Two examples, five prompts, and more resources to make it happen.
Thank you for this really detailed and informative post. It will help me and I’m sure many other writers. ❤️
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...
Emily! This is such a wise resource -- your guidance for developing a query is really great.
Thanks so much for the shout out!! :)
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. :)
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.
< 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! :-)