Get paid to write poems

How To Get Paid To Write Poems & Sell Poetry Online 

Would you like to get paid to write poems? 

Maybe you broke up with your boyfriend, and in the depths of your misery, you wrote an amazing haiku. 

Now you’re wondering if you can publish your poems for money. That idea is not far off, my friend. 

It turns out there ARE plenty of poetry sites that pay for your poems! 

My idea of a poem would be ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m so cool, and so are you!’. My cat, Sandy, is giving me that face. She tells me I won’t get paid for that. 

 Ok, Sandy, I’ll just stick to my blogs instead. 

Get paid to write poems

But if you’ve got a well-written poem (Sandy-approved), chances are you can earn some cool moolah on the side for it. 

Writing poems will not make you a millionaire, but a little extra cash on the side never hurts anyone. 

From poetry sites to freelance poem jobs, I’ve got all the cool places where you can publish your poems so you can get paid to write poems. 

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Publications That Pay For You To Write Poems

If you have a great poem and you would like to publish it in a poetry magazine or an online poetry publication, there are some great ones around. 

Most of these publications receive hundreds of poems each time they open up for submission and have some pretty hard-to-please editors to get past. 

But if you do get selected for publication, you can earn a couple of hundred dollars per poem. Not bad at all!

Get paid to write poems

1. Poetry Magazine

Poetry Magazine is one of the leading English poetry journals in the world. It has been around since 1912.

This is also one of the best-paying poetry publications. Chosen submissions receive $10 per line with a minimum of $300 per poem!

If you have ever wondered, can you make money writing poetry, the answer is yes. Well, if you manage to get into the Poetry Magazine!

Poetry Magazine is also one of the most difficult to get published in, with a publication rate of only about 1%. That’s some crazy high standards!

Also, it can take them up to 8 months to respond to you…

If you’ve been rejected by the Poetry Magazine before, fret not. It happens even to the best of poets.  

2. Threepenny Review

Threepenny Review is another widely read literary magazine. 

Established in 1980, Threepenny Review not only publishes poetry but also stories and essays. 

Threepenny Review pays $200 per poem (they pay more for stories if you’re good at that). 

It has a slightly better acceptance rate than the Poetry Magazine, with 1.92% of submissions being accepted. Still pretty hard; I doubt my poems would make the cut!

3. U.S Kids Magazine

The U.S. Kids Magazine has two publications: the Humpty Dumpty and the Jack and Jill.

Both are award-winning publications for kids aimed at different age groups.

The Humpty Dumpty is aimed at kids aged 2-6, while the Jack and Jill is for older kids from 6-12. 

If your kids are budding poets and are interested in submitting poems for money, this is a great way to get started. 

Selected poems get paid $25 or more. Kids can do so much with $25, and it’s a great way to earn money by writing poems.

Get paid to write poems

4. Chicken Soup For The Soul 

Chicken Soup for the Soul combines storytelling with making the world a better place. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes a new book every month and is constantly looking for new stories and poems. 

What’s different about submitting poems for Chicken Soup for the Soul is that their books are about certain topics. 

So the story or poem that you submit should be related to these topics. Check out their Possible Book Topics to see if you have a poem related to that topic. 

Please check out the submission guidelines. Chicken Soup for the Soul looks for poems that tell a story.  

5. Epoch Magazine

Epoch Magazine is a literary magazine founded in 1947 and published by Cornell University. Its editors are students and faculty of Cornell’s Creative Writing course. 

Epoch Magazine’s acceptance rate is about 1.23%, so your poems must be of high quality to be accepted. 

What I love about Epoch magazine is that it is a source of funding for the Creative Writing course students. The students get paid wages for their editing from the magazine’s sales.

Epoch Magazine pays between $100 to $500 for a poem, not bad at all. 

6. Swamp Pink 

Swamp Pink, previously known as Crazy Horse, is another literary magazine that has been publishing fiction, poetry, and essays since 1960. 

Swamp Pink pays $40 per poem. But even with the lower payout compared to other magazines, the acceptance rate for Swamp Pink is still about 1.3%. 

7. Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine that publishes fiction, essays, and poems. 

If you like to write speculative or slipstream poetry, Strange Horizons is the place for you. 

Strange Horizons pays $50 per poem, regardless of length or complexity. 

