earn money writing poetry

e. e. cummings bench

By Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com

Poets, you’ve probably been told your whole lives that there’s no money in poetry. (Robert Graves, the English author of I, Claudius, famously quipped that there’s no poetry in money, either.) But if your brain is hardwired for verse, there’s hope.

You can, in fact, earn money writing poetry.Here are seven ways to turn your talent into cold, hard cash.

Write Greeting Cards

Let’s start with the obvious one. Greeting cards may not be Pulitzer-level poetry, but companies do pay money for the heartwarming sentiments. For tips on how to get started, check out this Q & A on Writers Relief. If you’re artistically minded—or know someone who is—you might consider creating your own line of greeting cards to sell on a craft marketplace like Etsy, which often favors quirky and offbeat goods.

Sell to Paying Markets

There are still paying markets for poetry, but you may be disappointed by the money involved. Grab a copy of Writers Market for a list of publications and contests (see below), choose the ones that seem most in line with your work, and start submitting. Make sure you follow each publication’s guidelines to the letter, however. [click to continue…]

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going out of businessOver in our forum one of our members told story about how a writing client hinted that they might be running out of money to pay him.

“What should I do?” He asked. “Do I stop writing for them? Do I limit my deliverables to what I’ve already been paid for? How can I avoid this in the future?”

Be grateful for the warning

Several of us, including me, suggest he should first of all be grateful that his client had given him a heads up in advance. It’s actually rare when writing clients let us know about company financial problems, at least this directly.

We lucky if we pick up even a hint that the company is experiencing financial difficulty. More often our contact just informs us they can no longer pay us. That can happen even when we have a contract.

Ask questions

The only way you have any chance of finding out what’s going on is to ask. If you’re talking to someone who has hinted or even said specifically that they company may be running out of money is simply ask, “What is that mean for me? Will I get paid?”

Just know that the person you’re talking with may not be at liberty to tell you much. It’s worth asking because sometimes you’ll actually get the whole truth. If not, you may be able to into it more by their response and the way it said.

What about your contract?

Assuming you have a contract or letter of agreement with the client you may wonder if that doesn’t require them to pay you no matter what. Yes it does, in theory. But that doesn’t say much about how likely you are to get paid if the organization is in financial trouble. If they are headed into bankruptcy, or shutting the firm down, the truth is there’s not much you can do. You can always try a suit in small claims court but this is expensive and time-consuming. If they don’t have money to pay you now, they are unlikely to have any when you go to court.  [click to continue…]


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