Tips on contacting publishers ( or insider secrets)

I have 25 years experience working with poetry in one form or another the following is a  modified list of what most publishers use as their criteria.

Presentation of your poems is of major importance, and it is advised that you spend some time doing this. The following points, although not true for every magazine, are intended as general guidelines you should check before submitting your work:

  • Make sure that your poems are typewritten on a separate sheet and that they look clean and presentable
  • Do not send more than six poems unless the publication asks you to do this
  • Include a short and polite covering letter to the editor/s
  • Always be sure to send a stamped addressed envelope with your poems, for the editor/s to make their reply
  • Always keep your own copies of poems in case the ones you send go missing
  • It is usual to have to wait for a period of time to get a response. Depending on the magazine, the Editor/s may be inundated with submissions and need time to get through this. At A New Ulster we try to get in touch as soon as we have read the submissions.
  • It is unlikely that you will be paid in money for having your poems published, but it is usual to at least receive a free copy of the magazine. It is not usual to have to pay yourself to have your work published. Sadly A New Ulster can’t afford to do this at this time. Every person who submits may download a copy of the magazine.
  • A New Ulster does not take credit for any work submitted. All work belongs to the artist this includes intellectual copyright. 

Finally, do not be put off by rejections. This is the plight of every writer and you should remember that every established poet has had their work rejected at some point in their career. If you follow these guidelines, continue to read as much poetry as possible and concentrate on improving your work as you go along, then you have a good chance of succeeding!

I’ve had work rejected Triptych for example was turned down but then I made the mistake of being too obscure with the piece (its a play on my experiences growing up during the Troubles). Rejection of a piece isn’t the end of the world although it can be a bummer.

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