How do I see my profile?

Go to the profile dropdown menu (hover over the icon next to the search box on the right side of the header) and click “My Profile.”

How do I edit my profile?

Go to the profile dropdown menu and click “Settings.”

How do I change my profile photo?

In "Settings," 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. Photo file size is limited to 10 MB max—anything larger than that will result in an error message.

How do I share my work?

Click on “Create & Connect” in the menu above, then “Post Work.” You can post a poem or a book. Type or copy/paste your text into the text box or upload a PDF—we recommend the latter format if you’re posting a whole book, or anything several pages long. 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 do I enter in 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 Tags when I’m posting work?

Tags are not required, but you can include any that might make it easier for other poets to find your poem or book based on similarities. You do not need to include "#" before your tags. Keep the tags short and simple; 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).

What does clicking the heart button on a poem or book post do?

Sends a poet much-needed love

What does clicking the star button on a poem or book post do?

Puts a poem or book in your catalog on your profile page. Anything you star on the site will be archived in this catalog

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

Be great.

No, seriously, how do I get my poem or book featured on the site?

Every day our team of Bridge editors features a Poem of the Day and shares it to our social media networks. A different editor features a poem each day, and the selection is up to them, though we try to feature as many different poets as possible and never the same poet twice in any given week. At the start of each week our social media manager selects a Book of the Week to be featured on the site and shares it to social media. Not nearly as many books are posted on the site as poems, so if you share a book, it has a very good chance of being featured—and soon!

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 post anything on 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 Instagram 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, don’t post it on the site. Then again, you might consider how many people are reading your poem on the site—and through our social media channels if it's featured—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 you submit a critique request, it is up to the mentor to approve or decline your request. 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).

How and when do I pay a mentor for a critique?

In order to request a critique, you need to input your credit card info in your settings (click "Settings" in your profile dropdown menu). When you submit a request, the mentor will receive a notification and be asked to approve or decline it. If the mentor approves, you'll receive a notification to approve or decline their terms. Only when both you and the mentor have approved will your credit card be charged.

How long will it take to receive a critique?

If a mentor approves your critique request, they'll be asked to establish the number of days needed to complete it. You'll then have the chance to approve or decline this timetable. If you approve, the mentor will receive a notification to start the critique. Only when the mentor clicks "Start Critique" in their inbox will the critique timetable start; from that point on, they have to complete the critique in the agreed-upon number of days. If they don't, you can contest the critique and get a refund.

What if I'm not happy with a critique? Can I get a refund?

You can only get a refund for a critique if the agreed-upon terms have not been met, e.g. the mentor delivered the critique too late, or only wrote 100 words of feedback when they promised 250. If you contest a critique simply because you're not happy with what the mentor said about your work, our administrator will not issue a refund; after all, you're not paying a mentor just to say nice things, but to critique your work. If we find that the mentor's feedback has violated our code of conduct, we will refund your payment and remove the mentor from our site.

How do I become a mentor?

Click on “Apply to Become a Mentor” on the Get Started page, or in your profile dropdown menu if you want to save this process for later. Follow the instructions on the application page.

What should I enter for Skills on my mentor application?

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 poets to find you based on specific skills.

What should I enter for Influences on my mentor application?

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 poets to find you based on influences. 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 get featured as a mentor?

Every Monday, our social media manager features two mentors on the site and promotes them to our social media networks. We try to feature as many different mentors as possible and never feature anyone more than once in a three-month period. Rest assured, if you’re a mentor on the site, you’ll eventually be featured—sooner rather than later if you’re a new mentor!

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