EducationLearn how to deal with a poetry book editor

Learn how to deal with a poetry book editor


When you write fiction, it’s common for editors to request revisions. It can sometimes be demotivating to receive feedback from editors who want you to change some things you like. Edits can be even more difficult to take when it comes to poetry. This is because poets tend to have freedom in determining the structure of the poetry. A decision of a poet about structuring a piece, its meaning, and the wording choices can be deliberate and stylish. Therefore, a poet can feel that an editor is invasive by putting their ideas into the work. In this article, you will learn how to deal with a poetry book editor.


Respect is something that needs to define the relationship between you and your poetry book editor. Regardless of the editor you choose to work with, they all provide their expertise. Therefore, you should not act arrogantly because this can prevent you from having a good relationship with the potential editor.

Instead, you should try to listen to their opinions. This means you should take the time to think of what the editor explained and not have an instant reaction. In this way, you can appreciate the need to make some changes. 

Be open to changes

Ideally, it can be hard to compromise the integrity of the poems or let someone write some parts of your poem in a way that deviates from your vision. But you also need to be open to the opinions of other people. In this way, you can take advantage of the editor’s knowledge and can assist you to expand your skills. 

You should remember that when you have an open mind and can change your mindset in the way you write the poems, you may realize that a suggestion for a different rhyming couplet or different line can be a better option. This can be a hard thing to do because the deliberate choices you make usually after attempting several other options become what you believe is the right choice. Accepting that an editor may have a better idea can be hard, though it often strengthens the poem.

Changes to accept

You need to accept changes that are made associated with the poem’s structure like in the rhyme scheme or the meter. For instance, if you decide to write a poem that is based on the work of someone else, then the editor may want you to maintain the structural elements of the source. This is true regardless of whether or not you want to utilize it for general inspiration. 

Many editors desire you to follow closely the structure of the original poem. Therefore, you may need to change some of the wording or even the entire stanza.  This can help you come up with a stronger piece. 

You should also address the undesirable changes clearly and calmly. Hence, you need to provide a response that demonstrates that you understand why a poetry book editor is asking for the change. In other words, don’t be rude to your editor because this can destroy your working relationship. 

The best way to handle this situation is to create a response plan showing that you understand why the poetry book editor wants the change. But you need to express clearly and succinctly why you don’t favor the change. For example, you should avoid using words that can be seen to be rude, such as “I don’t like it.” 

A poetry book editor can ask for changes that are associated with inconsistencies like meter, rhyme scheme, or when a poem is considered to be vague in its meaning. Unfortunately, many poets fail to understand why such changes need to be made. The way you respond to an editor can sometimes determine whether they accept or reject your work.  

In other words, you can explain to your poetry book editor what you are going for, so the editor can decide if it’s justified. You should always discuss with your editor on the requested changes so that they can be handled respectfully. A poetry book editor can decide to leave alone some of the changes, though they may still need some changing. The way you approach your editor matters when it comes to working with your editor.

Many poetry book editors may have written poetry themselves and are reasonable, so they are aware of the care of making decisions during the writing process. Ideally, if you respectfully approach requests for revisions and offer good reasons for preferring to leave something as it is, you can receive a more positive response than responding rudely. For a good outcome, you need to hire poetry book editors.

Don’t react from pique

If you don’t like the changes the poetry book editor requested, then you should keep it to yourself. This applies to both covert and overt communication. In other words, this applies to the words you use and your tone.

Remember that tone can sometimes come through even when you don’t want it to or when the words of a message fail to communicate the same irritation. Therefore, if you want to request the revisions, you should do it graciously and not as if you are doing a favor to the poetry book editor. It’s good to have pleasant engagements and do the changes professionally and quickly rather than to act insolently. 

The bottom line is that your poetry book editor should not attempt to force you to make changes in language or words simply because they prefer them. This means you should not be pressured to change something that you don’t agree with just because you want the poetry book to be published.

Your poetry book editor can only assist to strengthen your poetry by offering constructive suggestions. In most cases, a good poetry book editor can strengthen some elements, such as rhyme scheme, meter, and sound play. Above all, you need to treat your poetry book editor with respect regardless of whether or not you agree with them. You can address the requested revisions and show which ones you will be doing and give reasons why you prefer your version rather than changing it.

To Know More – sierrap12000

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