Tag Archives: should one change one’s writing to enhance the chances of being published

Should one change one’s writing to enhance the chances of being published?

I recently read this article on Writers Relief, http://writersrelief.com/2010/03/18/poetry-turnoffs-styles-and-formatting-that-make-editors-cringe/. The piece makes a number of points concerning what editors of poetry magazines dislike, and suggests that those making submissions think carefully prior to submitting their work. Amongst the “turn offs” mentioned in the article, is that of rhyming poetry, with the view being expressed that editors do not, in general publish rhyming poetry. Interestingly almost all of the comments following on from the article are strongly in favour of rhyming poetry.

As a poet who does (for most of the time) write in rhyme, I am both saddened and heartened by the article. Or, rather I am saddened by the fact that many editors shy away from rhyming poetry, but heartened by the large number of those who love (and write) in rhyme. Of course one should not shoot the messenger. The authors of the article are only passing on their advice to those who wish to submit to poetry magazines and, of course are not responsible for the editorial likes and dislikes of particular journals. Nonetheless I have an aversion to writing simply to be accepted for publication. For me poetry has to be honest, and composing verse simply to please others is not being true to oneself.

I should, perhaps qualify the above statement. I do, of course hope that my work will give pleasure to my readers. I will, however not write in a manner alien to me simply to gain popularity and/or publication. This is easy for me to say as I have a fulltime job (my writing is not my primary source of income, and I do appreciate that not everyone has the luxury of simply producing work which is entirely to their own liking, for we all have bills to pay etc). But, for me rhyming poetry is my main mode of communication and I will not change my preference in order to enhance my chances of being published.

As always I would be interested in the views of you, my readers.

Kevin

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