Poetry is published in poetry magazines and journals or online. Inexperienced authors are unlikely to get a book publishing deal. A poet can enter a competition or submit a poem directly for publishing. Each publisher has rules that you must abide by when you submit poetry, and submissions can occur either online or through the mail. Occasionally, there is a fee to submit your poem.
The first stop to get your poem published is through a magazine, a journal, or a competition. These are most easily found online, and most publishers have websites. Poem-sharing websites are also options, but these do not carry much weight with professional publishers. Book publishers usually prefer writers who have already been published and are recognized.
Before considering submission of a poem to a certain publisher, you should research the type of work the establishment prefers. Some focus on a niche market, such as science fiction, and some may not accept poems over a certain length. This information helps you to identify the most likely market for the poem and saves on time. Many poetry competitions also require submissions to be accompanied by a fee.
Once the suitable publishers have been identified, you should look at their submission guidelines. This information can be found on the publisher's website or can be given to you over the telephone. It will tell you how much work you can send in when you submit poetry, how long the poems should be, and whether you can send them by e-mail or by mail. All poems should be proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes before submission.
Usually, the poems have to be typed, sometimes with specific line spacings. If sent by e-mail, they usually have to be typed using certain commonly available software. E-mail submissions may also have to be sent as part of the message body and not as attachments. Some publishers ask you to use certain e-mail headers to prevent the message going into the spam folder by accident.
The cost of postage should be taken into account when you submit poetry to many publishers by mail. You may also have to include a self-addressed envelope with stamps if you want the printed poem back. The cover letter should be short and include details such as your name and contact information.
Often, publishers only want three to five poems per submission and may place restrictions on the amount of times in a year you can submit poetry to them. Generally, poetry establishments only consider poems that have not previously been published elsewhere. This usually includes online publishing, whether for payment or otherwise. After you submit your poetry, there may be a wait of weeks or even months before you hear if your submission has been accepted.