Poetry Manuscript Assessment Checklist

On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading:

  • reads and reviews your poetry book manuscript, then
  • writes a manuscript assessment report based on our Checklist.

Poetry Manuscript Assessment checklist

Our manuscript assessment report will cover, among other things, recommendations about the following, noting these recommendations will depend entirely upon the poet’s chosen audience:

  • structure of book and order of poems
  • relevance and quality of poems to the whole book, noting any poems that may be better off deleted for the good of the whole
  • In a general sense: any issues to be addressed – anything not working –  regarding style, enjambment, certain words (any cliches, jarring words or repetition, unintended meanings of words), the theme and subthemes.
  • titles of poems, and title of the book
  • fonts/ capitalisation/lowercase and punctuation/no punctuation styles used for certain poems/throughout the book
  • (if appropriate), corrections or additions to front matter: preliminary pages such as introduction, publication information, dedication etc.; feedback about the proposed blurb, and cover design.

As this is poetry, not prose: we can while doing the MS assessment annotate any obvious typos to alert you about, in either hardcopy or In Word Track Changes (whichever reading method we use to do the assessment). However, we will not attempt to copy edit or proofread your MS at the same time as doing the MS assessment. (No editor would offer to do that, as it would result in an inferior assessment or copy edit.)

As part of the assessment we will recommend one or more of the following:

  • further self-editing (as per our recommendations/instructions)
  • a detailed edit by a professional editor who specialises in poetry. This poetry edit would not make any word or stanza changes to poems, but would be a series of editor suggestions to the poet, about those imorovements
  • graphic design and self-publishing; or submitting the manuscript to a publisher.

For more information about poetry manuscript assessment:  Contact us.

For more information about poetry in general

This article has been proofread by Dee Sansom from On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading.

Photo: Sally-Anne Watson Kane.

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