Making Money From Poetry

Many people wrongfully assume that poetry is a simpler version of writing because it is often short and simply structured. This could be far from the truth. Poetry attempts to compress what novels and short stories spend pages and pages to express. It is perhaps the most sophisticated yet complex form of writing. If you are a budding poet who is wondering if poetry pays, the simple answer is: Yes! You just need to find out the avenues that will bring the money.

Getting Paid For Poetry

  • Teach poetry: If you are a professional or you feel you have enough experience, you can decide to become a teacher. You can even explore giving virtual lessons for pay.
  • Enter competitions: There are many poetry awards that people who are interested can apply for. To spread your chances, enter several poems and competitions.
  • Perform at events: lookout for events and functions that have a call for a poet. You can also approach an institution such as a bar and ask if you can have days when you perform for a fee as a form of entertainment.
  • Apply for grants/scholarships: Explore opportunities that are open for poets, including fellowships, grants and scholarships. There are some that will provide you with a source of money but also introduce you to other poets who can mentor you and share about more opportunities.
  • Publish a book: There are many people who still buy books. Create an anthology of your poems and have them published so that you earn from the book. If you are having a hard time finding a publisher, consider self-publishing.

As much as there are many opportunities to make money from poetry, every poet should note that only poems that are authentic and meaningful have the potential to make money. Poetry is not just about stringing words together. You must use the words to tell a story that is worth buying.

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