How to Get Paid for Writing Poems

You have the great poetry and have even imagined it being published in a magazine. The problem is you don't really understand how you would actually go about doing it. Well, don't worry! This article will show you how to pitch, publish and get paid for your poetry.

How to Get Paid for Writing Poems

Do your research. Go to your local public or college library, or bookstore to find magazines with similar style poetry. Check to see if the magazine has a submission guideline available within the content of the magazine. If not, jot down the name and address of the current literary editor. Many magazines now have guidelines available on-line. Use your favorite search engine to locate this information. The Writer's Market print edition offers several listings of publications that pay for poetry. Review the Literary & "Little" section for details. also includes a listing of paying publications in search of new submissions. Check the "Directory of Poetry Publishers" and "The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses" for details. Both are annual publications.

Revise your work. Try to read your work aloud to aid the revision process. You’d be amazed at what your ear might catch. Also, share your poems with friends or other writers for feedback. Your work will benefit from the changes that are brought about from these comments.

Network and attend writers or publisher events. Ask others about their experience getting published. One of the best ways to get to where you want to go is to find someone who has already made the journey. Finding a mentor can make all the difference in how quickly you achieve your publishing dreams. Whether you establish a formal relationship with this person or simply ask for help, having someone in your life that is on the same path that you want to be on will help you on your own journey.

Use the correct formatting. Make sure your poems are typed and with the correct spelling and punctuation. Place your name and address in the top left corner. Space down a few lines for the title. Type your title in either all caps or underlined, bold print or plain text. Don’t get too fancy. In the text of the poem, use underlining to indicate italics. Follow each magazine’s guidelines regarding new submissions. It's important to submit your work not only to the right publications, but to the right editor as well.

Talk positive to yourself. Don't say phrases like "I can't get published," or "I'm so unlucky." Create a more beautiful border around yourself with such positive phrasing as, "Sure, I can publish my work," or "I can make it happen." Your attitude is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not you achieve your goals.


It's not necessary to put a copyright notice on the page. Your poems are already copyrighted as soon as you write them down. Putting a notice on may suggest that you don't trust an editor, or that you think they may be tempted to steal your poetry. Many editors see a copyright symbol as the sign of an amateur.

Avoid sending your work to poetry anthologies that advertise for submissions. Be aware of scam sites that exist to publish anything submitted to them. They often charge large fees to the authors for copies of the publication.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain White Paper, 8.5 x 11 inch
  • Envelopes
  • Internet