Thanks for sharing your work with Rattle! All of the content in our issues comes from unsolicited submissions—we couldn't exist without you, and we want this process to be as easy and friendly as possible. If you have any trouble with the submissions manager, click the "Help" link at the bottom of this page—or you may submit by snail mail, instead, with instructions at our full guidelines page.
- Rattle publishes unsolicited poetry and translations.
- General submissions are open year-round, always welcomed, and always free. Despite their growing prevalence in the literary community, we do not believe in submission fees and never will.
- Rattle does not accept work that has been previously published in print or online books or magazines (we DO NOT consider self-publishing to blogs, message boards, or Facebook as publication for this purpose).
- Simultaneous submissions are encouraged.
- Contributors to the print magazine receive $200 and a complimentary one-year subscription. Poems for "Online Only" categories receive $100.
- All submissions are automatically considered for the annual Neil Postman Award for Metaphor, a $2,000 prize judged by the editors.
- Separate from general and themed (and always free) submissions, we also offer the annual $10,000 Rattle Poetry Prize and the Rattle Chapbook Prize—for each of those, a submission fee of $25 includes a one-year subscription to the magazine.
- Multiple poems may not be submitted separately. Please submit all poems/essays together in one document. All the work you submit must be contained in a single computer file.
- Submissions cannot be revised after submission. If you need to edit a submission, please simply withdraw it and submit again. Note that typos and minor changes never affect our decisions—proofreading is what editors are for. If you've made a significant mistake to a paid contest submission, though, DO NOT pay the fee twice; email Timothy Green to fix it.
- Make only one submission of up to four poems within a category at a time. Do not make another submission in that same category until we've replied (usually takes 1 - 6 months). If you'd like to withdraw a single poem and not the whole submission, just log in, click on the submission, and send a message to let us know which.
- Don't include any contact information in the file that you submit. Your name and contact info will be included in the Submittable fields, and this will make it easier for us to read fairly.
For more detailed information about rights, rules, privacy, and payments for publication, or to submit by another means, visit our full guidelines.
NOTE: Please don't query to ask if we have a reply to your submission yet. If the status says "received" or "in-progress," then it's received and in-progress. We always go as fast as we can, but we're only human and the submission flow waxes and wanes, so response times vary considerably.
The Rattle Chapbook Prize is an entirely separate category from the others listed at Submittable, and because of the nature of the contest, some of the rules are different. Please read the following rules very carefully.
1) The $25 entry fee is a one-year subscription to Rattle (or a one-year extension for subscribers) at our regular rate. New subscriptions will start with the next season's issue. Current subscribers will receive a one-year extension. Due to shipping costs, international entries will receive a 3/4 subscription (three mailings) instead of the full year.
2) Three winners, judged by the editors of Rattle in an anonymous review, will receive $5,000 and 500 author copies of their chapbook, which will also be distributed to all of Rattle's 7,000+ subscribers along with issues of the magazine. At least one of the winners will be a poet who has not yet published a full-length book of poetry (more than 48 pages).
3) Open to writers, worldwide; poems must be written primarily in English (no translations unless your own). Individual poems may be previously published in any medium, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished as a collection. Do not include any poems that have been published in Rattle—if the chapbook includes poems that we have published, they may be added back before publication, but we cannot consider them during the blind review of this contest. If you have an open submission at Rattle that includes poems from the chapbook, you can add a note on that submission letting us know not to read it until after the judging of the chapbook contest is complete. Manuscripts may include visual art. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we must be notified immediately by adding a note to your entry (under the "Activity" tab in Submittable) if any poems are accepted elsewhere.
4) Manuscripts may be 15 - 30 pages in length, not including front/back-matter, with any reasonable fonts or font sizes (12 pt, etc.). Do not include any identifying information within the manuscript itself, or within the file-name. If any of the poems have been previously published, include an acknowledgments page. A table of contents and page numbering are nice, but optional.
5) Submit your manuscript in a SINGLE file containing all 15 - 30 pages of poetry. (File types: doc, docx, txt, rtf, odt, pdf.) Multiple entries by a single poet are accepted, however each manuscript must be treated as a separate entry, each with an additional $25 fee. Each additional entry will add an extra year to your subscription. Contest entry fees are non-refundable and manuscripts cannot be edited after submission, so please be sure to upload your final versions of the poems.
6) The winners will be announced on April 15, 2021. Unpublished individual poems from the manuscripts may also be offered standard publication in Rattle. Please remember to include an acknowledgments page so that we know which poems have already been published individually.
In addition to entries through Submittable, we accept them through the post (domestic only). If you'd prefer to enter with a physical copy, see the Rattle Chapbook Prize webpage for full guidelines.
We like poems of any length. Try to send several poems as opposed to a single piece, but no more than four in a submission—and again, these must be sent as a single submission in ONE document file (preferred), or pasted/typed into the text box provided on the next page. Do not include your name or contact info in the file/box with the poems. Do not make another submission in this category until we've replied.
