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How would I format my peculiar poetic prose manuscript? (1 Viewer)


Hi Writing Forum.
Basically, I've written a 25,000 word manuscript of poetic prose (a bit odd, I know). I'd like to try to get an agent who'll represent my weird manuscript (which I know is going to be difficult). How would I format a manuscript of poetic prose? Do you think I should format it like a regular poetry manuscript or would I format it like an ordinary novel? Please excuse me if this sounds like an amateurish question. In all honesty, I am new to this whole process of trying to get published and I feel a bit lost. My work doesn't really seem to fit into the modern poetry world but it seems to be liked by people who don't ordinarily read poetry. If I sound a bit vague I'll try my best to answer any questions you might have. Thanks in advance for any answers!


Senior Member
You have to make your own decision on this one. You wroted 25k presented in some kind of a form, and surely you yourself are deep enough into the project to have an opinion? There's no a.n writer available to say 're-configure just like this way and you shall break down walls..'

Upon the forum there is the opportunity to present any way you like to elicit opinion in the crit mine zone. I'd head that way maybe...and maybe for confidence. Did I read you right? Apols if I have been a ruffian. :/


Friends of WF
How would I format a manuscript of poetic prose? Do you think I should format it like a regular poetry manuscript or would I format it like an ordinary novel?

Yeah, it's a little hard to see what you mean by "peculiar." Some people will call any kind of prose poetry "peculiar."

But I'm guessing you are talking about prose poetry that uses the page as part of its stage, rather than as a simple carrier of left-aligned broken lines.

I'm looking at a book of "peculiar" prose poems right now: Justin Phillip Reed's "Indecency", 2018, through Coffee House Press, ISBN 978-1-56689-514-9. (It's from my local library system so maybe it's in other libraries' catalogs, too?)

And I'm wondering how the author might have sent the original manuscript to a publisher. Some of these pieces could not have been transmitted in a normal electronic text manuscript. They would have required either digital images or a physical manuscript.

But back to you and your "weird" MS: Is the peculiarity in your MS typographical? Or maybe it's simply large blocks of unbroken text?

In the latter -- those dense blocks common and so right for prose poems -- I've seen the convention of large edge margins, both left and right, and fully justified text within the blocks. (Except for the margins it is rather like a novel, in that regard.)

Is there a published poet whose work is similar to yours? Using their work as an example we might be able to get a better idea of what you are concerned about.

And you might look at submission pages for publishers already handling your sort of writing. They might have guidance.


Thanks Matchu and Robert for your replies.
When I posted my original post a couple of days ago I was feeling a bit out of my depth with regards to formatting my manuscript and finding a publisher.
Also, I wasn't really sure if I should concentrate my efforts on only looking for a publisher who solely specializes in poetry, or if I should try sending my manuscript to a publisher or agent who deals with multiple literary genres. I was probably making an erroneous and uninformed distinction in my mind!
Anyway, I've now figured out how to format my manuscript. Thanks again for your replies and all the best - J