Publishing Your Poetry Seminar with Carrie Etter

A few weeks ago I took part in this practical and informative seminar and workshop run by Carrie Etter.

Carrie Etter

This was a really useful and productive morning crammed with advice about how, where and when to submit my work.  One particularly helpful exercise was for each participant to analyse a poetry magazine, answering set questions about the length, form and tone of poems, also taking into consideration the percentage that seemed to be from known poets and what percentage from writers yet to publish a book.  After gathering this and other information, each participant fed back what they’d learned to the group, and Carrie, and others, chipped in with anecdotal stories and advice about submission experiences, successes and failures.   Magazines we looked at included The Rialto, The North, Iota, Ambit, Envoi and New Walk.  A truly helpful exercise!

Following on from this, each member of the group gave 6 – 8 of their poems to another participant to be read and analysed.  Adhering to Carrie’s guidelines, work was characterised and summarised so that each of us received a critique of our work in the context of sending it out for consideration by magazines.  It was enlightening to learn more about our work, seen through the eyes of a friendly but critical reader, and to make more informed decisions about which literary periodicals might suit our work best.

I’ll post more soon about other workshops I’ve attended.  You might also enjoy reading Robin Houghton’s blog where she has posted about some of her workshop experiences.  If you participate in workshops yourself, I’d love to hear more about it.

4 thoughts on “Publishing Your Poetry Seminar with Carrie Etter”

  1. How interesting. That’s a concrete exploration of what we all think without necessarily putting it into words. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do systematically for a while. Where are you submitting next then ..?


    1. I prefer to keep any outstanding submissions between me and the postie but I can tell you that, in the last 18 months, I twice submitted to (and was rejected by) Smiths Knoll (now sadly no longer publishing) and Iota. This year I’ve mainly submitted to competitions. Thanks for commenting, Isabel – perhaps you’ll write about your submission process on your blog – I’d love to read it!


  2. Josephine, thanks as always, for a helpful blog.

    I find seminars and workshops VERY hit and miss. Good poets do not necessarily make for good seminar or workshop leaders. Your “field reports” are very useful.

    Jo Bell stans out as being the best seminar/ workshop leader i have attended this year.


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