8. Arc Poetry

Arc Poetry is one of the biggest literary magazines in Canada. They accept poems from budding poets to established ones. 

If you were wondering, can you get paid for poetry? Yes, you can.

Arc pays CAD $50 for each page of poetry. After publication, you also get one free copy of the publication in which your poem appears. 

Sounds like a great deal to me!

Do note that the acceptance rate for Arc Poetry is only 1.72%! That means you have to be really good to get accepted. 

9. The American Journal Of Nursing

When did the American Journal of Nursing become a literary magazine? It didn’t. But it does publish poetry.

The American Journal of Nursing is a well-recognized medical journal that publishes evidence-based articles on nursing and healthcare. 

It also publishes poems!

Poems have to be healthcare-related. Anyone can submit a poem; they do not have to be a healthcare worker. 

The American Journal of Nursing pays $150 for each accepted poem. 

10. Fun For Kidz

Here’s another one for the kids, or should I say Kidz?

Fun for Kidz is a monthly children’s magazine for 6 to 12-year-olds. The magazine has a different theme for each issue. 

Each issue includes fiction and nonfiction stories, comics, science experiments to do at home, puzzles, and riddles. 

The Kidz Corner is at the end of each issue, where readers can submit poems, jokes, riddles, or artwork. 

Kids are paid a minimum of $10 per poem and receive a free copy of the issue in which their poem has been published. 

Sounds like an awesome start to a budding publishing career!

Things To Note When Submitting Poetry Online

There are some ground rules when submitting your poems to poetry sites. 

  • It has to be an UNPUBLISHED poem. No one wants a poem that has already appeared somewhere else. I mean, what’s the point, right?
  • Some publication sites accept simultaneous submissions, while some do not. 

A simultaneous submission is when you submit the same poem to multiple sites at the same time. 

If your poem is selected at one site, you must inform the other sites about it and withdraw your submission from the other sites. 

  • Read the guidelines online before you submit your poetry online. Different publications have different criteria for the lengths and types of poems that they accept.
  • Read the poems that the publication has published in the past, to get a feel of the type of poems they typically accept. So that you have a better chance of success.

Poetry Contests That You Can Enter

Besides publishing your poems on poetry sites, there are other ways to earn money by writing poems. 

One excellent way to get paid to write poems online is by entering a poetry contest. 

Some well-known poetry contests with great cash prizes that you can enter are:

1. Changes Book Prize

Changes Book Prize is one of the most esteemed poetry contests you can enter, which awards a whopping USD$10,000 cash prize plus publishing contract and advertising. 

2. Academy Of American Poets First Book Award

The Academy of American Poets First Book Award, another esteemed poetry contest, awards USD$5000. You also get an all-expenses paid, 6-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Centre in Italy. I would like to join just for the chance to do that!

3. The Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize is an international competition which awards £5000 as a first prize!

Some of these bigger contests might be more difficult to win. They would have more submissions (owing to the large cash prizes). 

If you would like to start small, these contests could be a better option for you:

4. Frost Farm Poetry

Frost Farm Poetry runs an annual poetry competition. Winners are awarded $1000 and an invitation to read at The Hyla Brook Reading Series. 

5. The Iowa Review Awards

The Iowa Review Awards is a writing contest for poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. 

Winners receive $1500,  and first runners-up receive $750. They also get published in the Iowa Review’s December issue.

6. Cave Canem Poets

The Cave Canem Prize is an excellent opportunity for Black poets looking to publish their first book of poems. 

The winner receives USD $10,000 and the publication of their book. 

This prize is open to all members of the African Diaspora, not just African Americans. 

7. Tom Howard / Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

The Tom Howard / Margaret Reid Poetry Contest consists of two different contests.

The Tom Howard Prize awards $3500 for a poem in any style or genre. The Margaret Reid Prize awards $3500 for a poem that rhymes. 

There are plenty of other poetry contests. If you’re just starting, I suggest you look for contests that cater to a smaller submission group. 

If the contest only accepts participants from a particular locality or race, your chances of winning can be greater. 

Get paid to write poems

Other Ways To Get Paid To Write Poems

With most literary magazines boasting an acceptance rate of 1-2%, most of our poems would not get a second glance.

How do I sell my poems for money if all the publications reject me??

