Submitting poems to online places

I’ve been reading and selecting poems for And Other Poems for over five years now and while I’m not saying that there is only one way to send out a submission, I am extremely grateful to poets who send a submission in a certain way.  Obviously, different places have different guidelines – which should be read carefully –  but I think that there is a very basic and easy approach to presenting your work in a way which will endear you to online editors.

Here are a few things worth doing (in my opinion):

  • Always include a two/three line bio with your submission.
  • Always include an online link (ie Twitter/Instagram/Blog/Facebook/Blog/Website/Publisher’s website).
  • Always put ALL of your submission (ALL of the poems AND your bio) in ONE attachment but with each poem on a new page.
  • Always read any other guidelines and if you are not sure, ask.

Why do this?

This is why I like this approach:

Once I’ve decided I want to accept a poem/poems, I might want to immediately format the poems (in WordPress in my case) and schedule the poems for publication.  If the bio is there, I have all the information I need.  If there is no bio included, I need to email the poet again and wait for a reply.  It’s really considerate to send an editor everything they need first time.

Online links are useful.  They give readers somewhere to go to find out more about a poet.  People have told me they’ve bought a poet’s book after reading their work at And Other Poems.  Include the link/s in the original submission and I can add them immediately.  It saves time!

And Other Poems, and most online (and in print) places receive a lot of submissions and a lot of emails in general.  It’s time-consuming to open six different attachments!  One attachment with everything included is considerate and appreciated.

This might all sound like common sense but you would be surprised (or maybe not) at the number of submissions that ignore these suggestions.

End of message.  Thanks for reading.



12 thoughts on “Submitting poems to online places”

  1. I (used to – ha!) prefer poems to be pasted into the body of the email so that I could read submissions on whatever device I had to hand – including my phone.

    I also quite liked it when the poet listed the names of their poems in bullet points within their covering note, which saved scrolling up and down the message hunting for titles. But that was probably me just being lazy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I quite like pasted in too although sometimes it seems to mess up formatting when I copy and paste into WordPress. I predict that you will be back after a break, by the way! But happy writing in the meantime x


  2. Agreed! Submissions to Good Dadhood (Jan-June 2017) were quick and easy to handle when all poems were received, together with a short bio and links, in a single Word attachment. Having to paste text from the body of emails invariably created formatting problems in WordPress which could be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating to resolve, and having to open multiple Word attachments in an email
    was inefficient – with increased potential for omission or error in the transfer to WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always read each publisher’s submission guidelines very carefully and stick to them but it does surprise me that some insist on poems being put in the body of the email, while others are emphatic about sending attachments. I just do whatever I’m asked by individual publishers.

    Liked by 1 person

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