Reading Windows and SubmissionsFull colour photo of a set of pencils, at different angles, and different types, with a sharpener and lots of sharpened pencil shavings.

Sorry, we will not be considering unsolicited pamphlet or book collections during 2019/2020. 

Reading windows for subscribers

If you’re a HappenStance subscriber, you will know that you can send up to six poems for feedback during the ‘reading windows’ for detailed feedback. However, these windows are about to come to an end. January 2020 will be the last one.

Please don’t send poems before the reading window starts.

Equally, don’t wait until the very end of the reading window. They should arrive between the 6th and the 26th of January, 2020. 

Here’s what to do.

  • If you live inside the UK, send the poems by snail mail with SAE.
  • Large envelopes (A4) need a large letter stamp. If it’s A5 you may get away with a small one, but  check the thickness. 
  • Please use either A4 or A5 envelopes (minimise the folds in the poems).
  • Not more than one poem per page (if poems run over two pages, put ‘cont. over’ or similar at the foot of page.)
  • Enclose an SAE big enough to return the work with the right kind of stamp (see Royal Mail requirements above).
  • Send no more than six poems. If poems are long, no more than six pages.
  • Include your name and address discreetly on each page (see Do’s and Don’ts).
  • Type or wordprocess the work in a size 12 font, single-spaced.
  • Dont staple or bind the pages, or include a Contents list.
  • Include a personal note of experience and aspirations (not a lengthy CV).
  • Don’t send poems that have won competitions (feedback on these is of limited use to you).

Electronic option:

If you live inside Europe, you can also use the electronic option but you need to cover the additional costs in time and materials. You can send six poems (and a covering letter outlining context, aims and aspirations) as a single Ms Word (preferably) or OpenOffice attachment to an email sent to nell [at], or email me via the contact box on this site and I’ll reply from my active email address. If document format is a problem, paste the poems into the email and I will format them for you. To cover the cost of printing, stamps etc, please make a donation of £5.00 via the donation button on the home page, and tell me you’ve done so in your email. The document must include your name and address, not least because I will be posting them back to you, with pencil responses on the poems themselves. Please ensure poems are single-spaced, font no bigger than size 12. 

Paid Reading Service

I offer a paid reading service to poets. Please don’t confuse this with a route into HappenStance publication. 

There isn’t time to offer this service to many poets. If interested, enquire via the contact box.

Alternatively, get hold of a copy of How (Not) to Get Your Poetry Published, which could save you a lot of pain, at the same time as sharing many of the unwritten rules of this exquisitely frustrating business of getting poems published.

Address for postal enquiries:

Helena Nelson
21 Hatton Green

Fife KY7 4SD