Compiling Poetry Packets for Submission - Header Problem

Hi there helpful people,

My most pressing “Compile” need is to create packets of 3-5 poems for submission to journals.

Most journals want contact information in the upper right corner of each poem, some want packets to be anonymous.

I would like to create two Project Formats, one for submissions with contact info, and one for anonymous submissions.

Here is an example of how a packet should look with contact information:

Scrivener Problem Example.pdf (54.5 KB)

Note that contact info only appears at the beginning of each poem, so using a multiline “Header” is not working for me, for two reasons:

  1. because it shows up on page two of a two page poem and I just need it on the first page of the poem.
  2. because a 4-5 line header is jammed too far up in the top margins and the first two lines disappear off the page.

If anyone has a fix for this, or can confirm that it can’t be done, I’d be very grateful!

Thanks so much,

Which version of Scrivener are you using?

Basically, the simple way round this is treat your name and address as a separate document to the title and text of the poem, then join them together at compile — but how you do this depends on which version you are using.

In both versions, you’d set the binder up to have:

A folder per poem. The folder title has the poem title (for use in the header). The folder text has your details (in every folder).

Underneath each folder a single document, with the poem title as its title. The text of the document is the poem itself.

The differences come when you get to compile, but basically you set:

The Folders to print out their Text only (ie the Title box is unticked). Folders should have a page break before.

The documents (poem text) should be set to have their Titles and Text printed out with no page break before.

You would set the separator between the two types (eg folder and document) to a blank line or single return as you wish — no page break.

This means that the compile gets to a folder and prints a new page then only the text of the folder – your details. Then immediately afterwards it prints the title (the document title) and the poem (the document text).

The next item is a folder, so prints a page break and rinse and repeat. You don’t need to use headers at all for this.

As I said, how you set this up specifically depends on which version you have, so if you have any questions, let us know which one you have and we’ll try to help.



This is so helpful! Thank you for laying this out for me. I just updated to Scrivener 3 and with some trial and error I was able to figure it out.

With best regards and gratitude,

Glad it helped Jenny.

Version 3 doesn’t change anything in the general outline of what I wrote, but it does change the specifics of how you do it.

If you’ve only just updated to V3, then you’re probably not aware of some of the changes in compile — V3 has some different assumptions which in the end make compilation a lot easier and more flexible, but which can be a bit disorientating if you don’t use them.

Can I make a suggestion which I think will help you get to where you want most effectively?

The V3 Interactive Tutorial (available from both the New Projects dialogue and from the Help Menu contains a collection ‘What’s New in Scrivener 3’ (if you can’t seen see it, then View > Show Collections).

If will help you a lot if you take half an hour to read through the two sections ‘Section Types’ and ‘Compilation’ as these are the fundamental building blocks of the new compile process and will make many of the explanations you see on the forums clearer. (The ‘difficulty’ people see in V3 is usually because they haven’t understood that some things have changed – reading these two sections will mean you set off on the right foot.)

When you’ve done that you’ll find the general steps I gave above will fall nicely into place (much more easily than in V2, in fact).

Briefly, you will assign a different ‘Section Type’ to the Folders and Documents to describe what they are. Then in Compile, you’ll tell the compiler how you want them to look by assigning ‘Section Layouts’ to them. There are several Section Layouts provided by default, but you can edit and amend these to suit your needs. In your case, for the Folders you’ll choose a Section Layout which has a page break before and which prints out the text (your details) but which doesn’t print out the title or the chapter number.

For the poem itself (the child document Section Type), you’ll assign a Section Layout with no page break and which prints out both the Title and the Text.

HTH – once you’ve had a look at the Tutorial to get the basic idea (it won’t take long), please ask if you have any further questions.

I think there may be a simpler (and non-structure-based) way to go about this. Presumably, each poem is in its own single document (title and text inclusive) and that makes things simple. It should mean that getting the identifying info to compile on the first page of each should just be a matter of assigning poem docs to a Section Format that does that. Here’s my idea:

Suppose each of your poem docs has the same Section Type.* In a custom Compile Format you could have two distinct Section Formats to assign that section type to – depending on which sort of journal you are submitting to. Let’s say the formats are called Verse With Header, and Verse No Header. Both these formats would be set to start with a page break.

The Verse With Header would then also be set to include some (right aligned) Prefix text – which would be your name and identifying info.That’s it.

Good luck with your poetry submissions!


P.S. If you are sending out different combinations of poems to different journals, you should also note that in the main compile dialog box (right side) you can simply specify that you want compiled just whatever docs you had selected in the Binder when you invoked compile. Very handy.

  • This could be an assigned section type, say, ‘Poem’, or might just be the default type for docs. The latter probably works here, because all the docs getting compiled into the submission pdf will be poem docs and nothing else.

I think that works too and may be simpler. Good idea.


Thank you! This works too and is a very elegant solution. This will make submissions so much faster!

brookter, thanks for pointing me to the Interactive Tutorial—I’ve learned so much this morning.

All the best and thanks again for solving a longstanding problem.