SHARING AND PROMOTING YOUR NEWS

ONLINE EVENTS LISTINGS | GETTING HELP SPREADING THE WORD
GETTING HELP FROM THE LEAGUE | WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY NEWS?

There is no doubt in our minds that Canada’s literary community is bursting with talent, initiative, and promise right now—from coast to coast, groups and individuals are creating art, organizations, collectives, and projects that bring together an incredible array of skills, backgrounds, and voices. At any given time you can open up your internet browser and find a new literary magazine, a new small press, a book launch, a reading series, and much, much more. So the trouble is: how do you make your news stand out?

There’s no one way to make your project stand out in the literary crowd, and what works for one group may not work for another, but we’ve assembled some tips and tricks for getting your news out there. You can also check out the bottom of this post for a bit more information about how the League, specifically, can help you promote your events and other news.

If you’re just starting out planning an event, check out our tips for organizing a reading or literary evening here.

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ONLINE EVENTS LISTINGS

From regional listings like BlogTO and Open Book Toronto to national event calendars like ours, there are tons of great online events listings that accept submissions and reach an engaged audience. But getting your event up into these listings isn’t as simple as sending a mass e-mail out with a few base details about your event—if you don’t follow instructions specific to each website, you may not have any luck getting your event posted. Or if it does get posted, the posting may not have enough information to attract newcomers.

Follow instructions: Check to see if there is a form to fill out, or if they accept email submissions. If they accept email submissions, check to make sure you have the proper subject line, and that your email contains all the information they’ve requested, in the order they have requested it. Make sure you’re sending it to the right place—many websites have a few different sections, so make sure you’re specifying what you’re submitting to. Check if they also want a poster, or if they specify no visual materials. All of these little details will add up to ensure your submission is clear and easy to post!

Be specific, but also interesting: Obviously, your event posting needs to have details. Where? (Province, city, venue name, AND street address.) Who’s reading? What time do the doors open, do the readings start? But beyond details, try to make your event posting engaging as well. Never assume that someone reading your event posting already knows your reading series, or already knows who your readers are, or—really—already knows anything! Provide reader bios, and a little bit about what your event is: Is it a regular series, or a one off show? Is there an open mic? Will there be discussion as well as readings, or just readings? Imagine you are new to poetry and trying to decide what to attend, and create an event listing that would convince this hypothetical you to check it out.

Submit well in advance: try to send out your postings at least two weeks ahead of time, if not more! It can take a few days for the website to post your listing, and you want to make sure you’re giving everyone lots of time to get excited about your event.

Last but not least: If you are sending more than one event, make sure it’s okay to include both in one email. If the guidelines don’t indicate otherwise, feel free to include multiple events in the same email, but make sure you’re including a full event posting for each one!

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GETTING HELP SPREADING THE WORD

For news like calls for submissions, prizes, project launches, and milestones—large-scale events that the public can get involved and invested in—you might be able to reach out to organizations for help in spreading the word. Some types of places you might reach out to with literary news are writers’ organizations, literary magazines, creative writing programs, libraries, small presses, etc.

When seeking help with promotion from other organizers and organizations, you want to make your information as easy to share as possible. One great way to do this is to prepare copy that is ready to share on a variety of platforms:

  • Include 1-2 ready-to-share tweets, which are up to 140 characters INCLUDING any handles and links. (Test these out in Twitter ahead of time to make sure they fit! Bitly is a great link-shortener.)
  • Include a ready-to-share Facebook post around 50 to 100 words long which includes the primary link you’d like to share
  • Include a ready-to-share paragraph up to about 250 words that could be used in something like a newsletter or e-mail to members, and remember to include the link
  • If you are including visual materials, be sure to include JPG file in addition to any other file formats–these are a fairly ubiquitous file format, and easy to share on all social media platforms.

Always be sure to be personal, as well! Even if you are sending out the same email to several groups, personalize it as much as you can. Include information about yourself as well as information about the news you are hoping to promote, and link to your own website and social media accounts for easy reference.

If you are a member of any literary organizations, you may also be able to send your news for inclusion in a member news section of a newsletter or website. Keep in mind that ready-to-share material is always appreciated at every level, whether it’s a paragraph of personal news or announcing an international poetry prize!

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GETTING THE LEAGUE’S HELP

We have several ways that we can help promote your news and events, both to our membership and to the public.

Online events calendar
Anyone can submit events taking place anywhere in Canada to our online events calendar. Visit poets.ca/events for more information on how to submit.

Between the Lines
We publish a selection of writing opportunities each month in our public newsletter. If you would like us to include your workshop, writer-in-residence opportunity, call for submissions, prize, or other writing opportunity please contact nicole@poets.ca. Sign up to receive Between the Lines here.

Social media
Our Facebook and Twitter pages are often used to share large-scale events such as seasonal book launches or fundraisers, as well as writing opportunities and poetry-related news in Canada. If you are interested in having the League share something on social media, send ready-to-share suggested content, as well as a brief introduction to yourself and your organization, to nicole@poets.ca.

ST@NZA
Our members-only publication is distributed to over 600 professionals writers across Canada on a seasonal basis. If you are interested in advertising in ST@NZA, check out our rate card.

Members of the League can submit member news, calls for submissions, workshops, and other writing opportunities as per the guidelines found here. Contact info@poets.ca for more details if you need assistance.

Member news
Members of the League can submit up to one ready-to-share paragraph of member news to nicole@poets.ca any time. Our member news page is updated at the start of each month.

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WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY NEWS?

The following suggestions are meant to be just that—suggestions, not hard and fast rules, or recipes for guaranteed success. Before sending your news anywhere, consider how others can interact with your news. Is it something they can attend? Participate in? Read? How can they benefit? This should help inform where you send your news.

Events (including book launches, reading series, one-off readings, etc.):

  • Online events listings—regional, provincial, and national
  • Literary organizations you are a member of

A new book or other publication:

  • Literary organizations you are a member of

A call for submissions to a magazine or anthology:

  • Writers’ organizations
  • Creative writing programs
  • Literary organizations you are a member of

A workshop:

  • Writers’ organizations
  • Creative writing programs
  • Literary organizations you are a member of

A prize:

  • Writers’ organizations
  • Creative writing programs
  • Organizations you are a member of
  • Literary magazines and small presses

A fundraiser:

  • Writers’ organizations
  • Creative writing programs
  • Organizations you are a member of
  • Literary magazines and small presses