The Professional Association for Christian Writers




Want to learn more about composing poetry? This lecture by Elaine will help you achieve that goal. This is a PDF file and you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it -- Plecture.pdf


There are two issues here:

1. Revision

2. Marketing Process


Check for the following before you send out your poem:

a) Are there any misspelled words

b) Do the specifics support the concept?

c) Does the music of the poem support or clash with your theme?

When you listen to the sounds, do they harmonize with your theme?

If the wind blows through your poem as an image, can you hear the aspirated /s/ /sh/ /th/ /f/ and /h/ sounds?

If the twigs are clicking, can you hear the "castanets"

sounds in the words you use? Like click-clack? etc.

Are you using assonance (vowel repetition in a line) and consonance (consonant repetition in a line) in addition to the rhyming

if this is a rhyming poem.

Are your rhyming lines enjambed, the sentence running over to the next line rather than end-stopped (considered amateurish)?

Does your white space indicate change of focus, time, etc.?

d) Are you using word plays, trying for multiple levels of meaning?

e) Have you used concrete words, that specifically describe the details of

your poem? Brenda Uland said, "The more specifically you describe the

details, the clearer is the universal."

f) Does the first word get the reader or listener's attention? Does every

word you use point to the last word, the most important word in your poem?


1. Center your title, using all capital letters

Center by using small letters.

Center your name using Capital and small letters.

2. Center your poem on the page left and right

3. In the upper left hand corner have your name, address, phone number,

e-mail address, and social security number (if you wish to get paid).

4. On the upper right hand corner put the rights you are selling: First

Rights (The right to print your poem for the first time), Reprint Rights (If

your poem has been published before and you're asking another magazine to

print it), One Time Rights (the right to print your poem one time-you'll

have to wait until they print it before resubmitting.)

5. Under that state: Poetry: (# of lines)

6. Under that state: "Original work" or copyright Your Name 2001.

7. If it is a two page poem, at the bottom say "Page 1 of two page poem"

and at the top of page 2, write "cont'd from page 1".

8. Research the marketing guides until you find at least 5 magazines that

have a market similar to the people who you think will most understand your

poetry (women, children, men, etc.) Address five envelopes with these

markets, being sure to spell the editor's name correctly.

9. Collect 5 poems of a similar theme for your submission to a single

magazine. Put them in the envelope, along with a Stamped Self Addressed

Envelope (SASE) and mail it.

10. Keep writing poetry. When the first envelope comes back you'll have

another poem to add to the ones that came back to send in the next addressed


11. On Line submissions save you a trip to the post office.

The short answer is to follow the writers guidelines in the marketing

guides, and/or buy my book, Poetry Pointers, Writing and Marketing Poetry,

by Denella Kimura

$6.95 plus $1.00 shipping, P O Box 785, Benicia CA 94510-0785, or e-mail me:


"I'm responding to many questions about poetry publishing that come to this Elaine via the WIN Website." -- Denella Kimura (Benicia, CA)

About copyrights: All poetry is copyrighted as soon as it's written as are all other creative works. Some poets send their poems to themselves in the mail to date the writing of the poem. But I revise my poems so often that this doesn't work for me. As many poets do when working on a poem, you can also save all revisions and date and sign or initial them.

However, if you want to publish the poem in a magazine, you sell "First Rights," the right to publish your poem for the first time. You haven't sold "book rights." If the publisher wants "All Rights", they own the poem, as is common practice with greeting card companies. They may pay you $50.00 for a greeting card verse, and make a huge amount of money for that card. If you sell "All Rights" to Ideals or Highlights for Children magazines, you might want to "Reserve Book Rights" in order to publish your poem in a book. "One Time Rights"¾the right to publish your poem one time, means you must wait for them to publish it before you can resubmit it to another publisher. "Second Rights" or "Reprint Rights" are sold for second and third printings of your poem to markets that don't overlap with the first publication of the poem.

