How Do I Choose between Poetry Publishers?

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  • Written By: Marlene de Wilde
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
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There are two ways to publish poetry. Poetry publishers abound on the Internet as well as in the more traditional categories of print magazines and books. Within each of these categories, there are many different forms in which poetry may be published, such as poetry books, poetry chapbooks, literary magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. Choosing the right poetry publisher requires identifying the best format for your work and also depends on the quality of your work and the way you present it.

Literary magazines vary according to style, which can range from avant garde to traditional. Poets should spend time analyzing the magazine in order to judge whether the poem they wish to publish suits the editorial policy of the magazine. There are usually guidelines to be followed, and if they are ignored, the work submitted will most likely be consigned to the bottom of the slush pile. There is a lot of competition in all forms of creative writing, and only the most professionally submitted works stand a chance of making an impression.

Publishing information is available in reference books that outline the details of the hundreds of poetry publishers out there, with information such as contact information, submission guidelines, deadlines and poetry types. Investing in such a guide is the most convenient way of getting all the information necessary on poetry publishers. Choose one that includes international publishers so that you don't limit yourself to publishers in your own country.


There is a permanence to publishing poetry in magazines and books that is very satisfying. Getting work published in a book is even more difficult than getting it accepted for publication in a magazine, as the cost of publishing a book is considerably greater. More well-known poets are preferred, as they will help in the publicizing and selling of the book.

One way of finding poetry publishers that may accept work is to identify the ones that publish poetry you enjoy reading or are similar to in writing style. There are thousands of online poetry magazines that are eager to look at new submissions. Online magazines, or ezines, however, may be more receptive, as their costs are lower, and there is a need for renewing the site regularly.

Poetry websites abound, and getting your work published may be as simple as posting it on a site yourself. This does not guarantee readership, but it is a good way to get started. Another do-it-yourself way of publishing work is to use subsidy, or vanity, presses. In this case, the poet pays to have his work published himself. Generally, this route is rarely successful and not well regarded, so it can often be a waste of money.



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