Frequently asked questions
How do I get my poem on the front page?
Submit your poem on this page. Send us your one, best poem. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what poem would you like to be remembered by? Send us that one! (Sorry, is this macabre? It’s a hypothetical exercise. We know that if you did know you were going to die tomorrow you’d have better things to do than submit a poem.)
What do we want?
We want one original, unpublished poem. We welcome a poem from anyone except our regular contributors and we read all submissions closely. What are we looking for? Well, our tastes are eclectic. We will consider anything, and if we think it’s good we’ll publish it. It’s easier to say what we don’t like: forced rhyme, strict adherence to form at the expense of rhythm or sense, jazzy fonts (the equivalent of green ink). We’re not much drawn to concrete poetry, or LANGUAGE poetry and, while we recognise that Pam Ayres has certain qualities, we are unlikely to publish anything in anapaestic trimeter, but hell, have a go, if that’s your thing.
What don’t we want?
Don’t send us stuff that has already been published elsewhere, in a book, magazine, anthology, webzine or even on your blog. Don’t send us someone else’s stuff (duh!). We accept simultaneous submissions but please let us know asap if your poem gets accepted elsewhere.
How long does it take?
Allow six weeks for us to respond to your submission. Please don’t send edits to your poem after you have submitted it. We do aim to reply to everyone within six weeks and if for whatever reason we don’t choose your poem, feel free to try us again in a few months time. Sorry, we can’t give feedback.
Is there money involved?
Sadly we don’t have money to pay poets, reviewers or contributors. We hope this will change. We do all this for free. If you like what you see and you’d like to express your support for The Friday Poem in a monetary way, buy us a coffee via the floating mug-with-a-heart-on icon at the bottom left of your screen, or the PayPal icon at the bottom right of our front page. It will be much appreciated (it’s thirsty work, this).
Do we want reviewers / writers?
Yes! If you’d like to review for The Friday Poem or have an idea for an article you’d like to write for us, please send details and examples of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you’ve had a collection published and you’d like us to review it, send us a pdf of the text and a jpeg or png of the cover (approx 1000 pixels on the long side, no bigger than one Mb). We don’t guarantee to review it, but we might.
Can I submit if I’ve already had a Friday Poem published?
Yes! We read and accept poems from everyone. Unless (as we said) you are on our Contributors page. That might look a bit nepotistic, and The Friday Poem is not keen on nepotism.
Why The Friday Poem?
Traditionally, success in poetry was print publication, the holy grail being a poetry collection published by Faber & Faber, Cape or Picador. But as the internet has grown, and digital publishing has become a thing, this has changed.
More and more, people see print book publishing as risk averse, saturated, exclusive and commercial. It is also slow, and not particularly environmentally friendly – this applies to both books and magazines. Print publishing is also managed by a small number of powerful gatekeepers, mostly male, mostly white, mostly university educated. Much power and influence is concentrated in the metropolitan centres of cultural authority. We’d like to offer an alternative to that.
Your poetry collection in print is a lovely thing to have, but it only travels so far. You can give copies of your book to friends and family, sell them at readings and festivals, and perhaps persuade your local bookshop to stock it. For most of us, our poems still don’t reach many readers that way. But the increasing accessibility and usage of the internet means the way many of us access poetry has changed. We all love a book or a magazine, but now we also love an ebook, or a webzine, or time spent browsing on poets’ websites. Online publishing is pretty much free, which encourages greater formal and thematic experimentalism, and it allows for a responsiveness and a flexibility unheard of in print media.
Also, many poets’ books never get a review. A poet might get reviewed if he or she is with one of the bigger publishers, or lucky enough to get on a shortlist for a prize, but there aren’t many places reviewing books from small- to mid-scale publishers, or poetry pamphlets. Sphinx Review, which reviewed pretty much every pamphlet it was sent, and was available to read for free online, closed its doors earlier this year. If you do get reviewed by a magazine, you then have to buy a copy to read what they say. We love poetry pamphlets, and also wanted to make a space where everyone could read reviews of poetry books from smaller, newer and more cutting edge publishers, for free.
So we set up The Friday Poem. It’s easy to submit, and free to read. You know within four weeks whether your poem has made the cut. We prioritise text – our website is clean and classy and your poem looks good on it. You can read archived poems to see what sort of stuff we publish – you don’t have to buy a magazine to find out. Your poem stays in our archive indefinitely so anyone searching for you or your poetry can find it, you can link to it from your website, and you increase your digital footprint. Your poem is likely to reach far more people online than if it is published in a small poetry magazine or a print collection. We are international in outlook, and accept digital submissions from all over the world, which means your poem can be read by readers and subscribers all over the world. Convinced? Submit your poem on this page.
Right of reply?
We don’t provide for comments on the site, but we would love it if you wrote us a letter (meaning an email, of course). If we like it, we’ll publish it, and invite replies. We’d love to be a platform for good natured debate about things of interest to poets and readers of poetry.
Why are all the links underlined?
Glad you asked. Underlined links are better for people with impaired vision. Each link also has to be a clear signpost to where it’s going. A link labelled ‘here’, as in ‘continue reading here‘, doesn’t contain enough information for screen reader users who often navigate by jumping from link to link and need to understand the destination of each one in isolation. We’ve tried to design this site to be as accessible as possible for everyone, and if you are a screen reader user and find something that doesn’t work for you, please let us know.