Thank you for your interest in Poetry Northwest, the region’s oldest literary magazine. If you’re considering sending us work, please read these guidelines carefully:
Poetry Northwest is published semi-annually in May and November. We also publish new work (poetry, reviews, and essays on poetics or the intersections of poetry and civic life, arts, and sciences) on our website, to supplement and extend our print edition. We make no distinction between the work selected for print edition or website publication. All work submitted to us during our reading period will be considered for the print edition, the website, or both, at the editors’ discretion.
We welcome unsolicited submissions of poetry, original or in translation, during our regular reading period, September 15 – March 15. Please submit no more than five poems at a time. Combine all poems into ONE DOCUMENT and upload as one attachment. (Multiple attachments will go unread.) Accepted formats: PDF and Word.
When submitting translations, please submit both English and originals, and be sure you hold the rights to print the originals, too.
For unsolicited book reviews or essays on poetics, etc., no query is necessary. Please submit using the appropriate category button.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted with advance indication and prompt notification upon acceptance elsewhere. Please update your submission through Submittables if a poem is accepted elsewhere. An email to us is not sufficient notice.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may submit as often as you like during our regular reading period. For SUBSCRIBERS, submissions will always be free. For Non-subscribers, we accept ONE FREE SUBMISSION per READING PERIOD. Thereafter, each submission will be charged a small reading fee of $3, whether using the online submission manager or regular mail. This small fee for multiple submissions helps support our mission to produce the highest quality literary journal possible. Multiple submissions without this reading fee (waived for subscribers) will be returned unread.
As noted, our reading period begins on September 15 and ends on March 15. We understand that getting a decision quickly is important, and our goal is to respond to unsolicited submissions in 10 – 12 weeks, but may take longer during our busiest months. Please be patient. We want to make sure your poetry gets the attention it deserves, and we read everything carefully.
Send only unpublished work. We cannot consider anything that has been previously published or accepted for publication in any form, including work that has appeared online, in blogs, on Facebook, etc. Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we cannot offer individual criticism.
Payment consists of two copies of the issue in which your work appears, plus a year’s subscription. All poems selected for publication are automatically considered for the Theodore Roethke and Carolyn Kizer Prizes. These prizes are selected and awarded annually by the editors for the best work appearing in the magazine, print or online editions, and include a cash award. (In 2014, each winner will be awarded $300).
Poetry Northwest holds first serial rights for material that we publish, and the right to reprint that material in other formats, including (but not limited to) online, eReaders, archival anthologies, etc. The copyright automatically reverts to the author upon first publication. We do not require that material be copyrighted prior to submission.
Our aesthetic: The best way to get a sense of what we’re looking for is to read up on recent issues of the magazine. We look for poems that engage the world in specific (sensual and intellectual) terms, poems which savor in the playfulness and resourcefulness of language itself, poems which embody ”the music of what happens” (to borrow a phrase from the late, great Seamus Heaney). We are open to a wide range of styles, from formal to elliptical. But neither form nor content alone are enough: it’s the happy (or sorrowful) synchronicity of subject and style that makes the best poems lift off the page and lodge themselves directly in your cerebral cortex. That’s the kind of thing we hope to read and publish, every day. We look forward to reading your best work.