How do I format my poetry or short story submission? There are eight steps you can take to keep your work out of the recycling bin:
1. Read the publication (or samples of the publisher's offerings) before you send your work. Make sure they publish the kind of poetry you're sending.
2. Request submission guidelines from the publisher and adhere carefully to them.
3. Always enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. If you request your work returned, make sure to include a large enough envelope with adequate postage.
4. Unless guidelines specify otherwise, send only three to five poems or one short story.
5. Choose a standard typeface that is clean and easy to read. Twelve-point Times New Roman is a reliable choice. Do not use a script-style font.
6. Make sure whatever you send is perfect. Have someone reliable proofread your work. Check the spelling of the address, especially if you are sending it to a particular person's attention.
7. Keep your cover letter short: your bio should take up only a few lines; don't explain your poetry or short story; it should speak for itself; don't ask for or expect to receive feedback on your work.
8. Be aware that it often will take a long time for publishers to respond. Be patient. Don't call unless it is to inform them your work has been accepted by another publisher.