If you’re a poet or dabble in writing poetry, you have several great options for getting your poems published.
Let’s cover the three main ways to publish a poem.
1. Poetry Blog Publishing
The fastest way to publish a poem is to simply create a blog and publish your poem online.
While this is the least prestigious route to becoming a published poet, it’s by far the easiest.
If you’re not looking to earn money from publishing your poetry, you might really love posting your poems on your blog so you can connect with your readers and fans directly through your own website, email list, and social media.
Here’s a list of the best poetry blogs if you want to do some research and get inspired.
2. Publish Your Poem in a Literary Journal
The most common method of poetry publishing is to have one or a few of your poems published in a literary journal or literary magazine.
You can check out Poets & Writers’s free catalog of literary journals that accept poetry submissions.
If you’re planning on submitting your poems to a literary journal, make sure to follow these steps:
- Create a list of literary journals you think might be a good fit for your work.
- Select your top one-to-five poems that you plan to submit.
- Read each journal’s submission guidelines, and make sure you follow their instructions exactly.
- Submit your poem(s).
- Write down in a spreadsheet everything you need to track your submissions so you don’t submit multiple times to the same journal. You’ll want to keep track of the names of the journals you submitted to, the date of submission, which poem(s) you submitted, and any other notes or comments about that publication.
Here are a few more tips to increase the chances of getting your poetry submission accepted:
Format your poem professionally. Don’t use fancy fonts that are hard to read. Stick to 12-point font with a basic font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica, for example. Here’s an example of how to format a poem.
Proofread and edit your work before submitting. Poems filled with typos or errors are likely to be rejected. Always triple-check your work and have a fellow writer proofread it to catch any mistakes before you submit.
Follow their submission guidelines. I can’t reiterate enough how important this step is. The vast majority of poetry submissions are rejected automatically simply because the writer did not follow the organization’s submission guidelines properly.
Be persistent. Don’t give up if you get rejected the first ten, fifty, or even hundred times you submit your poem . If you’re serious about getting your poems published in a literary journal, you have to be persistent and keep going no matter how many rejection letters you get.
3. Find a Poetry Book Publisher
The final way to get your poetry published is to find a poetry book publisher who would be interested in publishing a collection of your poems.
Here’s a list of poetry publishers you can use to find a potential publisher.
Your best bet is to start with options 1 and 2 so you can build up an impressive writer’s resumé that will increase your likelihood of getting a poetry book deal. If you can build up a following of readers on your blog or demonstrate that your work has been published in several literary journals, publishers will become much more interested in publishing your poems.
If you have no blog readers and zero publishing credits with a literary journal, your chances of getting a poetry book deal are about as close to zero as you can get.
If you’re going to submit your work to a poetry book publisher, make sure you follow their submission guidelines and all the same guidelines for submitting to a literary journal.
Other Publishing Options
We hope you found this article helpful!
Although we don’t publish poetry at TCK Publishing, we do publish novels and nonfiction books.
If you’ve written a novel or nonfiction book and think it might be a good fit for TCK Publishing, you can read our submission guidelines and submit your manuscript for review.
And if you liked this post, here are some other articles you might love:
- How to Find a Publisher for Your Book: Exploring All of Your Publishing Options
- P&L Planning: How Traditional Publishers Use Educated Guesswork to Evaluate Books
- Author Beware: How to Avoid Getting Scammed by a Publisher
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.