15 Comments
Sep 12, 2023Liked by Emily Stoddard

Thank you for this really detailed and informative post. It will help me and I’m sure many other writers. ❤️

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Emily Stoddard

This is so helpful, Emily! I recently had my first novel accepted for publication (yay!), so after spending LOTS of time researching/writing/perfecting a fiction query letter, it's useful to see what a poetry query letter might look like, as I start to think about trying to pull together a poetry manuscript next...

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Congrats on your novel, Kristen! Glad this was helpful, and guessing your novel querying will help make the poetry process a little easier.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Emily Stoddard

Phenomenal!

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Emily! This is such a wise resource -- your guidance for developing a query is really great.

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Thanks so much for the shout out!! :)

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Sep 18, 2023Liked by Emily Stoddard

This is incredibly helpful! Thank you. I came across this post via Lit Mag News and am so glad to have this Substack in my rotation now. :)

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Thanks, Claire!

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This is incredible, Emily. Just discovered your work and am loving your thoughtful words here, thank you!

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Thanks so much, Samantha!

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Thank you! I submitted my packet to Copper Canyon this morning. I followed your “just start writing the letter” advice and it was really helpful. I had a lot more to say about my work than I thought I did.

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So glad to know this was helpful, KateLynn -- hoping for good things with your submission!

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< Copper Canyon’s next reading period ... has a twist. Rather than submitting a full manuscript, they want just a sampling of poems and a query letter. >

Last month I received a prompt acceptance for my collection of formal verse "Cancer Courts My Mother" from a university press in California who had requested five poems and a proposal instead of a full manuscript.

Interestingly, Green Writers Press had also accepted "Cancer Courts My Mother" - - but G.W.P. offered me a hokey-pokey HYBRID agreement (i.e., the poet pays G.W.P. for the "privilege"), which I declined.

My cover letter / pitch / proposal was dramatically different than the one offered here but I really enjoyed this process and hope to see more university presses and indie presses adopt it.

My track record for 2023:

I had four (yes, 4!) poetry manuscripts accepted by four different publishers ** AND ** I also helped two poet friends place their manuscripts. Their two presses were hand-selected by me - - and each friend received a "yes" on the first try.

It is not rocket science.

Pitching means you understand your material + have researched which is the best door(s) to knock on.

My two cents! :-)

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Congrats on your success, LindaAnn, and thanks for that update on Green Writers Press. I didn't realize they had moved to a hybrid model and will note it on the spreadsheet of publishers. That wasn't their model when I submitted four or so years ago.

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Emily, thank you! I'm excited about all of this - - especially being able to help my colleagues place their poetry mss successfully!

FYI: Brandylane Publishers [5 S 1st St, Richmond, VA 23219] also presents themselves as a "traditional publisher" - - then sent me an acceptance letter with a hybrid contract.

Clearly, Green Writers Press (once a traditional press) has stepped over this line as well. Tsk-tsk.

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