Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We know submitting can be a nerve-racking process, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about submitting with us. We hope you find these helpful and handy!


Q: How many times can I submit?

You may submit to us as many times as you wish, although we do suggest sending us your most polished work each time.

Q: Can I submit to multiple categories, i.e. Featured Poetry and a contest, with the same poems?

Yes. We allow both multiple and simultaneous submissions. Just let us know if your work is accepted by another publication so we can remove it from our consideration.

Q: Can I send you my work via email? Can I send submissions in the mail?

We DO NOT accept submissions via email – exclusively use Submittable to submit your work. If electronic submission is not possible for any reason, you may send your work via USPS ONLY with a US check or money order for any applicable entry fees to our mailing address at: 70 SW Century Drive Suite 100442 Bend, Oregon 97702

Q: Do you accept international submissions?

We absolutely accept international submissions.

Q: What is Submittable?

Submittable is the platform we use to collect, read, and accept work for our publication. An account is free to set up, and if you do not already have one, you may get one at www.submittable.com

Q: I lost my Submittable password / am having issues submitting / having my payment go through. Can you help?

The best thing to do for technical issues is contact Submittable directly, as they handle all the back end support for us regarding payments and passwords. Their email is: support@submittable.com

Q: I don’t see a line limit. My poem is seventeen pages long. Can I still submit?

Yes, you may still submit. We do not have a line limit for poetry. With that said, traditionally we see single poems totaling between 1-3 pages.

Q: How do I submit multiple poems in one file?

If the call for submission allows for multiple submissions, you will still only see one “Upload” button in Submittable, allowing for one file. PLEASE PLACE ALL POEMS IN ONE DOCUMENT and upload that single file. In other words, open a program such as Microsoft Word, add one poem, add a page break, add your second poem, add a page break, etc. This is how you submit multiple poems in one file.

Q: What am I supposed to title my submission if it contains four poems? Should I list all four titles or create a collective title, or just put “Submission 2017” or something like that?

If you are submitting multiple poems, you may title the submission something like “Four Poems for…” or “Palette Submission.” Or, you may give it a collective title, totally up to you. You do not need to try to squeeze all four poem titles into it unless you want to. If your poem is chosen, we will of course publish the poem as titled for that individual poem.

Q: Do you accept self-published works or works that have been posted on a Facebook or Instagram page? What about works that have a small publication?

Generally, we accept all self-published works and published works that have had a print circulation of LESS than five hundred (500) copies. Work published only on social media is also eligible. Work that appears in an online journal is usually ineligible—please contact us if you're unsure.

Q: I don’t have any money for the contest fee, can you waive it for me?

Unfortunately, we cannot waive contest and award fees; however, our Featured Poetry category is open year round, is always absolutely FREE to enter, and every author published is paid for their work.

Q: What are your guidelines about format, i.e Times New Roman, double-spaced, etc.?

We do not have guidelines related to font or spacing.

Q: What am I supposed to write in the cover letter?

A: Typically, cover letters give a bit of insight into your publication history (if any), your educational background, a short synopsis of your personal history, and the impetus for your passion for writing. Think of it as a brief author bio and what you would like posted on our site should your work be selected for publication. Don’t overthink it, we just want to know a little about you! NOTE: this is where you may include personal / identifying information.

Q: What do you mean by “no personal / identifying information” on my submission?

A: We read all submissions “blind,” so we do not want your name or any information about you on the actual file that you upload. We want to ensure all submissions are judged solely on content / craft, so we ask that you do not include this information on your uploaded document. It can be listed in your cover letter as mentioned above.

Q: My name is in the poem because it is autobiographical. Do I need to remove it because you say no identifying information?

A: You do not if it is part of the poem. We will assume it is just the author’s artistic choice, not that it is actually the name of the author.

Q: I submitted my poems, but I need to make revisions. What do I do?

We fully understand that at times, revisions need to be made and errors corrected. Please email us in the event you need to make changes to your submission and we will open it for editing. You will be notified via email when your submission is open, and you will be allowed to make your changes and / or re-upload a new document if necessary.

Q: Can I get feedback on my work from one of your editors?

General submissions to Featured Poetry or contests/awards do not receive personalized feedback; however, our Editorial Letter category is designed for just that: 1-2 pages of feedback on your work. There is an extra fee for this option, and it is not always open / available depending on our staff’s capacity. Check our submissions page and / or blog for Editorial Letter availability.

Q: Do I maintain ownership and first serial rights if my work is accepted for publication?

You do maintain ownership of your work when you submit to our platform, whether it is chosen or not for publication. If published, our platform retains first publication rights of the work for the first three months, and retains archival rights to keep the work online.

Q: I submitted to your Featured Poetry, contest, or award awhile ago. When can I expect to hear back?

Regardless of acceptance or decline, you will hear back from us, we promise. For Featured Poetry, you will hear back within 8-12 weeks from the day you submit. For contests and awards, the time frame is similar, but we frequently post information about exact announcement dates for the shortlist and winners online, via newsletter, and via our social media on Facebook and Twitter. Please check those at your convenience.

Q: Do my poems have to have a particular theme depending on the contest?

No. We are not looking for any specific themes or motifs.

Q: Can I use curse words or questionable language in my submission?

A: You may use curse words in your poetry, but note that if it is chosen for publication and it contains extremely sensitive language, we may ask for some edits.

If you still have questions, you can email us at contact@palettepoetry.com