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  • 1 week

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You guys know anything about actually publishing stuff? · 2:20am September 8th

I have this poem. I wrote it years ago, and every year around Halloween, I go, "Oh, shit, I should have tried to get that published." Even waiting until October might be too late.

So this year, I wrote myself a note and have started looking now, in September. And my first go-round was discouraging, to say the least. A publication that both wants poetry and wants to pay for it? They do not exist.

Then again, I haven't seriously tried to look into publishing since like 2003? So I have no idea what I'm doing. Help!

Report PresentPerfect · 179 views ·
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Comments ( 15 )

Publishing professionally is hard as shit. Knowing what publishers look for and if you meet their niche is a big factor in if you will be considered or not.

Sometimes its easier to get started in publications that you can pay to get into or accept any/everybody. Sure, it doesnt have as much clout, but it gets your foot in the door and builds a portfolio.

You're going to get 10x as many rejections as successes. That's a fact. And it's hard.

I started by hitting up newspapers who were looking for reader submissions. Sure, I didnt win anything, but having my stuff in print feels great.

If you want to be paid, your options are limited. I know I've run across a few, but I'm having trouble finding them. If you want to be published but don't mind doing an unpaid, https://drexelpaperdragon.com/submit/ is an option and I know there are a bunch more out there.

Oh, if you want to search, I find search terms with "poetry" are useless. Try "literary magazine", they pretty much all do poetry.


Sometimes its easier to get started in publications that you can pay to get into

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, no, no, no, no, NO, never pay to be published. NEVER. Real publications won't consider it a plus, they'll consider you an idiot. Never, ever, ever, EVER pay to be published. NEVER.

Unpaid publications are fine. You-pay-them publications are a scam, preying on the gullible, who accept all authors, no matter how shit, because they want their money. There is no prestige, no "at least you're published" none of that with pay-to-publish presses. "Real" publishers do NOT want people who've been taken in by vanity press scams!

Hitting up competitions, newspapers, etc. is great! Paying to be published is NO, never, ever, ever, ever EVER do that. I can't say that strongly enough!

Let me qualify my statement:

For people who never want to get into the "biz" then, yeah. if your highest aspiration is to just get in print. Then consider a pay to publish.

But if you want to be a serious author and try to make a career of it, Spark is right.

(I never really want to get into the business so I kind of don't care. Don't follow my advice if you want to be a serious author. But I know a lot of folks on Fimfic are just hobbyists.)

Edit: There's also something to be said about simply not promoting or giving lifeblood to pay-to-publish schemes in that they're hurting real authors who are trying to break into the system. And I can completely agree with that as well. I personally haven't paid to publish, but I can see a good reason for someone to do it if say "seeing their name in print" is a bucket list thing.

Even just as a hobbyist, though, there are a lot of non-paying, non-charging markets that will take decent poems and short stories. I hate to see somebody supporting scammers just because they're desperate to get published.

I wasn't able to get my edit thoughts in before you responded, but I agree and understand your stance and principle. I only express my position because I have seen how much it's meant to a friend's mother that she got a small batch of recipes published via a pay to publish system. She has no desire to go any further with it, but it gave her a sense of purpose. For situations like that, I can completely understand supporting the 'scammers'.

But at the same time, I also completely understand the position you have and I think it's a super noble stance. These systems ARE a cancer in the writing scene, which is totally similar to "Pay to Play" gigs that exist in the music scene, which I boycott like the plague. It's hypocritical for me to take a hard line stance on Pay to play Music events and not take the same stance on pay to publish publications.

Given that Present is a very talented writer, I would suggest that he follow your advice and seek out paid or an unpaid publication spot because he owes it to himself and to the quality of his prose. And when he does get published (not if) he can be that much more proud of himself.

I do feel like aiming for an unpaid or paid spot for a publication is all that I would personally aim for, so it was in poor taste to suggest otherwise for someone else.

Thank you for challenging me, SPark. I feel like I grew a little as a person today.

we were involved in the canadian literature scene for a while, both as submitters and publishers, so if you have any specific questions about the general process, we can share the benefit of our experience. in general, though, we'd say it's not worth it. like, at all.

I've only done books, and pony books at that.

I'm totally at a loss about the actual publishing process, but I'd reach out to Bookplayer and AugieDog who have actually published stories, and maybe Bad Horse. (Because if I were in the same situation, they would be the ones I would beg)

Cluny the Squirrel Rocks!

Knowing you, I assume this is a rhymed and metered poem? Good luck with that. Last I saw/checked/heard, publishers were only ever looking for lofty, free verse feel-good tripe.

But for realsies, good luck! I hope you really do find a place that want to publish you!

Author Interviewer


Sometimes its easier to get started in publications that you can pay to get into or accept any/everybody.

Been there, done that. I'm not 16 anymore. :B

Actually, the one piece of good news is that none of the accepting-poems publications I found so far were that snooty. At least two said they liked rhyme and meter!

And yes, yes it is. :P

I've had:

Good luck with Silver Blade when it comes to poetry--I've got one up in their current issue, as a matter of fact. They pay $10 per poem on acceptance, but it's gotta have a SF or fantasy vibe...

The SF Poetry Association has a page of markets both paying and not that's relatively up to date, but again, it's gotta be SF or fantasy.


Author Interviewer

I was just looking at Silver Blade. Strangely, they want a minimum of 2 poems submitted at a time. :/ I ain't got a second.

Ugh, and there's only two paying horror-specific publications on that list, of which the first's website doesn't exist, and the second has nowhere to submit to. :| I'll have to peruse the general poetry list later.

Author Interviewer

Submitted to one of 'em. Hopefully not too late. :B

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