Fortunately, in today’s digital world, there are plenty of other avenues to sell a poem. 

1. Sell Poems On Etsy

Etsy focuses on handmade and vintage items. If getting your poems published is becoming difficult, find more creative ways to selling poetry online. 

Write a beautiful poem, choose an artistic font, and create a digital print

Post it on Etsy and sell it for just a couple of dollars. The more you sell, the more you make.

If you’ve ever wondered how to sell poetry, this can be a fabulous source of income on the side!

2. Sell Poems on Online Marketplaces

How to sell my poetry without the hassle of creating digital prints on Etsy? Do you want an even simpler way to sell a poem?

Get on online marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork!

If you search for ‘poems,’ you’ll find many budding or experienced poets selling their poem-writing skills so you can have a custom poem. 

Target the right keywords in your title and description to get more exposure on Fiverr’s search page.

As you build up a customer base, get good customer reviews. High levels of customer satisfaction help to improve your chances of ranking higher on Fiverr. 

Get paid to write poems

3. Sell Items With Poems Inscribed 

Another cool way to sell your poems for money is by inscribing them on other popular items.

Get your poems printed on a T-shirt, a mug, or even a wooden signboard. The possibilities are endless. 

People are always on the lookout for unique gifts these days. A beautiful poem on a wooden signboard to hang in my living room? Sign me up!

Get paid to write poems

4. Write Poetry For Greeting Cards 

Have you ever walked through the greeting card section in the bookshop and laughed at some hilarious writing on the cards? I know I have. 

Some of these greeting card companies have their in-house writers who write everything that appears on these cards.

However, some companies accept submissions from anyone. Which is excellent for you, my poetry-writing friend!

If you would like to get paid to write poetry for greeting cards, here are some greeting card companies that are looking for you:

5. Self-Publish

Getting your poem published in an esteemed literary magazine is great, but what if you wanted a book of poems with your name on it?

Get paid to write poems

A great way to do this would be to self-publish. 

There are different ways to self-publish in this digital age. 

  • You can start a blog where you publish your poems. If you’re wondering how to make money from your blog about poems, I have a great course that teaches you how to Make Money Blogging
  • Create an ebook of your poems and publish them on ebook sites like Amazon or Smashwords. 

Ebooks require much less startup costs and would be more affordable to create than a traditional book. 

If you know nothing about creating an ebook and would like some help with it, I have a great course on how to create a digital product like ebooks. 

  • Self-publish a traditional book. You can approach small publishing presses or print it using a print-on-demand service.

Print-on-demand services are great for budding authors or poets.

Print-on-demand lets you list your books online with major retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

When someone orders a copy of the book, the print-on-demand company will print and ship it for you.

Please note that they charge a distribution fee, which can be 30-50% of the listed price. 

Some popular print-on-demand companies you can use are Kindle Direct Publishing, BookBaby, and Draft2Digital.

  • Alternatively, you can publish a chapbook. Chapbooks are small books that are only about 20-40 pages long. 

Chapbooks are a great way to get your name out without the costs of publishing a traditional long book. 

Some small presses even host chapbook contests where the winners can get their chapbooks printed for free. 

Chapbook contests that you can enter are:

Other small publishing companies that print chapbooks are: 

FAQs On Get Paid To Write Poems

Can I Submit The Same Poem To Multiple Sites? 

If you’re wondering if you can submit the same poem to multiple sites, you can. 

Most publication sites allow simultaneous submission, which means you can submit the same poem to different sites. 

But if your poem gets selected for publication by one website, you will have to inform the other sites about it and withdraw. 

After all, no one wants to publish an already-published poem. 

Who Owns The Rights Of My Poem? 

Who owns the rights to your poem when you submit your poems to a publication website? 

Most publications buy the first serial rights of your poem, which means that the poem MUST be printed for the first time in their publication.

Upon publication, the copyright reverts to the poet. So, you can reprint your poem in any other magazine or publication as long as it appears first in this publication. 

If a publication wants to buy the rights to your poem indefinitely, then be aware that it’s probably a scam. It is completely unethical to steal all rights from the poet. 

Well, there you have it. If you’ve always wondered if you can get paid to write poems, you’re in luck, my friend. There are plenty of ways for you to sell poems for money. 

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