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 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 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 #68, 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 $15,000 Winner and ten $500 Finalists will be selected in an anonymous review by the editors of Rattle and printed in the Winter 2020 issue; one $5,000 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 primarily in English (no translations except by the original author). 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 sending a note through Submittable's messaging system 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, so please be sure to upload your final versions of the poems. If you make a mistake while submitting and need to fix a your submission, DO NOT withdraw the entry. Use the built-in messaging system to send a replacement file as a message on the submission.
6) Winners will be announced on September 15, 2020, and the Readers’ Choice Award Winner will be announced February 15, 2021. 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.
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 Spring 2021 issue will feature a tribute to neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is a concept that respects neurological differences as variations of the human brain and seeks to redefine these variations in a positive way, rather than stigmatizing them. ADHD, Dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum, and Tourette Syndrome fall under the umbrella of neurodiversity, to name a few. For the purpose of this issue, we encourage submissions from people with neurological differences who support, and/or identify with, the idea of neurodiversity. Poems may be written on any subject, in any style or length, but the poet must be a person with neurological differences. Our intention is to highlight a diverse and powerful community of writers that is often marginalized and mischaracterized.
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 file (preferred), or paste/type the poem(s) into the box provided on the next page. 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.
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, and a year is along time to wait.
NOTE: The 2020 anthology is full, and we're currently reading submissions for the June 2021 anthology.
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.