Poetry book template

It would be really great to have a poetry book template that exports a poem per page and then skips to the next page for the next poem.

Also a numbered index page and book / manucript details separately preferably with each page numbered and a choice of fonts. Exportable in all the usual ways. Thank you.

Seconding the request for a poetry book template!

Have you explored the existing template?
I haven’t used it, but it might be worth a try.
File > New Template > Poetry and Lyrics

The existing Poetry template is really for prepping (single) poems for submission – using a format common in the poetry biz.

So, I think, not really what the OP and seconder were hoping for – namely, a template for formatting a book of poems.

Hi, AlexCabrini and j3s,

Fellow Scriv user here with a few thoughts for you for the here and now:

  1. You might want to just tweak one of the existing templates – since most of what the OP asks for is not specific to poetry. The novel templates, for example, since these are all set up with areas for front matter for compiling to different formats and so on. Think of a Scene document there as a doc to house one poem. Enable page-break-before-start on the document (in Inspector), then just duplicate it to make new docs for new poems. Change the font throughout to what you will.

  2. One of the main things asked for was just page-break-before – which is easily settable in the Inspector for any document.

  3. The OP asks for an automatically generated index of the poems. Not something a template can do (as far as I know). But Scrivener does give you tools for this. If you name your poem docs correctly, then Edit > Copy Special > Copy Documents as ToC gives you the basic thing you need for a ToC / poem index.

  4. But there are real tender issues in typesetting poetry that no template will handle for you – you will almost certainly have to massage the result after compiling. If you look at professionally typeset books of poetry – I mean one’s that look nice – you will see that very special ideas have been applied about, for example, where to break pages within long poems. And it is very common for collections of poetry to have a poem-specific left margin – one that varies from poem to poem so that each poem will visually occupy the center of the text block on its page(s). Some collections of poetry apply the same principle vertically. This is finicky typesetting / book layout stuff – not really the main domain of your writing software. Once you realize that you are going to want to finick the typesetting/layout after compiling to make things look just so, you could ask yourself how much you really need the template to be doing for you.

Notably, nothing in the OP’s request has anything to do with structuring the writing space for writing poetry, etc. It is all about typesetting / book layout. I’m just saying.


I’ve given this more thought, and it’s the lack of a top-level library that makes Scrivener not ideal for assembling a book of poems.

I have multiple poetry manuscripts that I’m concurrently working on, some of which use the same poems, but Scrivener doesn’t let you share documents across projects. I want to single-source my poems so that they live in only one place and are referenced in multiple book/projects; I don’t want to maintain/sync multiple versions of the same document just to get it to appear in multiple manuscripts.

A top-level library that’s shareable between projects, or a a project that enables you to create multiple books would be ways around this.

Maybe I’m missing something, but have you looked into the Collections feature? It sounds like it might be what you’re looking for – keep all of the poems as separate documents within the same project, and use a new Collection as a new manuscript.

There are authors who are using Scrivener in a single-project configuration to produce multiple books in a series, so it’s definitely doable. The question is what does the workflow look like and does it work for you?

It looks like the Collections feature could be a good solution, thank you!

Now the only thing stopping me from importing all of my poetry files into Scrivener is the automatic renaming of file names on import and conversion to RTF. I have a particular file-naming system and am not quite ready to give it up. Adding to the wishlist :slight_smile:

You can keep that custom filename in the metadata for each document in your project, but there are good reasons why filenames shouldn’t be tied to the documents inside the Scrivener project in anything but an advisory fashion. Underneath at the actual file level, Scrivener is handling the links and references between the various files. If you decide to rename one document into something else, why, that’s just a property of the document that can be easily updated, not an intrinsic filename that then has to be de-duplicated or renamed or otherwise manipulated. This also allows multiple documents to have the same name – why not, it’s just a property, it doesn’t need to be unique within the Binder because there are multiple characteristics in aggregate that will make that document unique. (This may not be useful to your project, but it’s a general characteristic of Scriv projects that is very useful when you have to split up, copy, merge, and otherwise mutilate your manuscript as you go.)

Thanks, you make a good point. I was clinging on to my filenaming system to bring order to my documents when they were unorganized (every poem has a number, which is in the filename and the document itself, I then use a spreadsheet as a central repo), but Scrivener seems to handle the organization that I was attempting to impose. It sounds like I can move the poem number to the metadata so it’ll still appear in a search, or I maybe even include it on the print out using parameters.

I’ll give it a shot, thank you!

And your poem docs in Scrivener can be named whatever you please, so there is no reason you have to give up the naming convention you have been using – if you are unsure.


An update: The Collections feature is exactly what I was looking for, thank you! The Keywords feature is also incredibly useful for sorting poems on similar subjects.

I used custom metadata fields to retain my numbering system, as well as to preserve the original date written (some of the poems I imported into Scrivener are more than a decade old).

So, thank you everyone for the advice. Scrivener is a wonderful tool! I love how extensible it is.

So glad to hear of your so-far success,
Good luck with your new chapbooks, j3s.

Glad to be of service!

After looking for long hours for a scrivener poetry book template and completely failing, I decided to make one myself.

I’m attaching it here on a dropbox link. I hope I could help some of you.

Best Regards!

dropbox.com/s/t0egs92625q62 … v.zip?dl=0

If you need templates , you can to download in bookdesigntemplates.com or Book Templates - Free & Easy-to-Use Book Design Templates | Blurb


Thanks for your efforts. I just downloaded and am going to check it out.