Where To Submit Poetry For The First Time

Poetry is an art form with many aspects and different kinds of creations that make it truly special. From haikus to epic series of poems, there is no limit to how creative and imaginative you can be when you are working with this form of art. Many poets, especially those who are just starting out, wonder how to get their work out into the world and make a name for themselves. Here are some tips for where to submit your poetry for the first time and start seeing your work published.

Choose the Right Publication:

When it comes to where to submit your poetry, it’s essential to pick the right publication. Not all poetry anthologies and magazines are created equal and not all of them are right for your unique voice. Be sure to read the submission guidelines closely and make sure your poem fits what they are looking for. Check out the previous issues, look up reviews and ratings, and talk to other poets who have submitted recently to get the best idea of what each publication offers.

Know Your Market:

When deciding where to submit your work, it’s always a good idea to know who your target audience is and what sort of publication would be the most suitable. For example, if you’re writing a hip hop love poem, a literary magazine might not be the best choice. Conversely, if you’re writing about an iconic moment in history, an academic anthology would be a better fit. Knowing the kind of market you’re aiming for can really help narrow down your options for the best places to submit your work.

Build Your Portfolio:

Before you start submitting your work to high-level publications, it’s a good idea to start with smaller publications and build a portfolio of work. This way, you can hone your craft, get feedback from experienced editors, and create a body of work that you can use to get into bigger publications. Start with magazines, volunteer-run publications, and online forums to get the ball rolling.

Remember Your Rights:

Whenever you sign a contract with a publication, be sure to read through the rights granted to you. Many publications will ask for exclusive rights to your work and appropriate compensation. Be sure you take ownership of your work and make sure you know what rights you’re giving up before you sign anything. This ensures that your work remains yours and you retain all the rights that come with it.

Know Your Payment:

Although many publications may not offer payment to their contributors, there are some that do. Pay attention to what the publication-based payment structure is and make sure you know what you’ll be getting before you submit. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating for better pay, especially if you’re submitting to a publication with a larger budget.

Research Contests:

Another great way to get your poetry seen is to enter poetry contests. These public forums showcase the best of the best, and can be a great way to get recognition and potentially win some cash prizes. Most contests are open to new writers, so don’t be afraid to give them a try. Just make sure you read the rules of the particular contest before submitting your work.

Set Up a Blog:

If you’re having trouble finding publications or contests to submit to, you can always set up a blog to showcase your work. Write regularly, interact with other poets and writers, and share your work with the world. Not only can this be a great way to get feedback and practice your craft, but it can also be a great way to network and put yourself in the public eye.

Google Yourself:

Once you’ve got some work published, make sure to always keep an eye on the internet. Look up your name and poetry specifically, and see what kind of result you’re getting. If people are talking about you and your work, be sure to comment and show appreciation for the recognition. This is a great way to keep the conversation rolling and stay top-of-mind.

Submit to Professionals:

Obviously, submitting to publications and vying for recognition is a huge part of the journey for any poet. This can be a daunting prospect for many, especially for new poets. Reach out to professional networks to get advice, submit your work, or just to network and make connections with folks who can help you in the long run.

Publish Your Own Book:

When all else fails, there’s nothing more empowering than publishing a book of your own work. It doesn’t have to be a full-length book, either. You can get a collection of your works together, arrange them in a logical order, and have it printed to give to family and friends or even to pursue a wider distribution. This is a great way to get your work out into the world and start making a real name for yourself.

Consider Self-Publishing Services:

As a modern poet, you have limitless options available to you, including self-publishing. No longer do you need to rely on traditional publishing houses to get your work out into the world. You can easily use one of the many self-publishing services available online that can offer you both convenience and a wide range of options for customizing your book design.

Partner With Bloggers & Journalists:

Nothing is as powerful as having other people talking about your work. If you can secure a partnership with some bloggers or even journalists from major outlets, your work can reach new audiences and you can earn a lot more attention. Reach out to people who write about your kind of work and see if you can get some favorable press for your work.

Reach Out To Other Poets:

Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the power of networking with other poets. Attend open mic nights as often as possible, join poetry groups or writing communities, or even just reach out to individual writers and see what sort of collaboration you can work out. Your fellow poets can prove to be powerful allies in the pursuit of getting your poetry out into the world.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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