7 Places to Find Markets for Your Poetry

  • By Mike Maggio
  • April 1, 2014

Finding a reputable home for your poetry can be daunting. Just Google “poetry publications,” and you’ll get 33,900,000 hits. On the bright side, that means there is a market for you. The trick is finding it. With such a vast ocean of information to wade through, how can you tell which markets are respectable? How do you avoid vanity presses and locate publications that won’t just publish your work, but that may also advance your career?


Here are seven places to find the right market for your poetry:

  • Poets & Writers. P&W is perhaps the premier place to find a market for your work. Originally a newsletter which listed poetry readings throughout the New York City area, P&W quickly blossomed into a registry for poets and writers of all types. Now it’s a national organization with a bi-monthly publication featuring interviews and articles related to the craft and business of writing (the latest edition has a piece titled “How to Pitch Agents and Editors at Conferences”), as well as calls for manuscripts, information about writer’s retreats, and deadlines for upcoming contests and grants. P&W has a comprehensive website and an excellent database. A one-year subscription costs $15.95, an investment worth making.
  • The Association of Writers & Writing Programs. The AWP is a national membership organization which includes writers, writing programs, teachers, and publishers. Like P&W, it publishes a bi-monthly magazine (the Writer’s Chronicle). Though more academic than P&W, the journal addresses topics of concern to writers of all genres (the most recent issue, for example, has an article called “Printers, Bookleggers, and ‘Spicy’ Books: James Joyce in the Book Industry”). It has an excellent section on writer’s conferences, festivals, retreats, and calls for manuscripts. There is also a search section for teaching jobs, and the association holds a yearly conference with an extensive book fair. A one-year membership to the AWP, including a subscription to the Writer’s Chronicle, is $70 ($45 for students).
  • Poetry Society of America. The PSA is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1910, its mission is “to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.” The PSA sponsors awards and events throughout the country, including the ever-popular Poetry In Motion, which places poems on buses and trains in many metropolitan areas, including Washington, DC. It has an excellent resources page where you can research poetry journals, chapbook publishers, contests, and other important information. Yearly membership is $45 ($25 for students).
  • State Poetry Societies. Many states have their own poetry societies, which work to promote the art form on a statewide level. The Poetry Society of Virginia, for example, publishes a newsletter, sponsors readings and events, organizes a yearly festival, and elects the poet laureate of Virginia. While such organizations may not advertise publishing opportunities, they offer a valuable venue in which to network with fellow poets.
  • Writer’s Market. Before the birth of the internet, there was Writer’s Market. Published annually, the doorstop of a book listed markets for poets, fiction writers, playwrights, and others. While print copies are still produced, Writer’s Market is now available online. A subscription to the publication’s database costs $5.99 monthly or $39.99 annually. Its Paid Services database is free, but the items listed on it (conferences, contests, professional services, etc.) usually aren’t.
  • Writer’s Digest. Writer’s Digest (the parent of Writer’s Market) “literally ‘wrote the book’ on writing and getting published.” In circulation for more than 90 years, Writer’s Digest is published eight times per year. The magazine features interviews, market listings, and how-to articles. Though more commercial than the other resources, it is still a reputable source of information. Writer’s Digest offers a free weekly newsletter. A one-year subscription to the magazine costs $19.96 (print) or $9.96 (digital).
  • In the Credits. As the saying goes, writers need to read what’s being written. And a good source of information regarding reputable journals can be found in the collections you’re already reading. So the next time you’re flipping through the latest chapbook by your favorite author, take a look at the credits to find out where those poems were originally published. What better source of information could there possibly be?

 

Mike Maggio is hosting 30 poets throughout the 30 days of National Poetry Month in April. Visit his website to follow this event.


 

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