13 Ways to Get Published
by Ann Howells

Never read poetry by internationally respected poets; it robs your work of originality.

Send seven versions of the same poem. Let the editor chose; he earns the big salary.

If a journal asks for three to five poems, send fifteen. Send twenty-five. Omit the SASE.

Don’t bother with spell-check or grammar. Editors correct errors; that’s why they exist.

Be professional. Use lavender stationary. Emboss flowering vines in the margins. Center poems using 10-point Old English script. Use sealing wax impressed with a monogram.

Conversely, scrawl your poems on a cocktail napkin and omit return address.

Submit the same poems to several magazines. Do not say they are simultaneous submissions. Don’t withdraw when one is accepted. Editors seldom read competitors’ journals and will never discover your deception, nor will they blacklist you.

Once a poem is accepted, send a revision. Two weeks later send another revision.

Puff your bio by listing every stapled-four page zine in which your work appears.

Pad your publication list with made-up journals: TUSK: Journal of Timbuktu, or Atlantis Poetry Review. Editors never check.

Choose a suggestive nom de plume: Lily Collins, P.F. Eliot, or Ned Kooser. Follow with impressive sounding credentials such as: Lily Collins, LAX or DFW or BWI.

Claim to have been short-listed for Poet Laureate. Make up prestigious sounding awards and claim to have won them.

Drop names. Say you’ve studied under W.S. Merwin; after all, his New and Selected does gather dust on the shelf above your desk.

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