Get Paid to Write Poetry: 14 Markets for Freelance Writers

Get Paid to Write Poetry. to get paid to write poetry?

If that sounds like a far-fetched idea, you’re not the first writer to think poetry is a low-paying dead end.

You’re not going to get paid to write poetry for most magazines, trade pubs, businesses, or blogs.

But it’s not impossible to get paid for your prose, and get a byline for publishing poetry.

I’ve done it. Should you quit your day job to become a poet? Probably not. Consider writing poetry one way to earn an income as a freelancer writer.

But you can actually get paid to write poetry? Yes. I’ve written poetry for a long list of publications, and ultimately published a book of poetry. It’s not the only way I make a living writing, but writing poetry is certainly one of my income streams.

If you want to tap into your more creative side, write poetry, and get paid for your musings, check out these poetry markets:

Get paid to write poetry: Income expectations

Are you going to make a ton of money writing poetry? No. Only a few people have actually done that. But most poets have bigger reasons than a fat paycheck to write. If you want to get paid to write poetry, here’s what you can expect: $1.50 to $300 per poem.

That might not sound like a lot, compared to copywriting. But getting your poetry published can help you build a portfolio of work. And that could turn into a book deal (that’s what happened to me).

Want to get paid to write poetry? Check out these 14 poetry markets to get started.

1-2. 50 Haikus & Three Line Poetry

These two journals, run by the same editors, want short lines with meaning and welcome new writers. They also reprint your poem in an anthology.

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: $1.50 per poem + a subscription

 3. The American Journal of Nursing 

A nursing journal that publishes poetry? Yes. The American Journal of Nursing publishes poems about health and health care, but not necessarily nursing. I actually help screen submissions for this publication. And I ask this question of every poem I judge: “Would this poem appeal to nurses?”

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: $150 per poem

4. The Antigonish Review

This is a lovely literary journal published in Canada. It doesn’t have an agenda about edgy vs. formal poetry, but the guidelines do say “expect. . .work to be considered within the full context of old and new poetry.”

  • Charge to submit: $2.00
  • Rates: $5 per page (up to 5 pages) + plus two copies

5. Arts & Letters

This highly-regarded poetry journal based at Georgia University, specifically encourages emerging poets and writers to submit their work for consideration.

  • Charge to submit: $3
  • Rates: $10 per printed page (minimum payment: $50), +  one contributor copy + a one-year subscription.

6. New Letters

News Letters writers and poets frequently win tons of rewards, and the editors are a pleasure to work. This publication prefers to work with writers and poets “waiting to be discovered.” Plus, New Letters publishes a range of styles and subject matter.

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: Minimum pay for poetry is $12 plus. More for multi-page poems, but pay often exceeds those minimums. Payment to contributors also includes two copies of the issue and 40 percent discounts for additional copies and subscriptions.

7. Poetry Magazine

If you’ve spent any time trying to publish poetry, you’re probably familiar with this publication. It’s the authority mag on poetry that publishes established and new writers.

Study the mag, and pitch your poetry. This is the top journal in the field. Crack this mag, and you’ll earn top pay, and build your credibility as a poet.

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: $10 per line with a minimum payment of $300

8. Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons calls itself a magazine of speculative fiction, but it also publishes fantasy and science fiction poetry.

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: $40 per poem, regardless of length or complexity.

9-14. Cricket Media

Cricket Media publishes a series of six journals that feature children’s poetry for different ages. These poetry journals include Ladybug, Cricket, Babybug, Spider, Cricket, and Cicada.

Want to write for one of these poetry journals? Check the site for the editorial calendar, themes, and submission deadlines.

  • Charge to submit: none
  • Rates: up to $3 per line; $25.00 minimum

Rules for writing poetry

If you want to get paid to write poetry, some basic rules apply, just like writing for consumer mags or trade pubs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Don’t put your poem on your blog. Journals want to know they are the first place that has published your piece, and they consider blogs and public social media as publications. So, feel free to send your poem to friends for fun and feedback, but don’t go public.
  • Hone your craft. Many people feel inspired to write poetry in times of great emotion. But the poems that get published go through just as rigorous a revising and editing process as any other professional writing.
  • Read the journal. Most journals have quite a few sample poems on their website. Read it. Study it. Get sense of the type of poetry it publishes, to make sure your work is a good fit.
  • Follow directions. Poetry editors can be very picky about their submission guidelines.

And finally, write for the love of poetry. I would argue any great writing has to have you in it—your passion, your struggles—but poetry even more so. If you are only writing a poem to get paid, I suspect it won’t be good enough to meet that goal. Write the poem you must write, and find the right journal for it.

What poetry markets have you written for? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Press, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in five of the journals listed above.

Learn how to earn more from your writing, ad banner for

Tagged with: , ,