General Submission Guidelines for Poetry Magazines
Although each periodical has a unique set of submission guidelines, some general rules should be taken into account:
- First of all, read an issue or two of a magazine before submitting material to it. Each has a unique flavor, and you want to be sure your work will fit in with the general content and tone.
- Always check submission guidelines on the publication's Web site before submitting your poetry because the guidelines change frequently. Many publications are moving toward online submissions exclusively.
- Be aware--many journals have reading periods during which submissions are welcome, and non-reading periods during which poems are not welcome and will be either returned or discarded.
- Do not send your only copy of a poem--magazines will not take responsibility for lost poems!
- Almost all journals require a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) be enclosed in the submission packet. The SASE should have enough postage and be large enough for return of the poems. Remember to use foreign stamps or an international reply coupon for return of material sent out of the country.
- Some magazines will acknowledge receipt of your poems if a self-addressed, stamped postcard (SASP) is also included in the submissions packet.
- Many journals will not consider simultaneous submissions, meaning submissions of poems to more than one journal at a time. If a journal does permit simultaneous submissions, you must notify the editors immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- Almost all poetry periodicals refuse to consider previously published work, including poems which have appeared on the World Wide Web.
- Most magazines frown upon submission of new work before previously submitted work has been responded to.
- Editors will usually send a form letter without individualized comments if they choose not to publish your poetry.
Good luck! Don’t be discouraged if your poetry is not accepted. All beginning writers -- even great ones -- receive rejections, sometimes piles of them. Just keep trying.
In this guide:
- Submitting Poetry for Publication
- General Submission Guidelines for Poetry Magazines
- List of Poetry Magazines in the Pratt Library