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 do I submit poems? Can I submit via email or physical mail?

We DO NOT accept submissions via email. Emailed submissions will go unread. Please 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: How many times can I submit?

For Featured Poetry, please wait until you hear back from us with a decision before submitting again. For contests, you may submit as many times as you wish. If you have been published by us before, please wait a full calendar year before submitting to us again.

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 for contests. Just let us know if your work is accepted by another publication so we can remove it from our consideration. To let us know, simply message us from the "messages" tab of your submission in Submittable.

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 make one for free 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 to 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?

For Featured Poetry, a submission may be up to 5 poems that total no more than 10 pages. For contests, it varies. Check the specific contest's guidelines.

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 the designated title field unless you want to. Individual titles of poems should appear in the document itself. If a poem is chosen, we will of course publish the poem as titled for that individual poem. Do NOT put your name or identifying information in the title field.

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?

For featured poetry, we only accept unpublished work. We do not accept self-published or previously published work. Work published on social media is also ineligible (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Medium, etc...). The only time we accept previously published work is when our Previously Published Poem Prize is open to submissions.

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

Limited fee waivers are available for contests, and we prioritize writers of marginalized identities (especially BIPOC). During the first week of each contest window, we now offer free submissions to all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) writers. After we reach our fee waiver cap of 50 free submissions, we are unable to offer any additional waivers.

Please note that our Featured Poetry category is open year-round, is always absolutely FREE to enter, and every author published is paid $50 per poem for their work. You can always submit there!

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

Please submit in a standard, readable font and size— Times New Roman and 12pt is a safe option. Avoid colorful stationery, visual embellishments, or cursive fonts.

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)  and a short synopsis of your personal history. 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: Please do not put your name or any identifying information on the actual file that you upload. While we do not read submissions "blind," we do find excessive information in the document to be distracting during the reading process. Identifying information 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 need to if it is part of the poem.

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 message us through the MESSAGES tab in Submittable if you need to make changes to your submission and we will open it for editing on a case-by-case basis. 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 Feedback 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. First serial rights mean that you won't publish the poem anywhere else in those first three months. After that time has passed, we ask that you give us credit wherever your poem goes on to be published (for example: "this poem first appeared in Palette Poetry"). 

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 generally hear back within 3 months 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. Please do not email us inquiring about the status of your submission unless more than 4 months have passed.

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, unless the contest guidelines say otherwise.

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. We will not accept work with language that is harmful or derogatory. If work contains language that violates our values, it will be declined. Please mention any content warnings in your cover letter for our readers.

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