Don’t: Present your poems in italic or bold font.
Don’t: Centre all your poems.
Don’t: Offer to pay for publication of your poems.
Don’t: Expect too much if your track record of publications is all local to where you live—you need to penetrate a wide geographical area if possible.
Don’t: Present poems that include tipp-x, deletions or spelling mistakes.
Don’t: Send more poems than the submission guidelines invite.
Don’t: Tell the publisher by what date you would like her to reply to your submission.
Don’t: Put © Millie Mathiesson at the end of each poem. It will drive the publisher NUTS. a) He or she has no possible interest in stealing your poem. b) You automatically own copyright of your work and do not need to assert it in a publication submission.
Don’t: Telephone the publisher to follow up your submission. If you make them feel pressurised, you will alienate them.
Don’t: Brood about rejection. What the hell! Just think hard about your options. Use your intelligence. Keep sending to magazines. Good magazines. Keep writing poems.
Don’t: Send self-bound copies of your poems, pamphlets or books. Send things in the usual submission format of loose leaf pages, each with the poem & your name and address.
Don’t: Assume that publishing your poetry is the only way to prove you write good poems. It’s not.
Don’t: Expect applause.