7 Steps to becoming a sucessful poet - Part II

Start Slow

Becoming a sucessful poetIt is important to know where you stand as a poet. There are many people who believe they are the best poet in the world and decide to send to giant companies who pay such as the New Yorker. If you are a beginner or even an intermediate writer, be prepared to contribute cash or purchase a book to be in publications but stay away from the companies who accept everyone who submits and pays for a book. There are companies that ask that you to pay for publishing and or a book then there are companies who are out for a profit and don’t ask that the poem be of quality, just that the poet pays. Most poetry sites with contests are not sites that accept everyone; the editors pick their favorites and accept them depending on how much space is available in a publication. How do you distinguish which markets accept everyone and which markets actually look for talent? Research the market. Many, if not all, sites with contests ask that you contribute cash or buy a book in order to fund the publishing cost and the contest but this can come to your advantage if you read the tip above(Tip #3). You know how you write as a poet and it is crucial to make sure you are getting the best work that you can possibly produce before sending to any market.

Be Professional
The quality of your work and your attitude is the most important thing that editors critique. Follow every guideline that a market has set. Send an organized letter with your name and a poem title on every page. We have included a sample e-mail and snail mail submission available for download. Never send to an editor by e-mail unless they specifically state that they accept e-mail submissions. Never send more than the amount of requested poems, this is almost an automatic rejection. Make sure the material you are sending is the best that you can possibly produce. Never talk down on an editor no matter how bad you feel like telling them off. Do not send hand written poems. With the right attitude and quality work, there will be no problem placing your work. The main rule to professionalism is to follow all the guidelines set.

Keep Track of Your Poems
It is a very important and professional thing to do to keep track of your submissions. You need to follow the guidelines set by publishers and see if they accept poetry year round or just at specified times. There are often publishers who only allow you to send one time every year. It is crucial that you keep track of what you sent to who and this will help you look professional as well as follow guidelines. You need to research on the market that you are sending to and make sure you know what they would like. It is also important to not send your work out to more than one editor because most editors do not want something if it is going to be published somewhere else. Know who is looking over what works. We have included a poetry tracker that you may find very helpful with keeping track of your work. Be professional and know where your works are placed .

Be patient!
You will be rejected and you will be accepted, you don’t want to burn your bridges with the places that may help you later. It is often a good experience from a rejection letter from an editor. Many editors will comment on your work and it is up to you to take or reject the criticism. Never make a comment back to the editor after being rejected. Wait until next year and submit more work to an editor after doing some additional research on the company.