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DOs and DON'Ts of Poetry Submission

Swing the odds in your favour by doing the DOs and dodging the DON’Ts

Do: Obtain (and preferably buy) several publications by the publisher(s) you intend to approach. Think carefully about whether your proposed publication fits into the list. If doubtful, contact the publisher.

Do: While checking through the publisher’s previously published work, think about poem types and lengths. If you’re submitting mostly lengthy poems, or poems with lines a foot wide, and the publisher does only A5 booklets, there may be a problem.

Do: Check whether the publisher has  submission guidelines. Look on the website. If you don’t use the web, find a friend who does. But you probably do, if you're reading this.

Do: Follow the submission guidelines. To the letter.

Do: Check you’ve stamped your submission adequately.

Do: Include a stamped addressed envelope big enough to include the poems you sent to be returned to you.

Do: Type or word-process your work neatly and accurately. And consistently.

Do: Word-process your poems in an plain font – Times Roman, or Arial, or Garamond, or Palatino Linotype. Something that doesn’t draw attention to itself rather than to your poems.

Do: Use the size of font that you would expect to find in a book—probably size 12 and on no account bigger than 14.

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