By Mocco Wollert
How do I get published? The answer is simple, and I will give it at the end of this article – please no cheating and looking at it first!
Some people tell me that they do not care whether their piece is published or not. I am not one of them. I am a writer and if I put in the effort of writing a piece of prose or a poem, I would like to see it published somewhere.
Given that the piece you offer for submission is of good quality and has something important to say, it is most important to know what a competition or a literary magazine is looking for. No good sending a love poem to a university literary magazine, unless you tear love to pieces and deny it exists. Be aware of the topic or theme they are looking for and stick to it. The same goes for the length, word count or number of lines of poetry. In other words, strictly follow the guidelines given for submission. This is most important if you enter a competition. If your word count is out or your poem has too many lines, your work will not be considered and goes into the proverbial ‘bin’. If an editor or competition guidelines insists a submission must not be previously published, don’t think you can ignore this, inevitably you will be found out.
Where should you try to get a piece published? You can send it to magazines and newspapers or you can enter competitions, even world-wide ones. There are snags though. Two of my poems were accepted for an international anthology in Hong Kong. No payment of course but I was over the moon. However, it took a year and a half before it was printed! All that time two of my best poems were ‘tied up’. Then I was supposed to buy a copy at $60.00, no freebies there. I did buy one but I will not enter again.
I do enter as many competitions as I can and I have won prizes but I have much more chance to see my work in print when I send it out to literary magazines and newspapers. You also often have a chance of a personal connection with the editor.
Some of my poems have been published several times. I don’t know how, but I know they will be republished should I send them out again. Of course, I am much more interested in getting new pieces published to build up my portfolio. I send out poems that are years old and I send out new ones. If a poem or article is rejected, I send it to a different competition or magazine. And I keep doing this! My motto is, send a piece out until it is published somewhere, even if it takes years.
Now, here is the simple secret of getting published: SEND YOUR POEMS OR STORIES OUT UNTIL THEY ARE PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE.