For Regular Submissions
Rattle publishes unsolicited poetry, translations, and essays.
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, message boards, 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 set before sending another.
- Contributors receive $50 and a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine.
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. Send up to four poems 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 Japanese forms for our Spring 2015 issue. The poems may be any style or length, but must be written in a traditional or adapted Japanese form: haiku, tanks, renga, haibun, etc. Since some of these forms are very short, please feel free to submit up to four pages of poems rather than the usual four poems.
We might also be interested in essays on the contemporary use of Japanese forms. For more information, see our call for submissions page. To submit poems or essays, just follow the regular guidelines and note which (or all) should be considered for the tribute. It’s fine to send poems and essays at the same time. We’re not picky. The deadline for this issue is October 15th, 2014.
We have a use for two types of essays, both of which should be written in an engaging, casual, personal narrative style: 1) Essays relating to upcoming themes for those issues. 2) Essays on any topic written by poets for an occasional online exclusive—these don’t have to be about poetry, they just have to be entertaining. Submit essays just like you would poems (see below). Feel free to submit poems and essays at the same time.
Every Sunday we try to publish one poem online that has been written about a current event that took place the previous week. This is an effort to show how poets react and interact to the world in real time, and to enter into the broader public discourse. To help us stay organized, we request that these poems only be sent to us through the Submittable portal. The deadline for submissions each week is midnight Friday.
We no longer accept traditional review submissions. Instead, we publish only 75 – 125 word microreview recommendations, written by current or past subscribers to Rattle.
Please include this information with each submission:
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 $50 and 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 venue to publish the poems. They may have been posted online to personal blogs or message boards, etc., but any third party venue that provides content to a readership is considered publication, regardless of the format. If you submitted the work to someone 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 1-2 months, but occasionally it takes longer. If you haven’t heard back from us in three months, feel free to query by email—it’s very rare that we take longer than that.
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.
Option #1: Submittable (preferred)
We don’t care how you submit, we just like to read—but Submittable is the easiest for us, and probably the nicest for you. So if you like using Submittable’s online submission manager, go here:
If you like 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:
If you like sending your poems the old fashioned way, send the required information and include either a self-addressed, stamped envelope and/or an email address so that we can reply. Please note that we will only return poems if the necessary amount of postage has been added to your envelope. For foreign submissions, Submittable or email is preferred—if you still want to submit on real paper, please do not send International Reply Coupons.
Send the submission directly to our office:
12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604