How To Publish Poetry In Canada

Steps to Publish Poetry in Canada

Publishing poetry in Canada is an exciting prospect for many writers. Canada is renowned for its diverse cultural landscape, and producing a book or chapbook of poems is one way to celebrate your voice and add to the country’s flourishing literary culture. With the right steps and preparation, you can confidently submit your work, reaching poetry lovers across the country.

Establish a Vision

Before submitting your work, it’s important to consider what style of book you want to create. Do you want to create an anthology of your own poems? Collaborate with other writers and create a joint collection? Or create a chapbook of your work that is focused on a single theme? Having a clear vision can help you stay focused and guide you throughout the entire publishing process.
You should also decide whether you’d like to pursue publishing independently or if you’d rather seek out a publisher. There are a variety of benefits to self-publishing, and if you have the knowledge and technological expertise, it can provide much more creative freedom. On the other hand, a publishing house can provide a larger platform to reach a new audience and help to professionally edit and market your work.

Research Publishing Houses

If you decide to seek out a publisher, research different publishing houses and their processes. Canada has hundreds of small independent presses, and each house has unique requirements. It’s important to read submission guidelines carefully so that you are well-prepared to submit your work. You should also consider any fees involved in the submission process, and if there are any fees associated in being accepted.

Format Your Work Properly

When submitting your work, make sure your poetry is formatted correctly. Poems should be created on standard 8.5” by 11” paper, typed in a 12-point font in Times New Roman, with at least one inch margins. Make sure the poems fit onto one page, preferably without leaving large gaps at the bottom, and that there is adequate space for editing notes. Additionally, you should have clear titles for each poem, as well as your contact information and a title page with a list of your poems.

Write a Professional Cover Letter

When submitting to a publishing house, it’s important to include a professional cover letter. The cover letter should succinctly introduce why you are submitting the works, provide your contact information and include a brief biographical sketch. It’s also essential to reiterate that your work is original and has not been previously published elsewhere.

Have Your Work Salon Proofed

It’s important to have your work proofed before submitting, as publishers will expect high standards of quality and grammar. Ask a friend to act as a ‘salon proofer’ who reads your work and provides feedback. This is an important step to ensure mistakes in grammar and formatting have been addressed before it’s seen by the publisher.

Revise Your Work

Once your work has been proofed by a salon, review and revise any notes that have been made. Research any words you are unfamiliar with, clarify any questions and make sure to check for any formatting errors. Read your poetry aloud to ensure that the rhythm flows and your language is consistent throughout.

Submit and Wait for a Response

When you are confident that your work is polished and perfected, submit your work and wait for a response. Allow some time for the manuscript to be accepted and a book to be produced, although the timeline will vary between publishers. Be aware that some publishers accept most submissions, while others may be more selective and reject manuscripts they deem unsuitable.

Marketing Your Poetry

Assuming your work is accepted and published, the next step is to begin marketing your poems. This process can be daunting, but with the right tools it can be a smooth and enjoyable process.

Create a Website and Activities

Creating a website or blog is essential to your success, as it is the centre of your online presence and allows potential readers to access information about your works. You should also create activities such as live readings and lectures, or join writing groups that share your poems and promote your work.

Engage with Social Media

Engaging with social media is a valuable way to spread your work and posts, but remember to be considerate and mindful of the content you are creating. Think of creative and entertaining ways to interact with followers and to set yourself apart. Engage in conversations and create a supportive online environment for like-minded individuals.

Seek Promotion from Others

Reaching out to other writers who are in the same boat can be a great way to network and promote your work. Building relationships with other writers and poets can open up a lot of promotional opportunities. Seek reviews from influencers and publishers, and engage with podcasts, book festivals and literary journals that are looking for interviews and literary works.

Be Patient and Resilient

It’s important to remember that success can take time and it may take some rejections before you find the right opportunity. Be patient and don’t be discouraged when faced with failure. Have resilience in the face of adversity, as it will be worth it in the end when your work finds the right audience.

Taking Pride in Your Work

Publishing your work is an incredible accomplishment and the sense of satisfaction and pride is incomparable. Creating a book or chapbook of your poems is an opportunity to tell your story, to commemorate moments and express your experiences and emotions. Your work is unique, and it deserves to be celebrated.

Stay Inspired and Creative

It’s also important to remain creative and stay inspired. Inspiration can come in various forms, so challenge yourself to explore different prompts and ideas to ensure your creativity remains activated. Writing poetry is an excellent form of expression and with the right philosophies and dedication, you can create beautiful words that find the right audience.

Valuing Your Work

Valuing your work is essential during the publishing process and beyond. Avoid offering your poems to publishers for free in exchange for their promotional efforts, as often times this is slow to produce any form of advantage. Be aware of the monetary opportunities available and make sure to utilize them to your best advantage.

Protect Your Work

In addition to valuing your work, it’s important to pursue legal protection. Register your work with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to protect your work from potential infringement. This can be done cost-effectively, and it’s an essential step in securing your poems.

Bottom Line

Publishing your work in Canada can be a rewarding and exciting experience. With the right steps and preparation, you can successfully reach a new audience of poetry lovers in the country. Research different platforms and evaluate which methods will best suit your goals. Take pride in your work, promote it effectively and make sure to protect your poems from potential infringement.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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