Palette Poetry endeavors to uplift and engage emerging and established poets in our larger community.

The world is eager for poets. In 2016, more people spent their hard earned money on poetry books than any other year on record. When times are dark, the world always turns to poets for empathy, for answers, for words, bucking and new.

Palette Poetry is here to paint our small part of the world with truth through poetry, as hopeful and eviscerating as truth can be.

We have no particular aesthetic vision or mission except to create a safe and encouraging space for all voices. Our goal is to simply find and publish the best poetry we can, no matter its roots in craft.

By submitting to Palette Poetry, submitters agree to receive correspondence about future work and submission opportunities from Palette Poetry. You can unsubscribe at any time.

We are honored to create this space for women poets to step forward. Thanks to the efforts of the VIDA project and other initiatives, the poetry landscape has made a lot of progress in recent years, but much work is still to be done. Palette is YOURS as much as it is ours, and we want our journal to be an inclusive, welcoming space where women's voices are amplified and offered tangible support.

This contest only accepts submissions from women poets. ALL women are welcome to submit (cis and trans). The winning poet will be awarded $3000 and publication on Palette Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication. The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Jos Charles will then select the winner and two runners-up. 


about our judge

Jos Charles is the author of the poetry collections a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She currently teaches as a part of Randolph College's low-residency MFA program. Charles has an MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently a PhD student at UC Irvine. She resides in Long Beach, CA.


submission guidelines

please read carefully to ensure your submission will be considered!

  • For this prize, we are only accepting work from women (cis and trans) poets*
  • submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—inclusion of other languages is welcome as long as the majority of the poem is in English
  • DO NOT INCLUDE your name or identifying information in the document OR submission title. If your name is on the submission or in the title, it will be declined unread.
  • we are only accepting unpublished work. If your poem has been published on a blog or on social media, it is NOT eligible.
  • we accept simultaneous submissions—just send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere (we want to say congrats!)
  • there is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document with no identifying information included. 
  • we do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the $20 reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history, if any. 
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on June 19, 2022.


Included Unique Opportunities and Discounts

As a thank you for your support for Palette, we've partnered with The Poetry School and Frontier Poetry to offer every submitter a 20% off discount code (average of $28 value) to one of their online courses! Head to their platform, find a course you're interested in, and use the code included in the confirmation message at checkout.



Editorial Feedback Option
This option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice from the submission, including suggestions for future submissions. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all incredibly astute and professional poets. There is also the option to receive three letters for $149!

Submissions for our Featured Poetry category are open year-round to poets at any stage of their careers. We highly encourage new and emerging poets to submit.

We are thrilled to offer significant payment to our partner poets: $50 per poem, up to $150. We are proud to be paying for published pieces but will be highly selective in our choices for publication.

We also warmly invite under-represented and marginalized writers to submit. Our aim is to be an accurate representation of the diversity of our beautiful community. Your voice is valued here.

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • Please do NOT include your name or identifying information anywhere within your packet of poems. 
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere (we want to say congrats!)
  • Submission must be no more than 5 poems and must not exceed 10 pages.
  • We do not accept multiple submissions. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • Please include a cover letter with your publication history, if any.
  • Expect 3 months for a response. Please do not ask for an update on your submission until four months have passed.

Dear poets,

The 2019 Diversity in Publishing survey found that, on average, 80% of decision-makers in the publishing industry are Cis, Straight, White, and Able-bodied. This inevitably creates systematized discrimination in terms of who gets published—without active and deliberate measures, the historically marginalized will continue to be marginalized. Urgent, innovative voices will continue to be passed over and dismissed. 

We at Palette Poetry hope to use our platform to actively begin demolishing the discriminatory systems that pervade the publishing industry.  To that end, we welcome Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of color (BIPOC) to submit through this category for a quick decision made directly by the editors. We'll do our best to return a decision on your poetry within 2-4 weeks. 


Sending every good wish your way,

Sarah & the Palette team


Guidelines:

  • Submissions are open internationally, for historically marginalized BIPOC writers ONLY. 
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere.
  • Submissions must be no more than 5 poems and must not exceed 10 pages.
  • We do not accept multiple submissions. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • Please include a cover letter with your publication history, if any.
  • Expect 2-4 weeks for a response.
  • Publication in our Featured Poetry series includes a $50 per poem payment.
Palette Poetry