How Poets Make Money



so I know why you clicked on this video you want to make some money writing poetry well I'll tell you that money was actually for my birthday I didn't get that money writing poetry but what I will tell you is how you can make some money writing poetry you're not going to be this millionaire writing it I'll tell you that although some people have won an extensive amount of money we'll get there but what I can tell you is so far I've made about three thousand dollars by writing poetry three thousand dollars if you also take away the zero take away another zero at ten dollars take away twenty and then maybe at five then after I count all the places I've submitted to for money maybe I've made about five or six dollars writing poetry but that's besides the point there are other ways that you can gain money and I'm going to tell you some ways that you can one the obvious way to win prizes to win scholarships to win grants basically submitting your work in order to win a cash prize some of these cash prizes range from like one hundred and twenty thousand dollar check for like a book prize for one of your one of your best books or like a fifty thousand dollar cash prize a thousand dollars fifty dollars and it gets lower to 200 150 twenty-five and then the lowest I've heard was maybe about ten dollars from a poem now the thing is there's this lottery system a lot of the time or you got to pay into these things right a lot of these presses get grants from a different any A's and the different kind of funds that they get from different donors and different colleges and that's how they end up paying for prizes but other prizes you get the money from by actually putting in so like let's say if there's a thousand people that enter for this prize or they're expecting a thousand people to enter and they off coughed up three dollars right and the cash prize is $1,000 that thousand dollars you get from everyone putting in that money and $2,000 pays for the publication it pays to pay the editors to pay the press and a lot of ways in which that these companies and these distribution sites would keep on running their own business sometimes they won't pay you for a published poem but they'll pay you with a contributors copy like I mentioned in one of my other videos the way I get my reviews and the way I get my journals that I'm published in instead of paying me they'll send me contributor copies just like they did with dry land Lit in the same way they did with Naugatuck River review I don't condone the practice of giving money to places in order to receive money but it is hard out here and there are only so many prizes and there are other prizes that you don't really need to pay for in order to receive them these come in the ways of different kind of scholarship funds different stipends for doing some sort of work to doing some sort of service in order to get paid for it so look out for those as well we can also be paid for your performances you can be paid to host workshops even get paid for like talks and panels this doesn't come before you get published right or before you have some sort of notoriety in the performance scene it to get paid to actually go to places you already have to have this writers resume developed so you are you getting publications are you getting features at readings are you a public figure in the area do you do community work with different poets do you work in schools do you work in community organizations all of those things are are going to work in your favor if you are trying to get paid at a place to actually go kind of consider this I always tell my students consider this kind of like a draft lottery write the first-round draft pick is always going to get the biggest signing cheque is always going to get signed to a really good team because they have that skill set right they've played college or they played this high school game and eight velop themselves as this act athlete as this artist of the body so now what you need to do you have to develop yourself as this artist with your art form and how are you going to make yourself mark in a bowl you're gonna make yourself marketable by being out in the public you can also be an entrepreneur I'm in my other video I also talked about the passing out of those literary mixtapes right so if you have a zine if you have a chat book if you have an artist book you can sell these anywhere from like $1 to $10 to $12 when you go to readings so people have things to take away another poet on the scene and in the noir community Jasmine Mane's she actually has products that you can buy so she has t-shirts she has cups and you could buy those of merchandise to support the poet and it usually has something to do with their poetry form mixtape mixtape there's a poet homie Robert Hilton he's been teaching in like the north public high schools for like god knows how long since like I was a teenager and a lot of my friends talked about him as a spoken word artist in his literature classrooms and I was able to read with him I got the pleasure to read with him during a dodj poetry summer reading and Nord voices I'm going to have the video right here I also have a video with him if you guys want to start hearing some other poets let me know and I'll also start putting them up on this channel too just so people could start getting the exposure of the different communities that I'm in but yeah really good album it's fire lastly I'm something that a deer poetry mentor of mine tells me all the time diversify diversify diversify you are a writer you could write well the thing that separates a writer from a really good writer is editing is being able to sit down with the work and knowing the craft so if you're a poet you can probably also write a really good email you could probably write a really good story you can probably help other people edit you can probably help do resumes make sure that you are making money with this craft you have as a writer not just in poetry but mediums for example I also edit manuscripts I help people SAT prep I can help you with an essay I can do resumes I do just regular copy editing and those are other services I provide besides just being this poet that is kind of witnessing a story for the community other writers also choose to write in the different mediums right so some people could be writing memoirs short stories other types of prose book reviews book reviews are absolutely great this is something that a lot of my friends and my circle do with one another even with your even with your poetry friends if someone gets a book and you know of this book by the book support your buddy and also write a review and send those out to different magazines and journals because if those reviews get published your buddy gets a bit of this boost and when you get that book your buddy can give you that same boost so as you can see there are many different ways that you can make money some of these are going to be more consistent than others sometimes you're gonna hit that one big jackpot sometimes you're just going to be passing dough and collecting five dollars here and there but at the end of the day what really matters is it the money that matters is the poet or is it the art that is getting out there there is always going to be work for you to get in different forms but there's always going to be this work once you clock out once you get home and you sit in front of that desk it's great if you'd be able to combine the two if you'd be able to do what you love and you can go and you can travel with your work and share yourself with others but there's a lot of work pass to go into that not saying that you can't be that person but just know that if you want to you got to put in the work oh did I miss anything is there anything that you're still confused with I'd love to start a conversation with you like comment and subscribe below and before I see you in the next class don't forget to follow me on Facebook on Instagram and read my work check out my Amazon book list get educated and I'll see you next time

12 thoughts on “How Poets Make Money

  1. Thank you for your info. From your video I've determined what will not work…FOR ME PERSONALLY.
    Thank you for helping me on my personal journey.

  2. There’s also the more traditional ways like teaching lit and writing classes in schools (more stable income but requires a degree), and publishing full length collections (no degree required but far less stable income). I like teaching for its stability, but then I unfortunately trade writing time. And I’ve yet to publish a collection. I dig the idea of making money from the one thing I don’t hate to do. Thanks for the vid. Good things to ponder.

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