Poets (and writers in general) have been known to have a hard time coming up with ways to make a living off their poetry. Let’s face it, publishers these days aren’t offering thousands of dollars to poems asking them to write for them.
So it’s obvious that making money from poetry is not easy.
However, that doesn’t mean you are doomed–there are actually a few different ways to avoid becoming the starving poet.
Here are a few options for making money as a poet…
What will I learn?
1. Submit to Literary Magazines & Publishers
For most poets, the best way to earn money is by writing poems for literary journals, magazines and websites that focus on literature.
Some of these places also accept short stories. So not only you can get paid for your poems, but you can also get paid to write short stories
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Here are a few poetry markets to get you started:
- The Sun Magazine: Pays $100 to $200
- Poetry Foundation: Pays $150
- Goblin Fruit: Pays $10
- Leading Edge: Pays $10
- Clubhouse Jr Magazine: Pays $50 to $100
- Crazy Horse: Pays $20 to $200
- Agni: They pay between $20 to $150
- Ruminate Magazine: Pays $15
- US Kids Mag: Pays $25 (minimum)
- VQR Online: Pays $200
- Alaska Quarterly Review: Pays $10 to $50
- Three Penny Review: $100
- Boulevard Magazine: Pays $25 to $250
- EPOCH: Pays $50 (minimum)
- Dreams and Nightmares: Pays $10
- Grain Literary Magazine: Pays $40 to $70
- Antigonish Review: Pays $30
- The Pedestal Magazine: Pays $40
- Fun For Kidz Magazines: Pays $10 (minimum)
- Arc Poetry Magazine: Pays $15
- The Capilano Review: Pays $50 to $150
- Chicken Soup for the Soul: Pays $200
- New Myths: Pays ¢ 1.5 with a minimum $30
- Orion Magazine: Pays $100
- Clean Sheets: Pays .03 (per word)
- Ploughshares: Pays $25 to $250
- Rattle: Pays $50 for online submissions – $100 for print submissions
2. Submit to Poem Contests to Win Cash
Another option is entering poem contests in hopes of winning some cash.
Here are a few current contests:
- Boston Review Fourteenth Annual Poetry Contest: Prize = $1,500
- Bellevue Literary Review’s Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize in Poetry: Prize = $1,000
- Poetry.com Contest: Prize = annual $5,000; monthly $250; daily $25
- Fanstory: Prize = varies based on contest (they have a few contests for different genres.)
3. Write Poem for Greeting Cards Companies
Let’s not forget the poems on greeting cards. Most greeting card companies pay you for your submissions. It could be a poem, a quote, a very short story, basically anything that is a good fit to put on a greeting card. Of course it has to be your own work.
Here are a few:
- Blue Mountain Arts: Pays $300
- American Greetings: Pay varries
4. Sell Your Poems on Fiverr
You can even use gig sites like Fiverr to offer custom poems for clients. Fiverr is a small tasks sites where you can sell any kind of service for $5. But you can add extras and make up to $160 on each gig.
Register with Fiverr for free and create a gig offering custom poems to clients.
5. Put Your Poems on T shirts
I have talked about making money by designing T-shirts and other customizable items before.
You can actually use your poems to create unique and customized products on sites like CafePress and Zazzle.
6. Use Etsy to Sell Poems
Yes Etsy, the big marketplace for handmade products!
Not only you can sell prints of your poems, but you can also put your poems on handmade stuff like a wooden sign.
If you are not handy and don’t want to deal with creating stuff to put your poems on, contact a few Etsy sellers (especially woodworkers) and offer to work with them. You supply the poems, he or she supplies the product on which your poems get printed. It could be the perfect home business for both of you.
Are you a poet? Have you ever submitted your poems for money? Have you ever used any of the sites mentioned here?
I would love to hear from you and about your experience in trying to make money from your poems.
I have gotten one publication of a poem I sent for a poetry contest. I was picked as the best 3% in the USA. I have not been able to publish anything since then do too lack of funds as I am a single parent. I still continue to write and feel I would be a great asset to many companies out there. I have a way with words and can write great things right on the spot. Any ideas as to how I can make an income from my home would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Lori, have you tried self publishing on Amazon Kindle? Put a collection of your poets into a small eBook and upload to Kindle. It’s free.
