How to Publish Poems and Stories and Be Paid

The professional literary world is competitive, but new writers are constantly being considered for fresh story and poetry ideas. If you are interested in publishing your poems and stories and getting paid for them, look for publication opportunities in the literary industry. Before you send off any of your material for consideration, proofread your stories and poems for mistakes, because your work will be tossed aside if prospective publishers see you could not take the time to edit your work.

Look for a literary agent who will solicit your stories or poems to publishers so you can get your work published and earn money. You need to apply to be represented by a literary agent. The application process involves sending a query letter about your work to the agent, which summarizes what your stories or poems are about and why they are essential for publication. A query letter also tells the agent a little about the author. Some literary agents ask that you send a writing sample along with your query letter. After you send off the materials, expect a wait time of a few weeks before you hear back. If you are accepted, the agent will work to find a publisher for your poems and stories so you can be paid.

Submit your stories and poems to writing contests. Some writing contests offer winners the reward of getting their work published and receiving a monetary reward as well. Writing contests may be advertised through writing association websites, such as "Writer's Digest," as well as through university and college writing departments. Enter your work into the competitions to see if you can get published.

Solicit freelance material to magazines, newspapers and electronic media sources if you have short stories. Read copies of the media sources before you submit anything to their editorial team so you get a feel for the types of stories they publish and the tone of the articles. Keep your writing submissions in line with their editorial guidelines. Prepare a sample of your material, along with a letter of interest, to the editorial contact for the media source. Some print sources pay you for your short stories based on a set price per word.


Rejection is a natural part of the process of looking for a publisher, and it is important to not let rejection discourage you -- no matter how disappointing it is. Stay focused on the task of getting your poems and stories published regardless of how many times your work is rejected.