Writing Tips

Poetry Tips
Basic Guidelines for Poets

1. Read the guidelines of the magazine.

The reason seems obvious.  If the magazine takes short  poetry and you send an epic poem, you WILL be rejected. Why waste your time. Many poets can’t get this first rule correct.

2. Sample a copy of the magazine. 

The reason for this is you will see what the editor publishes. You can’t buy a copy of every magazine, so choose a few and support the magazine that you want to support your work. With online webzines, at least read a few pieces to get a fell of what they publish.

3. Introduction letter
.  Some editors want this and others don’t. We feel you should include one.  Find out the name of the editor.  (This is usually in the ABOUT) section. You can then address your opening to a person.   Whatever you do,  DON’T let on that you are new and have never published before.  Let your work speak for you.

4. Biography  Many magazine editors want a short biography about you.  Write two bios of varying lengths. Be sure to mention anything connected to your writing.  Update these whenever you publish.

5.. Where do you find markets.  

For beginning writers,  we suggest just surfing the web. There are two places which may prove helpful but they require money. The first is Duotrope and the second is Dustbooks. There are also many other online sources, magazines and books to help writers.

6. What if my poems are rejected? 

Don’t argue with the editor.  Move on.  What one editor hates another may love.  Everyone is rejected.  It makes it much sweeter when your work accepted. Whatever you do, don’t keep sending poems to the same editor in a shotgun fashion. Try different magazines.  Editors remember the names of poets who don’t get the above advice.

7. What is a batch? 

A batch is usually three poems.  Three poems plus a short introduction. As in rule 1, do exactly what the editor requires. Read the submission requirements.  Then read them, again..

8. Simultaneous Submissions 

Most editors hate this. This is when the same work is sent to many markets at the same time.  The problem with this is what happens when two editors accept the same work.  This becomes a mess and you make an enemy of some editor. Our Best Advice  –


9.  How do I copyright my work? 

Until you are successful, why worry?  Most magazines only take the first time rights which mean the rights revert to you after publication.  The editors expect that if you should publish a chapbook or book that you mention where the poem or poems were first published.  Many magazines copyright the magazine.

10.  What should I get paid? 

We believe that you should always get paid something.  There are far too many VANITY presses that take advantage of new writers and accept their work and then ask them to send money to buy the magazine/book where their poem appears.  BAD CHOICE. Whether the editor posts you poem on their web page or sends you a copy of the magazine, you should never pay to have your poem published.

If this information has been helpful and you have the means to do so, please think of sending  five dollars ($5.00) to help support Raw Dog Press. Thank you.
Send your $5.00 or more made out to R. Gerry Fabian to:

R. Gerry Fabian
151 S. West Street
Doylestown, PA  18901



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