Getting your poems published is probably the biggest challenge facing a beginner writer. Here are some suggestions for making the process more straightforward, and ultimately we hope, more rewarding.
- How to make a submission
- A First Collection
- List of Publishers & Journals in Ireland
- List of International Journals
- Creative Writing Guides
The first thing to remember is that there are only a few poetry publishers in Ireland and lots of poets trying to get published. Therefore, from the publisher's point of view, it makes most sense to publish a first book by a poet who also has somewhat of a reputation among the poetry buying public. Of course, a reputation is of no help unless the work is of good quality.
There are a number of ways of doing this - winning a major competition helps, giving public readings is also useful - but the most tried and trusted is to build up a track record of publication in poetry magazines, newspapers and journals. As with all things in life, the magazines and journals that are the hardest to get into are generally the ones with the highest standards and thus the ones with the most impact.
The following is a list of guidelines for submitting poems:
- Get a copy of the magazine and read it. It is much easier to put together a submission when you have some idea of the editor's taste, whether special issues devoted to a particular theme are planned, what the general standard of material published is like etc. We do not recommend submitting to a magazine you have never seen or heard of.
- Send no more than six poems, NOT YOUR ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT!
Editors, of magazines in particular, are usually voluntary and poorly paid. They invariably receive at least a hundred times more material than they can possibly hope to publish and do not have time to read more than a few poems per submission. Generally magazines only accept original, unpublished work.
- Make sure that your poems are typed on A4 paper, if possible, and that your name appears on each page. In general, editors prefer not to receive fancy typefaces, handwritten work or work with illustrations.
- Send copies of your work, not the originals, and always keep copies of whatever you send.
- Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope or an International Reply Coupon for a response. Most magazines and journals cannot afford to return manuscripts, which don't have an SAE/IRC.
- Give the editor time to reply. As previously mentioned, editors receive a lot of material: you can reasonably expect to hear in 6 months at the latest.
- It is not usual to submit the same material to more than one magazine at time.
- With established magazines it is usual to receive a copy of the magazine in which your work appears (you should not normally have to pay for this). Some magazines also offer payment for material, but the sums are usually small. It is not standard practice to pay to have your work published.
The difference between a book of poems and a novel is about £5000
Dermot Bolger, The Irish Times
Poetry publishing in Ireland is not big business, most publishers are small and so is their market. A first collection of poems is unlikely to be produced in a print-run of more than 1000. Big advances are rare (not to say unheard of) in poetry publishing, though you should expect to receive some copies of your book and perhaps some payment. Royalties are usually payable at 10% of the cover price per book sold. It is not standard practice to pay to have your work published.
As with poetry magazines, poetry publishers receive far more manuscripts than they can possibly hope to publish. It is crucial, therefore, to have established a track record of publication in established magazines etc. before approaching a publisher with a collection.
If you are planning to approach to a publisher it is preferable to send a small representative sample of your work (eg. the first 8 - 10 poems) with an introductory letter and a brief biographical note. Remember to include an S.A.E. If the publisher is interested in publishing your work they will contact you for a full manuscript. You should allow at least three months for a response.
Appletree Press Ltd
PO Box 222, Galway
t 086 8207617
Chestnut Lodge, Callaghane, Co Waterford,
4c Heron Wharf, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast BT3 9LE
t +44 (0) 28 9045 5006
Cooleen, Dingle, Co Kerry
t (353) 06651463
Carysfort Press Ltd
27 Villarea Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin
t 353 (0)87 9369888
91 Bothar Binn Éadair, Pháirc na bhFianna, Binn Éadair, Baile Átha
t 01 8322 509
Cois Life Teoranta
The Columba Press
Cork University Press/Attic Press
Youngline Industrial Estate, Pouladuff Road, Togher, Cork
t 353 (0) 21 490 2980
42 Parnell Square, D1
t 353 1 872 1611
The Educational Company of Ireland
Four Courts Press
Gill and Macmillan
Hume Avenue, Park West, Dublin 12
t 353 (1) 500 9500
Newbridge, Co Kildare
f 045 433613
The Lilliput Press
62-63 Sitric Road,
t 353 (01) 671 16 47
12 Terenure Road East, Rathgar, D6, Ireland
t 01 492 3333
4 St. Muras Terrace, Strangford Road, East Wall, D3
The Stinging Fly
Summer Palace Press
Cladnageeragh, Kilbeg, Killcar, Co Donegal
Wild Honey Press
Barlow House, Narrow West Street, Drogheda, Co Louth
For information about ISBNs, visit here
To purchase ISBNs in the Republic of Ireland / UK, visit here.
Poetry Ireland Review
Cork Literary Review
c/o Bradshaw Books, Civic Trust House, Pope's Quay, Cork
Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway
Editor: Trish Fitzpatrick
The Drunken Boat
The Dublin Review
Brendan Barrington, PO Box 7948, D1
The Dublin Review of Books (DRB)
The Stinging Fly
The Book Bureau
Geraldine Nichol, 7 Duncairn Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
t 01 2764996 or 01 2764834.
Marianne Gunn O'Connor
Suite 17, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, D2
t 01 6779100
The Lisa Richards Agency
Contact Faith O'Grady, 108 Upper Leeson Street, D4
t 01 6375000
Rosney Mews, Upper Glenageary Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin
t 01 2803482.
Causeway Literary Agency
24 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh EH7 4JP
PO Box 833, Maynooth, Co Kildare
t: 0131 556 2006 / 045 86 9801
OTHER PUBLISHING RESOURCES
The Portable Creative Writing Workshop
by Pat Boran, Salmon Publishing
Writers and Artists Yearbook
A & C Black, London
by Peter Sansom, Bloodaxe Books
Getting Into Poetry
by Paul Hyland, Bloodaxe Books
(mostly U.S. publications) Writer's Digest Books
The Making of a Poem
by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Norton Books USA