Make sure you read the guidelines thoroughly. Some sites are very fussy. Always keep a record of what you've sent and when (and also how long you can expect to wait for a reply).
What Jim said. Pay attention to what you're supposed to do and be very thorough with that last proofread. And then do it again.
First, check out the magazine to see if your poems will fit and, also, to see if you like the magazine (no point in having poems published in a zine where you dislike everything else). Stick to the guidelines. Stick to your own vision – write what needs to be written, not what you think a magazine editor might like to read. Then, afterwards, do step one again.
Read the website or journal you want to submit to, find some of your poems that fit, follow the guidelines carefully and send your poems off. Then wait patiently.
The list of what to do is simple. Type up your poems in a clear, legible font on plain A4 paper. Proofread. One poem to a page, please: give them room to breathe. Write a brief covering letter. Be polite, but don't try to butter up the editor. Your poems should do the talking. Mention briefly any previous successes, publications and / or prizes. Make sure you include an SAE and sufficient return postage with your submission, and make sure that your envelopes are a decent size (A5). Be patient when waiting for a response. A gentle email nudge after two or three months (unless the average reading time is stated as being much longer) is usually acceptable.
Read the journal or website you're submitting to, or if it's ananthology either look for previous volumes or just look at the poetrythat the editors themselves have written. Once you're sure that yourpoetry isn't completely out of bounds form what they would like,follow their submission information after carefully proofing yourmanuscript.Also, do some deep breathing exercises before you seal the envelope,and tell yourself "My confidence as a poet does not hinge on this onesubmission..." a few times. Don't pin all your hopes on thatsubmission, and make sure your cover letter is suitably humble withoutbeing self-effacing. No one likes a braggart; no one respects aself-loather.
Hazel B. Cameron
a/ Check they are open to submissions.
b/ Read and follow the guidelines.
c/ If possible, read a copy of previous issues. The poetry library can help here.
Thanks to the contributors and thanks to you for reading, please stop by tomorrow for another poetry blog…