For Regular Submissions
- Rattle publishes poetry, translations, reviews, essays, and interviews.
- Submissions open year-round.
- Rattle does not accept work that has been previously published, in print or online (we do not consider self-publishing to personal blogs or Facebook as publication).
- Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If the work is accepted elsewhere, there’s no need to tell us. We don’t publish anything without your signature, anyway; if another journal beats us to the punch, congratulations!
- No multiple submissions. We usually reply fairly quickly, so wait until you’ve heard back from the first batch before sending another.
- All submissions are automatically considered for the annual Neil Postman Award for Metaphor, a $500 prize judged by the editors.
We like poems of any length. Try to send several poems as opposed to a single piece, but no more than five or six at a time. We’re looking for 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 70 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!
Rattle publishes about 150 poems each year, and all of them come from unsolicited submissions. Your submissions keep us going, and we always appreciate them.
Our tributes used to be half of every issue, but beginning in 2013 will appear as whole issues every spring and fall. Each tribute gathers poems from a specific ethnic, vocational, or social group. We’re currently seeking submissions of love poems for our Spring 2014 issue. The poems may be any style or length, but must be love poems, at least obliquely—the more obliquely the better, probably.
We’re also seeking personal essays on love poetry. For more information, see our call for submissions page. To submit poems or essays, just follow the regular guidelines and note that it should be considered for the tribute. The deadline for this issue is October 15th, 2013.
Note that we no longer publish print reviews. Due to the overwhelming success of the new E-Reviews section of our website, we’ve decided to use the print reviews space to publish more poetry. From now on, reviews will only appear online. Please refer to the E-Review section for complete guidelines, but in general, anything goes—reviews may be any length (min. 600 words), on any book, chapbook or anthology relating to poetry. Payment for an E-Review is one copy of a forthcoming print issue of Rattle.
If possible place this information on each piece submitted:
Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, Email address
In addition send a short contributor note for the author. Your note should tell us who you are and why you love poetry. Our notes section is something that makes issues of Rattle unique, and many say it’s as fun to read as the poetry itself. Contributor notes should be in the first person, and follow the format of this sample:
Erik Campbell: “One afternoon in the summer of 1994 I was driving to work and I heard Garrison Keillor read Stephen Dunn’s poem ‘Tenderness’ on The Writer’s Almanac. After he finished the poem I pulled my car over and sat for some time. I had to. That is why I write poems. I want to make somebody else late for work.” (email address, web address, or Twitter handle goes here at the end if you’d like it included)
Notes in this form are only needed upon acceptance—it doesn’t have to be included with each submission, though we would enjoy it.
Payment for publication (from us to you in exchange for your work) is a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine, including the issue in which your work appears. Contributors also may pre-order additional copies of their issue at our cost to produce.
Rights & Rules
All rights revert to the authors upon publication. To get technical, we require First Serial Rights, meaning we want to be the first media outlet to publish your poems. They may have been posted online to personal blogs or message boards, self-published as chapbooks, etc, but any third party venue that provides content to a readership is considered publication, regardless of the format. If you submitted someone work, and they chose to publish it, then that means it’s been published and we don’t want it.
Though authors do retain all rights to their work, we post everything we publish on the back-issues section of the website six months after print publication, and so require Non-Exclusive Digital Rights.
Response times vary, but we can generally make a decision within 4-8 weeks. If you haven’t heard back from us in two months, feel free to query by email, as submissions sometimes do get lost in the mail.
Please note that you cannot revise a poem while it’s being considered. If we decide we’d like to publish any of them, you will have an opportunity to revise author galleys at that time. Updating submissions is too time-consuming for our small staff. Please proof-read your work carefully before you submit. That said, we’re looking for the best poems we can find. Typos happen; we don’t frivolously discard poems because of them.
Submitting by Email
Paste the required information and your submission into the body of a single email message, or a single text file attachment. If you send more than one email or more than one file, we will only read the first one.For attachments, acceptable file extensions are: .DOC, .DOCX, .RTF, .TXT. and .PDF. No other file types can be opened.
Please format the subject line of the email with your name and the word “submission” to help us track it, like this:
“John Smith – Submission”
We always respond to email submissions with an automatic confirmation reply. If you haven’t received a confirmation, email us again to make sure we got it. We receive hundreds of emails each day, and sometimes submissions get lost in the deluge. That’s why it’s also important that you properly format the subject line. Send to:
Submitting in Hard Copy
Send the required information with cover letter and self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604