Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I edit my profile?

Go to the profile icon next to the Search box at the top of the page and click “Edit Profile.”

What should I enter for Skills? Do I even have skills?

Think of particular types of expertise you have in writing or reading poems. This might be writing/reading long lines—enter “long lines.” Or writing/reading sonnets—enter “sonnets.” Stay away from more general skills like “poetry” or “creative writing” or anything longer than 2-3 words, because this will make it more difficult for other poets to find you based on specific skills.

What should I enter for Influences?

Any poets, writers or artists who have influenced you. We suggest using the full name of the person (e.g. Hart Crane) so it’s easier for other poets to find you. You might enter something like “the sun” or “bacon,” but students searching for mentors might not be searching for mentors with those types of influences. Then again, maybe they will.

How do I change my profile photo?

Go to Edit Profile and hover over the photo you want to change. Click on the photo and your device will open up a File Upload box for you to find and upload a new photo. When that’s done, click Update at the bottom of the page.

What do I enter into the Caption field when I’m posting work?

Any piece of information you think might be useful for people to see when they’re browsing through work on the Explore page. Maybe a line from the poem or book; maybe some words about when or how it was written. Anything that might persuade someone to click on that thumbnail and open up your poem/book to read.

What should I enter for the Tags when I’m posting work?

Again, any tags that would make it easier for other poets to find your poem or book based on similarities. Keep the tags short and simple. So if you’re posting a sonnet, type “sonnet” and other poets who’ve posted sonnets can find yours more easily. If you’re posting a first book, type “first book” and other people who’ve posted their first book can check out yours through that tag. If you’re posting a poem about bacon, type “bacon.” We’d love to see poems about bacon.

Why do I have to upload an image when posting work?

Because the site looks and works better if there’s an image to represent your work—instead of, you know, tiny pieces of text. Imagine all those tiny pieces of text on the page. Yikes. Maybe you’re annoyed that you have to upload an image, but imagine how annoyed you’d be “browsing” through all those tiny pieces of text. Here’s another chance to get creative. What image would best represent your poem or book? If it’s a book, obviously the book cover. If it’s a poem, what kind of image might make a good “cover” for that individual poem? The relationship between the image and poem need not be obvious (obviously).

Am I only allowed to upload a PDF when posting work?

No, you can type the text of the work into the text box below the PDF Browse button. Or copy and paste it. (We don’t recommend this when posting a whole book, though.) Bear in mind that the original font and formatting of the poem will be more difficult to control in the text box—and your line breaks may be altered when the poem is viewed on tablet or mobile. Hence the PDF upload option. Use that to preserve your original formatting for any device. For shorter poems or poems with shorter lines, use the text box; the text looks pretty sweet in the lightbox and it’s immediately viewable to other poets when they click on the work thumbnail. PDFs will require one more click.

What does clicking the star button do?

That puts a poem or book or studio/library photo in your Catalog. Anything you like on the site can be saved in this Catalog.

What does clicking the heart button do?

Sends a poet much-needed love.

How do I get my poem or book Featured on the site?

Be great.

If I post a poem on the Bridge, is that a publication? Will journals not want to publish my poem if I’ve already posted it on the Bridge?

Technically if you put anything in the public domain via social media, it is “published.” So posting a poem on the Bridge might be viewed as a “publication” by some periodicals, in the same way that posting a poem on your website or on Tumblr or Facebook might be viewed as a publication. If you want to send a poem out for publication in one of these periodicals and you’re worried they’ll reject it because they’ve seen it on the Bridge, then don’t post it on the site. Then again, you might consider how many people are reading your poem on the site versus how many would be reading it in one of those periodicals. Which publication will give you a larger audience? Does the academic “credential” of the periodical publication have value to you? It may or may not. If you’ve already published work in a periodical or in book form, you can repost it on the site and credit the publication along with a link to the publication online when creating your post. If you’re worried about permission, get permission from the publisher first.

How do I find a mentor to critique my work?

Go to “Create & Connect,” then click on “Get Critiqued.” You can find a mentor to critique your work based on manuscript bundle, price, location, skills (e.g. blank verse, free verse) and influences (e.g. June Jordan, Hart Crane). Read the rest of the instructions on that page to find the right mentor for you.

How long will it take to hear back from a mentor? What if I never hear back?

The response time is up to the mentor. The Bridge is here to facilitate connections between students and mentors, but once your critique request has been sent to a chosen mentor through the site, it is up to the mentor to contact you. Mentors will receive your request and manuscript via email and at that point it is up to them to contact you, make clear their terms and request payment for their services. If you don’t hear back from a mentor or it’s taking too long, we suggest finding another mentor because clearly that mentor is not right for you.

How many poems can I include per page of a manuscript bundle?

Every new poem in your bundle should start a new page. So if you have two poems, you have at least two pages—that’s what your mentor will be expecting (or one poem that goes on to a second page).

When and how do I pay a mentor for a critique or workshop?

Payment is handled by each mentor individually, and mentors will have different methods of requesting payment. Some may invoice you via Paypal or Square or some other third-party service, allowing you to pay by credit card; some may request a check in the mail. Some may require payment upfront; some may allow you to pay upon delivery of their critique; some may require half upfront and half upon delivery. The idea here is to allow mentors to do what works best for them personally; and if you prefer the way one mentor handles payment over another, then go with the one you prefer. It’s a free market.

What if I never receive a critique that I paid for?

As all payments to mentors occur offsite, disputes should be handled offsite as well. Brooklyn Poets assumes no liability for services that are not delivered.