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Submitting Poems on the Internet

Is it safe to submit your poetry to an Internet site or online journal? What should you watch out for? Robin Travis-Murphree, executive editor of Poetic Voices, offers some advice.
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It''s true the Web has created opportunities for poets of all skill levels to share their work in new forums. It''s also true, though, that the Internet allows any person with the ability to develop a website or write e-mail to become a self-appointed editor.

When surfing the Net and deciding where to submit work, a poet should study the quality of the site''s content. Are the pieces the editor selects good poetry? Are there interesting, informative articles, book reviews, features, and interviews? Is the publication affiliated with a writers'' organization? Or is it some fly-by-night e-mail newsletter put together by someone whose credentials are as obscure as his or her identity? Are the editors published writers themselves? Keep these things in mind to make sure your work appears in a respected e-zine.

Poets should be cautious of sites which promise publication and require contributors to pay fees for books and other items. While online publications rarely have the funds to pay poets for publishing their works, they never charge contributors to do so. Just as there are predators in the book publishing world, they also inhabit cyberland.

Each edition of Poet''s Market includes advice, interviews, and helpful information about writing and marketing poetry—not to mention over 1,800 publishing opportunities.

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