Thanks for sharing your work with Rattle! All of our content comes from unsolicited submissions—we couldn't exist without you, and we want this process to be as easy and friendly as possible. For more information, see our full guidelines page.
- Rattle publishes unsolicited poetry, translations, and book reviews.
- General submissions are open year-round, always welcomed, and always free.
- Rattle does not accept work that has been previously curated, in print or online—poems may be self-published on social media, blogs, or message boards, but cannot have been published in books, magazines, or similar collections open to the public. We want to be the first publisher to highlight the poems, but never want to discourage anyone from sharing their poems themselves. For more on this, read "Uncurated: The Case for a New Term of Art."
- Rattle does not accept work that has been predominantly generated by artificial intelligence. Poetry is a tool for expanding the human spirit, which means poems should be written by humans. It is possible to use A.I. toward that aim in some cases, so if used A.I. to assist in the writing process, please explain in the notes to your submission.
- Simultaneous submissions are encouraged.
- Contributors to the print magazine receive $200 and a complimentary one-year subscription. Poems for "Online" 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 $15,000 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.
- 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, use the internal messaging system to send a new file as an attachment.
- To withdraw a single poem from a submission of multiple poems, just log in, click on the submission, and send a message to let us know which you'd like removed. Do not withdraw the entire submission—if you do, the submission will no longer be active and we won't see it.
- Don't include any contact information in the file(s) 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, see 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 anonymized 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 anonymized 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 please withdraw the submission immediately should the manuscript be 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.). Don't worry about the formatting. 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, 2024. 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.
See the Rattle Chapbook Prize webpage for more information and a list of past winners.
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—up to four poems (or pages of short poems) may be included in a single file, in separate files, 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.
There's a long tradition of poetry responding to art (and vice versa), and we thought it would be fun to post these challenges. Every month we will post an image on our Ekphrastic Challenge page. Poets will then have one month to write a poem in response to that specific image.
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.
For years, we've been offering a prompt at the end of every Rattlecast episode, to encourage folks to write new poems for the next week's open lines. At the end of every episode, Timothy Green announced the next week's prompt. Write yours within the next week to share it on the open lines, and submit it to this category by the end of the month to have it considered. Series editor Katie Dozier will select her favorite poems, which will be published as one of Rattle.com's daily poems. The winner each month will also receive $100.
Submissions for the Prompt Poem of the Month are not anonymized—we still want to encourage everyone to share their weekly poems on the Rattlecast's open lines—but choices are still being made solely based on the poem's merit. Submit as many poems as you'd like to this category, but only poems written for the current month's prompts. A winner will be chosen after the first week of every month.
Prompt for December 4th: Write a poem about a pain from childhood, and use a refrain.
Prompt for December 11th: Write a poem that begins with an idiomatic expression that you take literally or incorrectly, and see where it goes.
We need a dozen source images each year for our monthly Ekphrastic Challenge. If selected, your image will be posted online at Rattle.com for a chosen month, and poets will be able to write and submit a poem reacting to the image. You and Rattle's editor will then each choose your favorite to be published online the following month. The selected artists also receive $100 for participating. And it's fun.
To see how it works, visit our Ekphrastic Challenge page and check out some of the past winners.
Submit up to five images for consideration. JPGs preferred.
Our Summer 2024 issue will be dedicated to the ghazal form. The poems may be any subject or length, but must be ghazals. We no longer publish essays, but always include a contributor notes section, where poets briefly discuss the experience with the form, allowing for a wide array of perspectives to be shared.
Note that one tradition is to include your name or a self-reference in the closing couplet of a ghazal (maqtaa), and it is fine to include that in these submissions even though we read them anonymized.
You may submit up to four previously uncurated poems (or pages of short poems) at the same time, either in a single file or up to four files. Do not include your name or contact info within the file content. Do not submit more work in this category until we've replied.
NOTE: Submissions to this category are NOT considered for publication. There is no entry fee or payment for participating. To give everyone a chance, please do not enter if you've had worked critiqued here in the last year.
This is the entry portal for our monthly Critique of the Week. Every Friday at 4pm ET, Rattle's editor hosts a livestreamed poetry critique on YouTube and Facebook, 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.
Participants are reviewed at random and all entries are considered—but only one entry per person per year.
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 for at least two weeks and then indefinitely until a participating poets request their video to be deleted.
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
Collaboration - November 1st
Young Poets - November 15th
Ghazals - 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 $200 and a box of copies of the issue when it comes out.