How to Submit Poetry

Updated on May 8, 2020
Donetta Sifford profile image

Donetta is a writer and has had her poems published in Ink & Voices, The Mystic Blue Review, The Reverie, and Spillwords.

Learn how to submit poetry without the stress!
Learn how to submit poetry without the stress! | Source

The Guidelines

If you're a writer trying to get your poems published, the submission process can seem a bit intimidating. There are a few things you need to do that will help with submissions and increase your chances of being published.

The first thing you'll want to do is make a list of journals you want to see your poetry published in. Then read previous poetry they have published so you can get an idea of what they are looking for. You'll want to make sure your poetry is right for a particular magazine.

Most journals have submission guidelines for you to read. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the guidelines and doing what they ask. Every journal or magazine is different, so it's beneficial to read the guidelines if you are planning to submit to a journal.

Formatting Manuscripts

If the guidelines don't give you a certain font to use, it is best to use an easy-to-read, standard font such as Times New Roman or Courier. Unless the guidelines say different, using a font size of 12 is good practice. Do not double space poetry.

Some contests will ask that your name not appear on your work so they can do a blind reading. However, if you're simply sending in a poetry manuscript, you should put your name and contact information on the left-hand corner of the page.

Since most magazines ask that you send in 3 to 5 poems of your best work attached in the same document, when starting a new page, you should put your name along with information again in the top left corner. Space a few times and add your title for your poem. I've read on some sites that you should center the title and then type the poem beginning on the left-hand side of the page.

Cover Letters and Bios

The cover letter used to intimidate me. After reading extensively about the proper cover letter for authors, it's not so scary. You will want to begin your cover letter with Dear (Poetry Editor's Name), which can usually be found on the journal's masthead. Then you will want to thank them for the consideration of your work. You can put the titles of your poems here. You may briefly list a few of your publications but you can save that for your bio. A great place to read about cover letters is at The Balance Careers.

Author Bios are usually 50 words or less and are written in third person. Here is a great place to add any publications you've previously had, any degrees you've earned, or awards received for writing. You may want to include where you live, your hobbies, or something personal that should not be in the cover letter.

Submitting Your Work

Once you've covered the guidelines, gotten your manuscript formatted, written your cover letter, and author bio, it is time to submit. A lot of magazines use online submission tools such as Submittable. This is good for you to be able to keep up with any simultaneous submissions and to withdraw your work if it has been accepted.

Now you endure the waiting process and hopefully, you receive an acceptance letter! If you receive a rejection letter, try not to take it personally. Your work probably wasn't what they were looking for at the moment. A lot of places will welcome you to submit to them again. I hope this article helped simplify some of the submission process for you. I have provided links below for more extensive reading.

© 2019 Donetta Sifford


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Donetta Sifford profile imageAUTHOR

      Donetta Sifford 

      17 months ago from Parrott, Virginia

      Thank you!

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      Thanks for sharing what you've learned. It's very kind to encourage others by posting helpful info on the process of submitting poetry.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)