By the time you have a collection ready for a book, you need to bind two copies of the book and send the collection to the Copyright Office with a fee (check their Website). Call (202) 707-9100 and leave a recorded message with your information and ask for Short Form TX for published or unpublished collections of poetry. You can write to Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Publications Section, LM-455, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D. C. 20559-6000. You may also connect and download forms through the Copyright Office homepage:

To those who are considering a publisher: You need to ask what kind of marketing and editorial assistance the publisher you're considering will give you, and if they'll print books on demand. With today's technology, Books on Demand is a more expensive service, but it's also more practical for poets. It's one of the advantages of Essence Publishing. Essence is a subsidy publisher, which means you pay for the cost of publishing your books.

But as with all books, it's what you do yourself that makes the book sell. And that begins with the focus of your book. Who are the people you are writing for, and who do you want to read it? Are they women from 20 to 35 who are having children? Or Seniors who love to travel after retirement? Can you think of some creative ways to reach these people if they don't frequent regular bookstores? How about baby shops? Retirement homes? Travel agencies?

Those who are looking for poetry publishers need to order Dustbooks: Directory of Poetry Publishers, 17th edition 2001-2002. $21 plus tax (CA) and shipping $7.00. Their web site is www.dustbooks. com. Also Writers Digest Books issues an annual version of Poet's Market and you may reach them at:

For Christian poetry markets, you need to check out Sally Stuart's Christian Writers Market Guide. You may order by e-mail: or from her web site: and she'll send it to you with an invoice. I found 21 poetry book publishers from Sally's book that aren't listed as subsidy publishers.

Marketing poetry: Selling poetry books is niche marketing. Find the niche you're writing for (inspirational, social issues, family, children, etc.) and work through the book to find the markets most suited to your style and theme. Use a highlighter and dog ear the pages. Then send for guidelines or theme lists. The publisher should pay you in magazine copies or cash. You don't have to pay for having your poetry published. How to find other poets in your city: Watch the Bulletin Board, Community Events, Weekender, or Datebook sections of the local newspaper for poetry readings. There you'll find a group of poets, not all of whom are Christians, nor will you agree with them, but they can lead you to critique groups for poets in your area.

Check with churches in your area for other Christian poets who might like to meet with you, or you with them if they already have a critique group. Look for announcements of local writers club meetings and call to see if you need a reservation. Advertise on the Bulletin Board of your local bookstore for a gathering of Christian poets. Attend book signings of other writers. Take a poetry class at a local college, adult school, or community parks program and network with the other poets in the classes.

The more you participate in events, the more you will write for the audiences that are there, and the more the Lord will give you to write from tangents that take you deeper into your own experience. Your Final Word from the Warrior Bard: Remember -- All that glitters must be polished. Yours from the Warrior Bard, Denella Kimura

Chapbooks by Denella Kimura:

1. Poetry Reading at The Panama Hotel, Collected dramatic reading poems. (Joy Publishing 1991) $6.95.

2. Penny Praises, A Collection of Penny Poems, inspirational poems about the value of small things, (Kimura Creations 1992) $4.99.

3. Alma, a collection of poems about my grandmother, Alma Duffy Greene, and the stages of aging, (Kimura Creations 1993) $4.95.

4. Dawn Dancer, Love Poems, poems dedicated to her husband, Tom, for over 31 years of marriage. (Kimura Creations 1996) $4.95.

5. The Turtle’s Song, animal poems for children with a "Dictionary" and "Writing About Animals" helps for children. (Kimura Creations 1998) $3.99.

6. Wind Dancer, Benicia Poems, (Kimura Creations 2000) $4.99.

7. Mother’s Day Off, Poems About Motherhood (And the occasional get-away), Managing the stress of raising children. (Kimura Creations 2001) $5.95.

8. Poetry Pointers, Writing and Marketing Poetry, A collection of articles and teaching materials for the writer and teacher of poetry. (Kimura Creations 1999) $6.95.

[Send the amount of books) plus $2.00 postage to Denella Kimura, P O Box 785, Benicia CA 94510-0785. Make checks payable to "Denella Kimura".]

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