or online magazines.

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