Have you ever wondered why poetry submissions are rejected so much? Do you know that an estimated 85% of poetry submissions are rejected by publishers yearly? Unfortunately, these rejections make writers think about the reasons that lead to disappointments. Many factors determine whether your poem will be accepted or not. Some of the reasons include the quality of the poems, how much space the publisher has left in their journal, and if the journal’s theme aligns with your poem’s topic and subject matter.

However, one reason that’s commonly cited as to why your poetry submission might have gotten rejected? Because it was just plain wrong. Writing poetry is an art form that’s been around since the beginning of language, but unfortunately, it’s not as popular as other forms of writing. This means that many publication websites, such as poetry publications, may receive hundreds if not thousands of submissions each year. Therefore, they can’t publish them all; they do keep submissions on file in case the poets resubmit their work at a later date to get published hopefully.

Sending Work to Right Place

Before you submit your work, make sure you send your work to the right place. Some publishers are only interested in submissions if they are from an author with a specific literary background. If you’re unsure what the publisher’s guidelines are, email them and ask before you send anything over.

Some famous publishing houses that accept prose and poetry submissions include Graywolf Press, Phoenicia Publishing Co., International Publishers Association of Chicago, and White Knuckle Press. All these companies have different submission requirements for their authors and poets. To avoid any trouble, be sure to check out their guidelines before sending any work.

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Appropriate time of Sending Work

If you want to submit a poem, try keeping an eye on the days publishers accept publications. Some of the publishers require specific submissions, while some journals will require simultaneous submissions. You can find out by reading their submission guidelines or contacting the editor directly. If they don’t accept simultaneous submissions, then it is best to wait until your current submission has been accepted or rejected before submitting a new one to make sure you don’t duplicate work and increase your chances of acceptance.

Cover Letter

A cover letter is a vital piece of the submission process. It should be personalized to show how your work would fit with the publication’s mission. This can show you’re attentive to what the editor needs and that you know what you’re submitting is precisely what they want. Also, it gives them a sense of your personality.

Most submissions are rejected for insufficient or poorly executed content or formatting errors. These could include no salutation, incorrect formatting on a hard copy submission, or not following instructions in an email.

Some Other Reasons of Rejection

  1. One of the most common misconceptions people have about poetry is that it will be rejected because it’s not good enough. If the editor doesn’t like your style, they will reject you, no matter how great your work is. The other mistake is submitting without knowledge of what the editors want to see or if they publish your type of poetry. There are so many different types of poems and styles out there. It is always better to take a minute to think about what you want from an editor before submitting anything.
  2. Please don’t send in your poetry submission without reading at least one issue of our magazine. It can be tempting to think your work will stand out in a crowd of offers. However, by doing some research, you’ll find that most submissions are usually rejected for one reason if you feel like yours is unique enough to break the norm great! That’s what contests are for; their rules tend to be stricter regarding word count and theme specifics.
  3. When you submit a poem to a literary journal, the journal editor will first judge your work based on whether they feel it is a good fit for their journal. They may also base this decision on how different the poetry is from what is being published in the current issue of their magazine. 
  4. Sometimes there is a bias against certain words or phrases; other times, an older editor’s view on what makes good poetry clashes with the younger voice and content in an entry. One significant aspect to consider is word count.

Editors often get so many submissions they can’t always spend time reading every line and may get frustrated by a too-long poem. Another consideration might be how long the editor has had open positions because not all poets want to edit, but most need editing before they can become editors.

Suggested Readings

“All The World’s A Stage” by William Shakespeare Analysis

How to Analyze a Poem