Friday, April 02, 2010


April 2, 2010

Here are more helpful hints from Writer's Relief. Hope they are getting your creative juices flowing.

PART 2: Poetry Turnoffs: Styles And Formatting That Make Editors Cringe

Thursday, 18 March 2010 09:17 by Writer's Relief Staff:

Poetry Format: Centering Lines

There is a perception among some newer poets (or at least, there is a perception among literary editors about newer poets) that centering the text of a poem somehow makes it look and feel more poetic. Few editors fall for that ruse, and some have been known to be dismissive of centered poems.

If your poem can be left justified without doing damage to the meaning of the poem, you may want to consider ditching the center justification if it helps your work get published in a well-known literary journal. That said, as with spacing, if there is a reason other than "it looks nice" that your poem must be centered, then by all means, stick to your guns. Hopefully, you’ll be able to connect with an editor who gets your work and will not dismiss your poem simply because of the center justification.

The Best Length For Poems

As the page count of your poems goes up, the chances of your seeing them published go down. One-page poems have the best shot at being placed. And poems that have long lines of text may not be eligible for publication in narrow literary magazines. For more on this issue, read Why Length Matters When Submitting Your Stories And Poems For Publication.

One Final Note About Poetry Format

The above tips are based on the experiences of Writer’s Relief in helping poets publish their poems in literary magazines since 1994. However, we do not advocate writing poetry only for the market. If the muse moves you to write a certain way, you should do what makes you happy, consequences be damned. Writing poetry is a very personal matter, and the decisions you make about your poems should be made with care and authority—regardless of the market.

If you find you are relying too heavily on any of the above, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the kinds of things that editors are publishing in your favorite literary journals. Being familiar with the work of contemporary poets is important to your craft, your muse, and your career. Read more: Seven Techniques You Must Know To Make Editors Notice Your Poetry (in a good way!).

"Writer's Relief, Inc. is a highly recommended author's submission service. Established in 1994, Writer's Relief will help you target the best markets for your creative writing. Visit their Web site at to receive their FREE Writers' Newsflash (today, via e-mail) which contains valuable leads, guidelines, and deadlines for writing in all genres."

Love ya,

PS: FYI: I recommend signing up for their FREE newsletter. Lots of helpful grammer tips, places to submit our writing (fiction, poetry, etc.), and so much more.

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