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.

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  • Poems must be unpublished, including on social media.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.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on January 31, 2023.



editorial feedback options 


The single-letter option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice that you can upload alongside your previously published poems, including suggestions for future submissions.


The three-letter option costs $149 and will provide you with six pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice, including suggestions for future submissions, from THREE separate guest editors. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all incredibly astute and professional poets.



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.

Hey poets,

We're proud of the space we've built with Palette for poets to tap into their prose brains and explore themes long-form. Check out Franny Choi's "Periodic," Alan Chazaro's "Pocho Boy," and Robin Myer's "The Guest" to get a sense of what kind of monthly columns we've featured before at https://www.palettepoetry.com/columns/. Our columns offer poets the chance to investigate their urgent concerns in new ways, to experiment and transform their expression beyond the traditional poetic line.

We're looking for a new columnist to join us for 2023! Send pitches for what you hope to do with a space like this. 

Guidelines:

Pitches should be 1-2 pages and should include 1) a summary/details of your column vision and subject; 2) how you plan to organize the column month to month, and 3) what unique angle or lens you bring to the subject—why you, why now? 

Columns will ideally continue for 9-10 months, no longer than a calendar year. This is a paid opportunity. 


Contact sarah@palettepoetry.com with any questions.

Palette Poetry