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Where To Submit Poetry For Money

Money For Poetry

Do you know where to submit poetry for money? Believe it or not, there ARE literary journals that are willing to pay their writers for poems. They are few and far between, but they do exist. Some literary journals receive grants or are university funded, so they are able to pay their poets a relatively small amount of money to publish their work. But most literary journals are unable to pay anything to writers who submit poetry.

Economics 101: Poets And Money

When you think of how poets are portrayed in popular media, they’re never living in big, Italian, marble mansions or driving high-end cars. Nope, normally poets are portrayed as struggling, striving, beating the odds. The words poetry and money aren’t exactly synonymous. And there’s a reason for that!

While writing poetry may be more popular than it has ever been in the history of the written word, reading (and buying) poetry is not exactly as cool as, say, reality TV. What that means is the profit for publishers who are accepting poetry submissions is negligible or nonexistent.

Also in recent years, a recession has caused funding of the arts to shrink—meaning literary journals that managed to make it through hard times without closing their doors are worthy of celebration. And those that can actually pay their writers are precious, if not rare.

Who Can Help Me Submit My Poetry For Money?

If you’re a Submit Write Now! subscriber, you already know the answer to this! Writer’s Relief helps writers submit poetry to literary journals (we also work with short stories, personal essays, and books). Of course, we know you want to get paid for your poetry. So if our authors do make any money from their submissions, we don’t take a commission. Our work is based on flat fees.

But here’s the caveat: If you’ve read the paragraphs above, you already know that few writers are paid for their poetry. That leads some people to wonder…

Why Do People Submit Their Poems If They’re Not Getting Paid?

In a perfect world, writers—especially creative writers—would always get paid for writing poems and stories. But most writers submit their poetry for publication not because they want money, but because they want a) a strong author bio, b) credibility, c) a resume/CV booster, d) to publish a book of poems with an indie publisher someday, and so they need to get their individual poems published in reputable lit mags.

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Paying Markets: Where To Submit Poetry For Money

Here are some ideas if you’re looking for a poetry publisher because you’d like to make a little money.

1. Tap into the greeting card market. Writing poems for greeting cards is a great way to make a little extra money on your poetry. You won’t get rich, but you’ll have fun! Read More: Writing Poems For Greeting Cards.

2. Submit to literary journals that offer payment or an honorarium. You’ll have to do a little bit of research to find the editors who are “right” for your unique poems. But here are just a few literary journals that (at the time of publication) are paying their authors for poems:

Alaska Quarterly Review
Ellipsis: Literature and Art

3. Submit to reputable poetry contests. Entering a poetry contest is an investment; most contests charge a fee. But if you win, you’ll MORE than recoup your payment. Note: This is if you’re submitting individual poems to a lit mag contest. If you’re submitting a chapbook, the prize is often in publication.

4. Submit to anthologies. Sometimes, individual editors who are putting together anthologies on select topics will pay poets for the verses. Find a list of anthologies/calls for poetry submissions here.

Want to read more about publishing poems and where to submit poetry for money? Start here: How Much Money Can I Make Writing Poetry?

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Have you ever been paid for writing a poem?

15 Responses to Where To Submit Poetry For Money

  1. Yes, I HAVE been paid for my poems. About a handful of times. I was paid for the very first poem I ever had published – one dollar! And then I published two poems (about a year or so apart) in a journal for medical humor (which is now defunct). Those were my biggest checks – each one for more than $100! They paid by the word, and my first poem was a sestina, and the other one a paradelle – both poems with lots of words :) I also was paid for having one of my poems read on the radio!

    Of course when compared with the thousands of dollars I spent in contest submission fees and for sample issues, it wasn’t that much, but it still made me feel great!

  2. Elisabeth, thanks for sharing! We’re glad to see you have such a positive attitude regarding your poetry. Keep those spirits up; every acceptance matters!

  3. With many of my poems for which publication was never sought, dating back to 1960, I may, in my twilight, take advantage.

  4. As of yet, I have not been paid for my poetry. I haven’t even been published in a noteworthy magazine. However, I am aiming high (very prestigious journals) and am pretty new to the game. So I’m keeping my hopes high and just work work work! Maybe one day I’ll get published, and maybe even paid for my work!

  5. I have not yet been paid for any poems.
    I have had around 3-6 poems published I believe.
    I’m just biding my time and looking for a good publisher.

  6. i got paid for writing birthday wishes for a website called not sure if it’s online or not.. guy paid me like $1.5 per wish.. of around 100 words.. and i gave him around 50 or a 100 odd wishes :)

    was a fun job to run.. sadly i had a lot of other good paying work on the side so i stopped working for that gig

  7. I made my first poem when I was in high school and it published in our school publication. I write poems for my blog. The fist payment I received for my poem is through Fiverr site. There was a client (a charity group)asking for a song lyrics. We agreed that I will write a poem related to their program and they will put a music note on it. They paid me $5… :) I feel great. It was 12 lines (3 stanzas).

  8. i used to enter poetry contests in my middle school every month for the cash prizes the librarian would put up out of her pocket. it was pretty great, i supported my skateboarding habit with poetry. i ended up winning poet of the year in our dead poets society which paid a field trip to a funeral home to see embalmed bodies. i got to ride shotgun in a hearse! if i could figure out how to turn words into money again, that would be phenomenal. however, i dont see that happening anytime soon. way to support creative thinking, society! i think ill go watch some duck dynasty now.

  9. Here’s another market that pays for poetry — pro rates, in fact, of 10-14 cents per word, on acceptance, for original works. Minimum of $20 per piece, max of $100. KYSO Flash (Knock-Your-Socks-Off art and literature) is calling for submissions for the inaugural issue, scheduled to launch on 1 October 2014. We’re also looking for CNF, flash fiction, essays, prose poems, and other hybrid forms, up to a max of 1,000 words. Detailed guidelines at:

  10. i also aspire to be writing nice poems for well recognition. i want to blessed so that my thought gets appreciation and it comes true…

  11. I wrote a poem for the family who lost their son . They submitted to a poetry magazine. It was published. I have submitted recently to contests. I wrote a novel also. Submitted and rejected, but was told to lengthen chapters. Haven’t been able to.

  12. I took a writing class and was told that if a person is paid for their poem, they are officially published. I submitted a poem, and forgot that I had submitted it. Many months later I received $25 along with a letter congratulating me. I was thrilled to be able to say that …”I am published!” I hope what I was told is correct.

  13. Hi,
    Thanx 4 all the info.
    Even though i have lors of my poems all over the internet, i’ve never recieved any payments on it but i feel happy whenever people comments on my work

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