The January Ekphrastic Challenge
closes January 31, 2023
Ekphrasis comes from "description" in Greek. Ekphrastic poems seek to vibrantly describe, interpret, or engage with a visual scene or moment, often a work of art. They often are about the speaker's encounter with the art, and how viewing or experiencing it has impacted them. Are you haunted by a painting that you encountered online or a sculpture that you stood transfixed before in a museum? We invite you to submit to our one-week Ekphrastic Challenge—this week only, submit poems that are ekphrastic in some way, that engage dynamically with a work of art. In February, the Palette editors will select one winning poet to receive $500 and publication. Finalists will also be considered for publication!
— submissions are open January 24-31 only! —
guidelines (please read carefully)
- Poems must be unpublished, including on social media. Previously published poems are not eligible for this contest.
Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the poem is largely in English.
DO NOT INCLUDE your name or identifying information in the document of poems OR the title of your submission.
We accept simultaneous submissions—please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere
There is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission (of no more than three poems) will include the $20 reading fee. *This fee is not per poem, it is per submission*
Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history, if any, and a brief biography. If possible, please also include a link to or information about the artwork you reference/engage with in your poems here.
always free. always open.
Submissions for our Featured Poetry category are open year-round to poets at any stage of their careers. Featured poems are published online only and will spotlight a number of poems from new authors each month. We highly encourage emerging authors to submit.
We are thrilled to offer significant payment to our poets: $50 per poem, up to $150. We are proud to be able to pay our artists, but will be highly selective in our choices for publication.
We also warmly invite under-represented and marginalized voices to submit. Our aim is to be an accurate representation of the wonderful diversity of our community. Your voice is valued here, so to help do our part in moving forward the needle on equity in publishing, we've opened a special category for historically marginalized voices to send their work directly to our editorial team and receive a response within two to four weeks. More info here.
guidelines—please read carefully:
Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are welcome, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a message via Submittable if your work is picked up elsewhere—we want to say congrats!
Send up to 5 poems that total no more than 10 pages.
We do NOT accept multiple submissions for Featured Poetry. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
Multiple submissions will be declined unread.
Please include a cover letter with your publication history, if any, and contact information. This is where you tell us your name!
- Do NOT include your name or contact information anywhere in your packet of poems or in the title of your submission
Expect 8-12 weeks for a response, but please do not query until 4 months have passed.
- We also offer two paid options for each submission: Fast Response & Editorial Feedback.
- Send us only your best. We will be extremely selective.
Palette Poetry holds first publication rights for three months after publication, after which rights revert to the author. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following first publication. For reprints, we ask for acknowledgment of publication in Palette Poetry first.
For questions regarding submissions, please see our FAQ page.