Take these guidelines seriously. Furthermore, following the instructions to the best of your abilities will show that you carry yourself with professionalism. If you have a question, you can always shoot them an email requesting clarification on an aspect of the submission process. One way to get comfortable with the genre is to read work by contemporary poets up on The Poetry Foundation , which is a giant in the world of established and renowned institutions, publishing the popular Poetry magazine.
You can also find The Poetry Foundation and other poetry publications on Instagram , where they post snippets and full poems alike, featured in their latest issues. Sometimes, they provide sample issues.
If not, researching them online can give you an idea of what and who they publish. Another trick: research the editor. Guess who edits poetry for a literary magazine? You got it. A poet. A cover letter is an opportunity to ensure you come across as professional.
At the end of the day, your poetry will stand for itself, but even so, the cover letter is your chance to tell the editors a little bit about yourself. I always include a line expressing gratitude for any exposure my work receives.
Assuming you plan to keep submitting to literary magazines, these are connections worth fostering. Many literary magazines are volunteer-run or managed by students, since many are affiliated with universities. No one has to read your work. A gracious cover letter is more likely to receive a gracious response. Some journals will get back to you within the month, but most take 3—6 months.
Answers to Writing Questions - Submissions - Gotham Writers Workshop
The best solution to feeling antsy and impatient is to write more poetry and send it out. After a few months, responses — most likely rejections — will start filtering in. Plus, by sending out more work, you optimize your chances of having poetry accepted. Keep everything organized in folders so you can keep track of what you have sent where. While Submittable is a popular platform, some journals use their own portals or ask that you send your submission in an email format.
Because of this, it can be easy to lose track of your submissions.
Organizing everything within a folder in your computer or jotting it all down in a notebook can help you maintain a sense of order. You could always ignore this requirement, but bear in mind that if you do, you are taking a risk. Or at least that if you do, you have the knowledge on hand to do the right thing by notifying the relevant parties. Most publications will accept simultaneous submissions. After all, the point is to have your poetry published. Many will send you an automated message stating in robotic phrasing, that your poem has been rejected.
Keep in mind that poetry is subjective. Or something like that.
Sample Cover Letters for Poetry Submissions
What makes it into a literary magazine boils down to personal taste. Barry Hammond, poetry editor of On Spec, puts it beautifully in what may be the most hilarious submission guidelines out there. In moments like this, remind yourself why you write poetry. Is it for recognition? Here's an example of how a cover letter accompanying an electronic submission might read for a writer with few credits:. I kept this one very short and simple.
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You can, of course, include more. Still, don't feel compelled to write something lengthy. The bulk of the attention will—and should—rest on the creative work that accompanies the cover letter. Some editors will use cover letters to decide what gets read faster, but there's no way to anticipate how each editor approaches this.
One editor might give special attention to submissions that list previous publications in certain journals. Another editor might also take a quicker look at submissions that come from writers who went to her own beloved alma mater.
Cover Letters: Advice from a Literary Magazine Editor
Be honest and keep the tone professional and friendly. This suggests respect—for your own writing and the work and time of the editors. Toggle navigation. Password forgot password? Remember Me. All Categories. Choose a category What are judges looking for? Do I really need to bother with a cover letter when submitting my short stories? While researching publishers, I notice many of the larger ones have imprints.
What are these?
When sending out submissions, what do I write in a cover letter? My first story will be published by a small on-line magazine. They've asked for a biography. What should I include? Should it be written in first or third person? I asked the editor and he wrote back saying there were no real guidelines, just to keep it brief. I've had enough of the grind of sending out story submissions and collecting rejections. Are there other ways to get my short stories into print without self-publishing?
Many experts advise using Courier New, 12 pt font for manuscripts but the print is so large that not many words fit on a line.
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