Thinking of sending poems to HappenStance?

Unsolicited pamphlet submissions are hardly ever accepted here. Why? There are too many publications in the pipeline already. If you're keen to be published by HappenStance, it's best to ask for feedback on a small amount of work and in this way test out the editing relationship. Over time, it might turn into something. But to get that feedback you'll need to subscribe. (If skint, choose online-only subscription.) 

Normally you also need a record of publication in some good quality UK magazines, or another way of demonstrating that you have a readership. Check out the reputable magazines page, but be aware it is far from comprehensive, and check this page for updates in 2018.

To find out about editorial preferences (though these are largely mythic), try trawling the HappenStance blog, or take a look at the sample poems on the publication pages in the online shop. Or even better — buy a couple of HappenStance pamphlets, or a book. The advice in the pages of How (Not) to Get Your Poetry Published is as valid for this press as any other. 

Getting detailed feedback on poems

If you’re a HappenStance subscriber, you can send up to 6 poems by snail mail (or three by email if you live outside the UK) twice a year. Email senders should paste the poems into the body of a message. 

But please don’t send poems before the reading month starts, and equally please, please don’t wait until the last two days of the month in question. If they arrive after the last day of the window, I will post them back to you unread because by then I will be working on something else. Here's what to do and how to do it:

  • Send the appropriate number of poems by snail mail if possible during the months of July or December.
  • A4 envelopes preferred.
  • Enclose an SAE big enough to return the work (note Royal Mail large letter requirements).
  • Send no more than the stipulated number of poems (see above). It doesn’t matter if they’ve been previously published (not work currently available on your own website).
  • Put your name and address on each poem sheet (see Do's and Don'ts)
  • If poems are lengthy, go by number of pages rather than number of poems.
  • Please don’t staple or bind the poems together.
  • No need to include a contents list.
  • Include a note of where/if you’ve had poems published, as well as a bit about yourself (no lengthy CV but a personal letter is much appreciated).


Please send poems typed or word processed in a size 12 font, single-spaced. Include your name and address discreetly on each page.

Paid Reading Service

We offer a paid service for poets requiring detailed editorial feedback, and some discussion of how best to further their aspirations. Please don’t confuse this with paid entry into HappenStance publication. It is nothing to do with that.

There isn’t time to offer the paid service to many people, so if you think it might be useful to you,  send an enquiry through the contact box or an email to nell at The current rate for four hours of time (how this would be spent is discussed with each person) is inside the publications list, which you can download from the home page.

Alternatively, get hold of a copy of How (Not) to Get Your Poetry Published, which could save you a lot of pain, at the same time as sharing many of the unwritten rules of this frustrating business of getting poems published.

Address for submissions and enquiries:

Helena Nelson
21 Hatton Green

Fife KY7 4SD