Once you've composed a work of poetry that you believe worthy of publishing, the task becomes one of finding the proper outlet for your work. Because the market for poetry is rather small in comparison to other types of writing, you may become daunted by this goal. Keep working--getting published may take a while, but when successful, it is so fulfilling. These tips will help you identify places that may provide the ideal setting for your poetry. Here's how to publish a poem.
- A number of local and regional magazines are open to poetry submissions as filler. While the pay at these types of venues is not often spectacular, there are a couple of good reasons to consider a local publication. First, chances are they will be more open to publishing something by a local author. To a degree, you have some built-in credibility. Second, acceptance and publication will help you build your portfolio, which in turn will help you land more work. Starting out locally can lead to work for national publications.
- Just because you may not have a lot of credits does not mean you have to focus only on the local market. There are a number of national magazines that accept a percentage of their copy from freelance writers. Most magazines will note in their writers' guidelines how many freelance submissions they publish a year and if poetry is accepted. Keep in mind that most national magazines will want first rights, which just means they get to publish it first. You would retain rights to the poetry and be able to have it placed elsewhere later.
- There are a number of organizations that publish newsletters on a monthly or quarterly basis. In some cases, poetry is accepted as filler. Again, the pay is not usually great, but you retain the rights to your work, and establish a creditability that can help you in the future.
- Over the last decade, the number of electronic or online publications has exploded. This is nowhere more true than with poetry collections and periodicals. Do an Internet search and you are sure to come up with several places that will be ideal for submitting your work. A word of caution: Stay away from any offer to publish your work that comes with the need for you to pay a processing or other type of fee. Poets write for pay, and do not pay to be published.
- Legitimate poetry contests, in which the winners will be featured in a national magazine, may also be a great outlet for your work. Typically, these do require some small fee to cover contest entry costs. The reward is usually a cash prize and a free copy of the issue containing your poem. Be aware of contests that claim to be free, and turn around and offer you the chance to buy a book with your poem included for an exorbitant price. While these may be legal, they are not ethical and the credit will not help you in your writing career at all.
Poetry is one way of touching the hearts and minds of many people. When you have composed a work that you wish to share with the world, investigate the several options you have open for publication. One of them will surely be the right fit for your piece. Good luck on getting published!