Thinking of sending poems to HappenStance?

Unsolicited pamphlet submissions are almost never accepted here. Why? There are constantly too many publications in the pipeline already. If you're extremely keen to be published by HappenStance, it's best to ask for detailed feedback on a small amount of work and see where it gets you, but to get detailed feedback you'll need to subscribe. (If skint, choose online only subscription.) 

We also have unexpected and serious family illness at the moment, so planning for future publications is on hold. No offers of publication will happen in the next six months. Please bear this in mind.

But once things are back on track, you will almost certainly need a record of publication in several good quality UK magazines before HappenStance will consider publishing you. Check out the reputable magazines page, but be aware it is far from comprehensive.

To find out about editorial preferences (if such things really exist), look in the HappenStance blog under the tag ‘Getting Your Poetry Published’, or take a look at the sample poems on the publication pages in the online shop. Or even better — buy a couple of pamphlets, or a book from the online shop.

Getting detailed feedback on poems
If you’re already a HappenStance subscriber, you can send up to 6 poems by snail mail, or even 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.
  • Send no more than the stipulated number of poems (see above). It doesn’t matter if they’ve been previously published, though please don't send a whole set of previously published poems, and not work currently available on your own website.
  • 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 youve had poems published, either online or on paper, 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 being published by HappenStance. 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 happenstancepress.com. 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


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