How does it work with amazon? I have my poems on this site called allpoetry.com I have no income at the moment. I was
wanton to put my work into my own ebook struggling with this. I heard it’s way cheaper than a novel being published!
Melissa, publishing to Amazon Kindle is actually free. You can publish as many eBooks as you like. And yes, you could put your poems in an eBook and sell it there. There are also a lot of free guides online on how to format Kindle eBooks properly. It’s very easy. I actually have a few eBooks on kindle as well.
Definitely give it a try. Also, if you do have a website, be sure to give away a few copy in exchange for honest reviews. Getting those first few reviews are crucial in helping you sell more. If you don’t have a site, just give copies to friends and family and ask for their honest reviews.
Hope this helps. Please let me know once you published it. I’ll be more than happy to read it and leave a review.
Thankyou for this information, I will also try for this
Hi I published my poetry book 13 yrs ago and was suspicious when they told me I haven’t do one book. Now I found out that I was right. Trafford pub is being investigated now what do I do
Hi Steve, I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I haven’t heard of Trafford Publishing before, but a quick search just showed me that they don’t seem like a reputable company (probably why they weren’t on our list). Have you thought about contacting an attorney to help you? Best of luck to you!
i m lokanath from india.i write short story poems.i want to be a professional writer.what should i do sir??
Well, I would get in touch with local organization. Search for any free or paid opportunities so you can get your work out there. Of course, you can also give any of the sites we mentioned in this post a try. Good luck, Lokanath.
Do your poems need to be copyright before you submit them to any of these places to either earn cash for them or to enter hem into a contest? If so, what is the easiest way to get the copyright?
To be honest, I don’t know how that would work. Just give one of them a call or send an email and ask them directly.
I did a lot of research on this with my music and poetry and it turns out, once you’ve distributed your created product, meaning you’ve made a duplicate of it and given it to someone, it is your intellectual property. You only need something proving the date you wrote it. The cheapest method I’ve seen is to mail yourself a copy. This puts a government stamp with a date on a sealed item. Then you just leave it in the package as evidence of your creation with a date to certify.
I am a published poet, based in Nigeria. am i eligible to do this online poetry business in the US? My lines speak volumes of creative masterpiece.
Not sure, Sunnie. I would contact the ones you are interested in working with and ask.
Let me know if they will be a compilation of poems so that I can submit mine
Why wouldn’t you be able to use it, Sunnie?
Hiii My name is sanjeev chhetri I’m from India I have 2 best poem with me in Hindi(1st poem is conversation between human and mirror and 2nd one is about 3rd gender in India) I want to publish both the poem world wide. Please suggest me some good way to show my thinking to all.
Have you tried contacting any of the sites/companies mentioned in this post?
I have 60 poems for sale. they are unpublished & i am ready to sell at a price that we shall agree on together.
If you are interested, email me for a soft copy at:
thomas oladele vincent
hi please my name is thomas from Nigeria. I will like to know if i am also elligible to submitt my poems and get paid for them on any of the sites you have listed above thanks
Thomas, each site has its own rules. You will have to check with each site you are interested in working with.
I am writing a novel based on suicide in higher studies and terrorism. I am searching a publisher who can pay me advance, is it possible or not…???
It’s definitely possible. You just have to find the right channel. You may also try self publishing on Kindle.
I would like to be part ur crew but my question is that hw do u pay ur writers and is this true that writers are getting paid or what?
Bontle, we (moneypantry.com) do not pay poets. You have to use sites mentioned in this post.
I am Chris Wathome and goes by the stage name chrommesays. I’ve been doing poetry for a while now and I see that I can manage being a trusted asset by companies out there. Am also a wattpad writer but I need to venture more in the poetry sector of art.
Happy to go through the conversations↑
Can you please kindly assure me, if I stay untold and my components gets stole?
Sorry Marco, not sure I understand your question?
I am from South Africa. Will I be able to submit poems as foreigner?
You have to see on each site what their policies are.
Hii,i am aayat.i have hobby of writing poems on my situations every now and then…..i want to earn money..plz suggest some sites which can help me out without risk of stealing my content.
