What’s your advice for someone wanting to publish a first-time poetry collection?

The first step toward getting your poetry published is to get the Poets Market, a print resource also available on Kindle. It includes hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online poetry publications, contests, and more.

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Before trying to get a whole book of poetry published, you’ll want to start by first getting individual poems accepted by publications, as well as entering poetry contests. Eventually when you’ve built a track record, you may be able to interest one of the publishers of poetry books.

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You can also find lists of poetry book publishers and poetry contests online at websites such as:

poetrysociety.org

poets.org

pw.org

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Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there, making money from poets desperate to see their work in print. Google “poetry publishing scams” to begin learning how to watch out for these.

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Most agents don’t represent poetry books unless their guidelines specifically state they’re seeking poetry, so it’s not a good use of your time to send out queries to agents. The poetry route is unique, so you’ll need to become familiar with the resources I mentioned above.

 

If you should decide to invest in some personalized counsel, I offer coaching for unpublished authors here: My Coaching Services

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Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

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