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 $100 and a complimentary one-year subscription. Poems for "Online Only" categories receive $50.
- All submissions are automatically considered for the annual Neil Postman Award for Metaphor, a $1,000 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 effect 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 and add a note to let us know which (under the "activity" tab in your submission).
- 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.
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!
The Rattle Poetry Prize is an entirely separate category from the others listed here, and because of the nature of the contest, some of the rules are different. Please read the following rules very carefully. Poems submitted to the contest cannot be considered for the theme issues—either they'll win the contest, be published in another open issue, or not at all.
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 issue (currently issue #60, which releases June 1st). Current subscribers will receive a one-year extension. Due to shipping costs, international entries through Submittable will receive a 3/4-year subscription (three issues) instead of the full year.
2) One $10,000 Winner and ten $200 Finalists will be selected in an anonymous review by the editors of Rattle and printed in the Winter 2018 issue; one $2,000 Readers’ Choice Award will then be chosen from among the finalists by subscriber and entrant vote.
3) Open to writers, worldwide; poems must be written in English (no translations). Rattle's winter issue must be a potential first publication for all works submitted. No previously published works, or works accepted for publication elsewhere. 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) Do not include any identifying information within the file that you submit—only include the poems (up to four). We will have all the contact information that you enter through Submittable's online form, and that's where we'll send the subscription.
5) Send up to four poems in a SINGLE file.There is no line-limit. Poems may be any length, any style, or any subject. Multiple entries by a single poet are accepted, however each group of four poems must be treated as a separate entry, and an additional $25 fee. Each additional entry will add an extra year to your subscription. Contest entries are non-refundable and cannot be edited after submission, so please be sure to upload your final versions of the poems.
6) Winners will be announced on September 15, 2018, and the Readers’ Choice Award Winner will be announced February 15, 2019. Additional entries may also be offered standard publication.
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 Poetry Prize webpage for full guidelines.
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 $50 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 since the previous Friday, 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 Spring 2019 issue will be dedicated to Persona Poems. A persona poem, of course, is one where the speaker of the poem is a dramatic character other than the poet. The poems may be written on any subject, in any style or length, but must be written in the voice of someone else (real or fictional). Please explain what drew you to this persona and/or why you write persona poems in general in your contributor note.
Please 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 information within the file. Do not submit more work in this category until we've replied.
If you have any questions, see our full guidelines.
Our Summer 2019 issue will be dedicated to Instagram Poets. The poems may be any style, length, or subject, but must have first appeared on Instagram and not yet appeared in print. Our goal is to find the best poetry that's happening on this new and dynamic platform, and the best poets who are primarily publishing there. Submissions may include artwork if you have the ability to license its use (i.e. if the art is also your original work, Creative Commons licensed, or in the public domain.).
Please send up to four of your own poems using direct links to Instagram. You may also nominate up to two of your favorite poems by someone else using the same method, and we will reach out to them for permission if chosen. Nominations are entirely optional and will have no effect on your submission, but will help us in our mission to find the best poets we can.
Payment for all work published is $100 per poem and a one-year print subscription to Rattle.
In partnership with Snowline JUSD and Rattle magazine, the 2018 Wrightwood Literary Festival is featuring a young poets competition. Winners will be announced at the end of the summer and honored on day two of the festival, Sunday, September 30th. The winning authors will receive a gift basket and be invited to read their poems at the event.
Some poems may also be selected for publication in the 2019 Rattle Young Poets Anthology. All school-aged poets in the Tri-Community and beyond who may be able to attend the second day of the festival are welcome to enter.
To enter up to four poems, just fill out the form below and add your poems as either attachments or text on the next page. (Contact information will only be used for notification and not given to anyone outside of Rattle.)
Our upcoming themes are as follows:
Athlete Poets - deadline Saturday, March 10
General issue - no deadline
Artwork should somehow relate to the theme. We also prefer to have covers with vibrant colors, rather than black and white.
Artists receive a box of copies of the issue when it comes out.