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 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 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.
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). 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. 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 cannot be edited after submission, so please be sure to upload your final versions of the poems.
6) The winner will be announced on April 15, 2020. 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 $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 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 2020 issue will feature to Postcard Poems. The poems may be any style or subject, but must have been written on and be accompanied by a related postcard. The issue itself will likely include both the poems as written on the postcards and the postcards themselves, so we need to know who created both the postcard artwork and the poem. Homemade postcards, artists you know, or public domain/Creative Commons licensed art is extremely preferred, but we'll do our best to work with what we want to publish. Our goal is to support and encourage the act of writing poems on postcards and sharing them in this personal and intimate way.
For an idea of how postcard poetry works, read our essay by Paul Nelson about his annual August Postcard Poetry Festival.
Please send up to four of your own postcard poems as image or word files. Payment for all work published is $100 per poem and a one-year print subscription to Rattle.
Our Fall 2020 issue will feature a tribute to service workers. This is a field broadly interpreted, but for our purposes we're defining service workers as those who are employed in direct service to customers, typically for the purposes of convenience or leisure. This may include those in the hotel, lodging, food service, tourism, or customer service industries, as well as many others. Poems may be written on any subject, in any length, but the poet must currently be, or have been, employed as a service worker for a significant period of time (years, not months). Please include a brief note about your background in the service industry and what effect it's had on your poetry (if any).
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, or pasted into the single field provided. Do not submit more work to this category until we've replied.
See our full guidelines page for more information about rights and rules.
The weekly Rattlecast livestreams an interview and reading with a featured poet every Tuesday night on YouTube. Afterward, we offer an open mic where anyone can participate, either by calling in live on Skype, or submitting audio recordings ahead of time using this form.
Before reading the poem, please introduce yourself and the poem, by saying who you are, where you're recording from, and anything else you'd like to mention about the poem, including where it's been published.
Please include both an audio recording and the text of the poem, so that we can show the poem on screen.
The maximum time limit on the open mic is 5 minutes per poet.
This is an open mic, so anyone who follows those steps and provides a recordings of sufficient sound quality and appropriate length will have their poems played and shown on an upcoming broadcast at some point as soon as there is room. Because some publishers might consider this a form of "publication," we recommend that you only send poems that have already been published, but that choice is yours to make.
If your poem responds specifically to a poet we have in an upcoming episode, put their name in the title line of the submission so we know to try to get it in that week.
After submitting the poem and audio file, please subscribe to our YouTube channel!
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
African Poets - July 12th
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.