The Poetry Zone receives hundreds of poems every week and doesn't have the space to publish them all (although we'd like to!)
So how do you increase your chances of having your poem published?
Although there is no right or wrong way to write a poem or to lay it out (often the more imaginative the better) - The Poetry Zone does have a style and format that we like contributors to follow.
We would suggest you write the poem on your computer first, and then paste it into the e-mail. Send it as part of the e-mail - NOT as an attachment.
1. Use small letters - not CAPS LOCK ! Writing your poem in capitals makes it look like you're shouting.
2. Lay your poem out in short lines - one under the other. Always start a line as far to the left as possible. Don't leave gaps. (Your poem might look better artfully arranged - but this rule is a technical one.)
3. Begin sentences with a capital letter. End them with a full stop. Only use a comma if you think it is definitely needed. Don't use hundreds of !!!!!!!!!!! Some poets like to begin EVERY new line with a capital letter. That is perfectly okay!
4. Check that your poem makes sense. We often receive poems with words or whole lines missing and we have to guess what the poet meant to put there.
5. Seems obvious but - Check your spelling!
6. Re-draft before you send your poem - re-read it and see if it can be improved. I am seldom happy with the first thing I write. Sometimes my poems change four or five times before I'm happy with them.
7. Keep the poem fairly short. Poems over twenty lines long take up too much space and probably won't be chosen. Short poems have a very good chance!
8. Keep your entry simple. Do not use fancy fonts, different colours and do not use coloured backgrounds. The poems we publish follow the Poetry Zone style. If we have space for two poems and one is laid out simply, in black and in Arial or Times New Roman and the other is in an odd text (that has to be changed) and in bold (which has to be changed) and in colour (which has to be changed) with a coloured background (which has to changed) - which poem do you think we would choose?
I hope these tips are useful. Now
- go to work on your poem.
- Roger Stevens