Submit a single poem:
Reading Fees: $7 for 1 page
$8 for 2 pages
$9 for 3 pages
For longer poems please query
Please do not include a cover letter. If you have specific requests or questions you'd like our critique to focus on, you may email them to the day you submit your piece. Please include "[Last Name], Specific Request" as your subject line.
Poems should be 12pt. font, Times New Roman, in English.
Please submit one poem at a time and wait for a response before submitting another.
Please submit your work as a Word document to .
Submit payment: go to paypal.me/1WeekCritique or use our PayPal buttons (right-hand column).
Feedback is returned within one week.
1 Page ($7)
2 Pages ($8)
3 Pages ($9)
A response will consist of:
how the piece is operating:
the evident concerns of the piece
rhetorical strategies the piece incorporates to convey these concerns
ultimately, the connotations inherent in the work
2. areas of strength
1. consists of an analysis of why/how an area is perceived as strong
2. may include suggestions for incorporating this elsewhere throughout the piece
3. areas of weakness
1. consists of an analysis of why/how an area is perceived as weak
2. may include suggestions for possible improvement
4. writers or works that may be of interest to read/study
5. a recommendation on how to improve the piece or questions to consider in revision
1. Can I submit more than one poem?
We think we can generally offer the best feedback about one poem and the way it’s operating at a time. To keep our response schedule of a week, we benefit from having a manageable workload that we can consider as holistically as possible. Hence the request for a single poem in a 12-point standard font.
2. I have an epic poem of 300 pages—can I send the whole thing?
I once saw an hour-long lecture on William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow.” An hour for one sentence! which allowed the speaker to think very specifically about each word choice, each lineation.
In the case of multi-page poems it can be tricky to give that kind of detailed assessment. Certainly, it takes a lot longer to do so. As readers and editors, we end up fixating more on one or two lines or stanzas within the context of the whole poem, it’s intents. These differences are also indicative of what short and long poems ask of us as readers.
Extremely long poems might not be viable in our usual time frame, but if you have poems that use a lot of white space or other specific format, you can query us about the layout and pricing before you submit.
3. I have two short poems. Can I put two poems on a page and pay $7?
We’d prefer you didn’t. As always we’re happy to answer questions about specific projects you might want edited that don’t fit our typical model, but our goal is to give thorough feedback on a poem you’re developing.
With two poems you might get feedback that engages the pairing or has more to do with themes (by virtue of pairing) than with the poems as works in progress. That is, you’d probably get less on the individual word choices and on the individual poems, which is what we think we can most readily provide to most writers.
4. Can I submit my child’s poem to you? Can my child submit to you?
Sure! But do let us know that you or they are doing so. Knowing a poet’s age can help us tailor feedback and recommendations to them. If we know a poet is 6-years-old we’ll try to refrain from quoting obscurely from Judith Butler or Frantz Fanon.
5. What if I can’t afford to submit?
We’d like 1WC to be a welcoming platform, so we’ve tried to develop a pricing scheme that helps us mediate the costs of presenting and managing the studio while also being as affordable as possible to as many poets as possible. We’re private individuals and unfortunately don’t have the safety net of an institution or an institution’s resources behind us. That’s to say, at this point, we are two people who manage the reading, the responding, as well as all the website and social media, etc. this endeavor requires.
The underlying value of 1WC for us is the opportunity to serve and engage the poetry community in a manner we find ourselves particularly equipped for. If the cost of our service is out of your reach, feel free to let us know. Literature has a cultural worth. We don’t think wealth should be the delimiting factor to developing your writing and presenting it to be received by the broader community. We’ve always got our ear to the ground for resources that help writers actualize their work.
6. My poem is written in a relatively obscure genre like Flarf or Confurrealism. Should I expect you to understand that?
Not necessarily. Most genre distinctions don’t substantively alter how we would read. But if you’ve read our response format and believe your work needs contextualization or that contextualizing it will be useful to our understanding of your poem, of course let us know when you submit your work.
7. Do you read poems in languages other than English?
No. We are capable of it in some languages (more with the aid of the internet), but not expertly enough to offer our services confidently to poets who operate in languages other than our own primary English.
8. My poem includes foul language, graphic sexual content, extreme violence, and/or is about how much I hate someone or something. Can I send it?
Life includes these things, so too must poems. We do understand that some subjects are particularly difficult for the writer to share and have critiqued, which we try to be sensitive to, but there’s no particular need to be sensitive to us. We certainly aren’t to each other.
We’re ready to face what comes. To quote Baudelaire “Tu le connsais, lecture, ce monster délicat,/—Hypocrite lecture,—mon semblable,—mon frère!” (You know him, reader, this delicate monster,/—Hypocrite reader—my like,—my brother!)
9. I’m disappointed in my feedback, now what?
First of all, we’re sorry. We never want to disappoint the poets we edit. If you have particular complaints about an editor or a response, or if we failed to keep our promises, let us know what we did. We’re happy to address and manage what didn’t go well.
10. I loved my feedback and/or I was published—now what?
We couldn’t be happier! We want poets who use 1WC to actualize their poems--whether that’s publishing, winning an award, or simply seeing the beauties of your own perfect haiku.
Let us know when you have good feelings or get good news. It keeps us going. We also welcome mentions in journals or on social media (see our buttons on the Contact page). That keeps us going in other ways.