Are you a poetry enthusiast with the desire to share your work? Are you seeking the perfect publication for your poems? Here are 5 routes to publication.
1. Create a blog or share on social media
At any stage of your poetry career, it’s good to get involved with the wider poetry community. This can be in person at open mic events, or online. Creating a blog for some of your poems and sharing poems on social media like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can be a confidence boost. You’ll have a worldwide audience and discover quickly what poems resonate with readers. If you prefer to have control over where your poems appear, the freedom and customisation of personal blogs and social media is ideal. These platforms provide an easy way to share and engage with the #poetrycommunity.
2. Enter your poetry in literary competitions
You might consider submitting your poems to literary competitions. Some competitions, like the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award in Wales, publish the best work submitted to the competition in an annual anthology, and others, like ours, offer publication if you win.
Competitions are an exciting way to share your poetry, with the opportunity to win prizes. They are often judged by published poets. You can find upcoming poetry competition deadlines on the National Poetry Library website.
3. Publish in zines or pamphlets
If you have a small collection of poetry that you want to see in the world, this is a good place to start. You might consider self-publishing, or traditionally publishing, a zine or pamphlet. A zine is a short, often hand-made booklet. A pamphlet is a short collection. Places like Lumin Press, The Emma Press, Burning Eye and Broken Sleep Books regularly or exclusively publish pamphlets.
4. Send your work to publishers of books, collections and anthologies
If you’ve been writing for a while and have accumulated a stack of 40+ poems, you might want to submit your work to poetry publishers to be printed as book-length collections. Our publisher Seren Books regularly publishes poetry collections. Larger publishing houses may require you to have an agent to submit work on your behalf.
5. Read and submit to literary journals and magazines
Often, poetry publishers – like Seren and Bloodaxe – want to see that you have a history of publishing poetry in reputable magazines like ours. Be sure to check submission guidelines and copyright information as some publications may ask for exclusive rights to publish your poem, meaning you won’t be able to republish your poem elsewhere. Research publications thoroughly and purchase or borrow them from your local library where you can.
Aside from trawling this very helpful list from the National Poetry Library in the UK, reading a publication is the best way to decide whether it’s the right one for you. We offer multiple options to readers, from print subscriptions, to digital, to discount access for students and low-waged readers, and free access to those with little to no income. Subscribe to our digital magazine from £5.99.
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Publishing in literary magazines is a fantastic way to curate your best poetry for future collections. We welcome poetry from new and established writers; we will be accepting poetry for our Summer 2021 issue from April 2021.
Find our more about becoming a published poet. Read our latest post How to become a poet: 5 tips for new writers from underrepresented backgounds
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