Helen A.M. Dobbin
Thanks for your info about selling poems.
I am a new author and published my book in October 2016.
I also write Poetry, Thank you letters, Get well messages, Anniversary and wedding congratulations etc. I have over 100 written and would like to sell them to a company who would be interested in my work! I love writing and will continue for as long as possible!
I will search through your list and find the ideal company!
I am fond and love writing poems,song lyrics and other forms of arts.i am willing to negotiate all my crafts and mind skills and original handwriting creations .
iam from tanzania i need to join but the form does not match with my country
Nancy Lee Armstrong
I am a poetry writer, I have a poetry book on Amazon.com it’s and ebook. I still have
a dream to write poetry for a living. I can write for greeting cards. Are I could work
with Etsy and put my poems on T shirts. Can you send me some information of how
to go about getting started in making my own money from home. For I am just a
housewife and have plenty of time on my hands.
I’m nakshatra from India
I write short poetry but don’t know how to get it published exactly and get paid
Try some of the sites mentioned in this post!
I am looking for an honest but yet effective Company to write Poetry for. I’ve been writing all my life and have a deep Passion for it. Can any give me information on were to start?
Eric, the hardest part is getting started. Have you tried any of the sites mentioned in this post?
My name is terrica I’m a writer I love doing it. But i struggle to earn a living from it. I published a book but I have only made $2 from it. I however have not let that discourage me. I still write now I have some many poems, I to make a living help me please. C
Hello I’m Gabriela from Lesotho,I love writing and I have few poems I will be happy to sell to anyone who is interested
Hey I’m Carolyn..I’m still a teen and I have a passion of writing poems I have been writing for two years now I’m looking for any publisher who’s interested so I can have my own book composed of my poems as I have many poems by now
A journey to a new creation of self worth and integrity. Thank you for your guidance.
I listed all the websites mentioned here. I actually already searched the first one the Sun Magazine, I sent one poetry hoping they would read it and would like it. I also sent Blue Mountain Arts 2 poetry hoping they would like it . I’m patiently waiting for their response 2 weeks to 3 months. And of course while waiting I’m gonna write poems, more and more. I’m working on a new poetry right now, its entitled “If ‘I love you’ was a promise. (The line actually come from Billie Eilish’s song entitled Idontwannabeyouanymore.)
And by the way, I’m gonna try that Amazon Kindle. Wish me luck.
thanks for the info about publishing or selling poems online pls send me any guide of how to package an e-book that can be sold on amazon, lulu or any e-book publishing ecommers store. steps on how to make an e-book for e-kindle and other versions. thanks
I have been writing poems for years and I am interested in working with songwriters. Can you provide any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks!
Ive been writing my own poems since i was a child and still write today im 46 yrs old now! I want to be able to publish or sale my poems for my children! Especially my 2nd oldest he told me one day how much he believed in me and that i needed to be make n money with them because i was wasting my talent! I just need a lil help plz and thank u
I’ve been writing poems on my own.its somehow based on my inner thoughts .I wish to publish it.please help me.
Adowaa, have you given any of the options in this post a try?
Olivia faith Birri
After selling a poem.How long will it take to receive the payment?
It depends on the site/company. Some pay faster than others.
I just heard about writing poetry for money. I am just starting to sell my poetry and was wondering what a good first step would be? I’ve been writing for a long time now and have been going through a lot to use in my poetry. please reply with any help or comments, it would be very useful!
I’d start with sending some of your poems to the places mentioned in this post, Melissa. Once you get going, things will get easier. Good luck!
I don’t know if I’m a poet or not but it’s difficult for me to get started online because I’m not computer oriented person. I have alot of poems, poetry, and even songs but don’t know how to get started.
I have a knack for writing poems and making them personal for people. I have written many over the years and i would love to try to crwate a personal poem for others and get paid for it. how do i go about doing that?
Just contact the companies we mentioned in the post. They each have their own process and will let you know how to send them your work. Good luck Ashley.
Am a 18 year old Kenyan daughter aspiring to reach Hollywood with my talent in writing poetry and movies but I need a start. Could you help my dream by being my start? All I need is a chance
What do you specifically need help with Yasmin?