- 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 (we DO consider self-publishing to blogs, message boards, and Facebook as publication if it can be viewed publicly without login).
- 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 $20 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). Subsequent submissions within the same category will be deleted unread. 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.
Note: For the purposes of this theme, we mean no previous publications in literary magazines as an adult. Things like publication in high school magazines or self-publishing poems on the internet are not considered publication (though those poems have actually been published).
If you have a poem selected for publication elsewhere before September 1st, please just leave a note to let us know, and we'll move the submission to the general category, but still happily consider it.
Feel free to submit up to four previously unpublished poems (or four pages of very short poems), 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 to this category until we've replied.
See our full guidelines page for more information about rights and rules.
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 50 poems from thousands submitted—try not to get anyone’s hopes up prematurely.
The author of the poem must have been age 16 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 two complimentary copies of the anthology. 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.
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, and a year is along time to wait.
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.