Poetry is often seen as a field where writers can’t make money. However, there are tons of opportunities for poets to turn their self-expression into a side hustle or a full-time career. Here are some ways to make money from your art, both short-term and long-term.
If you already submit your poetry to literary journals and magazines to build your publishing experience, submit your work to publications that pay writers for accepted submissions. There is no standard to when you should start getting paid for your work, so submit your work to paid publications. Poets & Writers and Duotrope provide listings for publications that pay writers.
Depending on your writing style, your poems can be submitted as monologues. Local theater productions accept and pay for monologues for $30 minimum per piece.
Fellowships are short-term opportunities that last for a month to a year depending on the program, and aim to help the creative and professional development of writers. Fellowships can provide residencies, publishing opportunities, and workshops to improve your writing, all while providing you with a stipend!
Residencies provide you with a space to work on a project for a certain period of time. In addition to workspace, some residencies provide compensation. But if you’ve been investing in a work space for your writing, having a free work space for an extended period of time can save you money.
Fully Funded MFAs
Despite the notion that MFAs are useless, fully funded MFAs can not only provide a degree, but housing, money to submit to publications, teaching opportunities, and a stipend for 1-2 years. Universities want to invest in artists because they give schools a great reputation, so apply!
Being a teaching artist can provide a salary of $50-$3000 per workshop. If you have credentials, create lessons around your art and your inspiration, and teach at schools, non-profits, programs that support those who are incarcerated, and more.