We’re looking for previously unpublished poems that move us, that might make us laugh or cry, or teach us something new. We like both free verse and traditional forms—we try to publish a representative mix of what we receive. We read a lot of poems, and only those that are unique, insightful, and musical stand out—regardless of style. Since our issues include about 50 pages of poetry, one of the main things we’re looking for is diversity; we have enough room to be eclectic, and we plan on using it. So while most magazines suggest reading their back issues to get a sense of what they like to publish, we’d suggest reading to get a sense of what we’re having trouble finding—if you notice a style or subject matter that we don’t seem to be publishing, send us that!
Because of the nature of the traditional publication apparatus, poetry doesn't often respond in a timely way to current events—but we think it could. To test this hypothesis, we'd like to try publishing a poem online each Sunday (if we receive any that we like) that responds to a news story or public event from the previous week, and has been written in the time since.
Selected poems will appear as the Sunday poem at Rattle.com, with occasional extra poems Tuesday or Thursday, which are fed to over 10,000 people via our RSS feed and daily email service. Poets will receive $100 and a complimentary subscription to the print magazine.
The deadline for each week is Friday at midnight PST. The poems must respond to news that occurred in the previous week, and have been written in the time since.
Include a brief explanation as to what the poem is about. Feel free to submit to this category as often as you'd like, even within the same week, and even if you have other general, tribute, or contest submissions pending.
After the deadline (the last day of each month), Rattle's editor and the artist who provided the image will each select their favorite poem, which will be published online the next month. Submissions to this category will only be considered as responses to the single image posted for the current month. If your poem isn't written in response to that image, please use the General Poems category instead.
Our Summer 2021 issue will be dedicated to Appalachian Poets. The poems may be any subject, style, or length, but must written by poets who themselves identify with Appalachia and were born or have lived in the region for a large portion of their lives. The poems need not be about Appalachia—our goal is to honor these poets by sharing the diverse creative work that they're producing.
We no longer publish essays, but will be including a contributor notes section, where poets briefly discuss what Appalachia means to them and how it affects their poetry.
You may submit up to four previously unpublished poems (or pages of short poems) at the same time, but these must be sent as a single submission in ONE document. Do not include your name or contact info within the file. Do not submit more work in this category until we've replied.
Poems may be submitted by the poet, or by a parent/legal guardian, or a teacher. Teachers may select at most five students per year and submit on their behalf, with the assurance to us that you will be able to help us get a parent’s signed permission prior to publication. Please remember that we will be choosing our favorite 20 poems from thousands submitted—try not to get anyone’s hopes up prematurely.
The author of the poem must have been age 15 or younger when the poem was written, and 18 or younger when submitted. The poets may use their whole name, first name, or a pseudonym at their parents’ discretion. We will not publish any contact information.
Upon acceptance, a parent or legal guardian must sign a release allowing us to publish the poem. Contributors receive ten complimentary copies of the anthology, which will also be shipped to every Rattle subscriber with our spring issue. Parents and family members may purchase additional copies at our cost to print/ship.
Try to send several poems as opposed to a single piece, but no more than four in a submission per child—be sure to include everything you're submitting in ONE document. Include the parent's contact info in the file, if possible. Alternatively, you may paste up to four poems into the text field provided.
For this category only, feel free to make additional submissions any time in the future, if the child writes new work. We only publish one anthology per year, every June, and a year is along time to wait.
If you'd also like to submit artwork, please use this category and submit up to six JPGs. Most often we only use art for our covers, which are full-bleed, 9" x 6". In order to publish a cover we will need a file with at least 300 ppi—but please submit smaller screen-res files (no larger than 1 MB each or so) for now, to keep the servers happy.
Our upcoming themes are as follows:
General issue - no deadline
Neurodiversity - October 15th
Appalachia - January 15th
Artwork should somehow relate to the theme. We also prefer to have covers with vibrant colors, rather than black and white.
Artists receive $100 and a box of copies of the issue when it comes out.
NOTE: Submissions to this category are NOT considered for publication. There is no entry fee or payment for participating.
This is the entry portal for our monthly Critique of the Week drawing. Every Friday at 5pm ET, Rattle's editor hosts a livestreamed poetry critique on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, offering suggestions and feedback. The viewing audience is encouraged to participate. The goal is to help us all become better poets through the honest sharing of our reactions, similar to the experience of an MFA roundtable workshop. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe on YouTube so that you don't miss the weekly critique.
During the last video each month, there will be a live drawing to choose the next set of participants. Every active submission in this category will be included in the drawing—but only one entry per person.
Include two poems to be critiqued with your entry here, but if you'd like to change them after you are chosen, you will be able to do so.
Note that videos will remain archived and viewable by the public either for one week or indefinitely (depending your selection on the next page).