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Marketing Your Poetry

Imagine for a moment that someone was willing to pay you to breathe. I mean, you're going to do it any way, right? But wouldn't it be great if someone wrote you a check every time you inhaled?

Well, if you like that fantasy, here's another almost as good. Imagine someone was willing to pay you to write poetry. Yea, I know, that's not why you write. But as long as you're going to write it, and as long as you're going to share it with the world, maybe it makes sense to collect a couple of bucks along the way. And, while I don't know anyone willing to pay you just to suck in another breath, there actually are people out there willing to pay you for your poetry.

Who? Funny you should ask. That just happens to be what this section of Passions in Poetry is all about -- marketing your poetry.


Submitting for publication isn't difficult, but like anything else, there are rules you need to know and follow. Here are a few short articles to get you started.

I hate rules. Rules suck. Unfortunately, they're a fact of life (and death, too, for that matter), and I've never found any suitable way to avoid them. The publication industry has rules, too, I'm afraid. And, like anything else in this life, you gotta know 'em (continued)
Okay, you've slaved long and hard over your latest batch of masterpieces, and you think they're good enough to be published. You've examined the market carefully and decided on your first potential publisher. So, what's next? ( continued)

The Markets for Poetry

Below, you'll find some of the better known (and better paying) literary markets for your poetry. We'll be adding to this list on a very regular basis, so check back frequently.

The Journal, Ohio State University, 421 Denney Hall, 164 W. 17th Ave., Columbus OH 43210. Editors: Kathy Fagan, Michelle Herman. Semiannual literary magazine, 100 percent freelance written. Circulation: 1,200. Pays on Publication. Sample copy for $5, guidelines for #10 SASE.

Looking for avant-garde, free verse, and traditional. Buys about 100 poems per year. Please submit not more than 5 poems. Pays $25.

The North American Review, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614. Editor: Robley Wilson. Poetry Editor: Peter Cooley. Published six times a year, 50 percent freelance written. Circulation: 5,000. Pays on Publication. Sample copy for $4.

No restrictions, highest quality only. Pays 50 cents a line, minimum of $20.

The Northwoods Journal, A Magazine for Writers, Conservatory of American Letters, P.O. Box 298, Thomaston ME 04861. Managing Editor: Robert Olmsted. Quarterly literary magazine, 80 percent freelance written. Circulation: 500. Pays on acceptance. Sample copy for $5, guidelines for #10 SASE.

Avant-garde, free verse, haiku, light verse, and traditional. Buys 30 to 40 poems per year, paying $2.50 to $25 for each.

Poetry, The Modern Poetry Association, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago IL 60610. Editor: Joseph Parisi. Managing Editor: Helen Lothrop Klaviter. Monthly magazine, 100 percent freelance written. Circulation: 7,500. Pays on Publication. Sample copy for $3.50 and guidelines for #10 SASE.

All style and subject matter accepted. Buys 180 to 250 poems a year, paying $2 per line. Submit maximum of 4 poems.

The Ohio Review, 209C Ellis Hall, Ohio University, Athens OH 45701. Editor: Wayne Dodd. Triannual magazine, 40 percent freelance written. Circulation: 3,000. Unsolicited material will be read only during the school year, from September to May.

No limitations. Looking for writing that is clear and lively. Buys 75 unsolicited manuscripts per year. Pays $5 a page, plus copies.

Sparrow, Sparrow Press, 103 Waldron St., West Lafayette IN 47906. Editor: Felix Stefanile. Annual magazine, 60 percent freelance written. Circulation: 1,000. Pays on publication. Sample copy for $3 and guidelines for #10 SASE.

Traditional, 90 percent sonnets. No free verse. Buys about 100 poems for year, paying $3 per poem and $25 prize for best of the issue. Submit maximum of 5 poems, length of 14 lines.


More markets will be posted soon. If you know of any that we should list, please email us with the information (similar to above formats), and we'll gladly give credit where credit is due.

And when you manage to get accepted by one of these publications, please let us know that, too!

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