Poetry markets?
August 16, 2019 9:45 AM   Subscribe

I submit poetry occasionally. Most of the markets I submitted to a decade ago are gone or on hiatus (Goblin Fruit, Stone Telling). What are your favorite markets to submit to that accept poetry? I don’t know if markets are ever not free but I’m not really interested in paying to submit.
posted by azalea_chant to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
There are many poetry markets these days and where you submit will depend upon your work, your publication history and your goals. I agree that you should not pay to submit; much of ErisLordFreedom's advice on the matter is good, but do be aware that there are plenty (plenty!!) of well-respected, long-running poetry markets that charge submission fees, especially for contests. Just know that it is considered enormously acceptable in this world. There are also markets that charge "fees" but will send you a journal or chapbook (or occasionally provide editorial feedback) when you submit, which I find far more acceptable than a standalone fee. You could also set a small annual budget for yourself (even less than $50) and dole it out as you see fit to markets you are particularly interested in.

If you don't have an account yet, sign up for Submittable. This will make it easy to make and track your submissions; get into a schedule of browsing https://discover.submittable.com/ on a regular basis to see what's available. On that page, you can search and sort current submission opportunities, including those with no fees. Naturally, these are only markets that use the Submittable platform, but that includes many journals and magazines and is a accessible place to get started.

Poets & Writers also maintains a list of literary journals, filterable by genre/subgenre; if you're unsure of a market that comes up on Submittable, searching PW can sometimes provide more insight. Note that not all of their information is up-to-date.

On a similar but much more robust note, I highly recommend Duotrope for a beginner. It is a paid service with a free trial, but using it for a year can be very orienting if you are jumping back into submissions. Duotrope has collected a great deal of data on journals, including response rates, acceptance rates, preferred genres, response time--you can, for example, search for journals which prefer formal lyrical work and have a 30%+ acceptance rate. Alternately, knowing that a journal you want to submit to generally responds in 6 months, doesn't allow simultaneous submissions, and only accepts 5% of received work can help you put your submission efforts elsewhere. It's a wonderful way to narrow down the landscape into the options that are most applicable to your work, and there are many other tools on the platform like deadline tracking as well. Definitely try the trial!

Good luck and congrats on submitting again! It is a weird little world but full of beautiful art and many writers and editors bringing gorgeous work into the world. Feel free to PM with any questions! Happy to provide more guidance for specific questions.
posted by youarenothere at 10:30 AM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Seconding everything youarenothere said, and also adding in that you should grab a copy of the most recent “Best American Poetry” anthology. It tells you what journals published each poem, and has a list in the back of additional honorable mentions and their journals. This is a good way to get a sense of what journals are publishing poems with a similar aesthetic to yours, as well as what journals are publishing notable works and will be good to aim towards.
posted by nancynickerson at 11:38 AM on August 16, 2019

If you're on Twitter, Duotrope also tweets journal names with calls for submissions.

But it's really hard to give specific advice, since different journals are looking for different things. If you live near a university library, they probably have a lot of journals you can just page through.

Regarding payment, I think paying for a contest is very different from paying for a general submission. Contests have prize money, and the submission fee goes toward the prize (and is also how some of those journals keep going at all). In my experience, many journals that have fees for contests also have free submissions for those who aren't entering the contests. I wouldn't submit to a journal that had fees for general submissions, but I've paid to enter my work in contests.
posted by FencingGal at 12:39 PM on August 16, 2019

For context my poems mostly were being submitted to speculative fiction journals or speculative poetry focused journals (these never charge for submission). I have no idea what types of poems other poetry markets might focus on or what kinds of poems I might be writing. I'm not sure if there is a good summary of kinds of markets anywhere that you could link to. Thanks for your answers so far!
posted by azalea_chant at 12:45 PM on August 16, 2019

Paying Markets for SF Poetry
Pro-Paying Speculative Genre Poetry Markets
Speculate on This! Lit Mags That Publish Speculative Writing
30 Literary Journals That Publish Genre Writing

Some of these may be variously out-of-date, but repeated names should jump out at you. As mentioned, you can cross-reference with PW or Duotrope to determine whether a particular journal is a good fit for you. Also browse some of the specpo poets mentioned here; you can search their names to see where they have been published recently.
posted by youarenothere at 1:13 PM on August 16, 2019

To find speculative fiction and poetry markets, you should use the search form at The Submission Grinder. I would probably start by searching for science fiction & fantasy poetry and restricting to paying markets.

I also published in Goblin Fruit, back in the day. If you MeMail me, I can send you my current totally unscientific list of places to submit to.
posted by yarntheory at 8:38 AM on August 17, 2019

I use this link at Entropy to keep up with submission opps; they update every few months.

Have you just googled things like best speculative fiction markets? I'm sure there's lots of lists.

Definitely the Twitter chain. Find a journal you like, look them up there, see what journals they interact with. Look up writers you like and see where else they've published.
posted by mermaidcafe at 2:33 PM on August 17, 2019

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