Palette Poetry is an online literary journal that endeavors to uplift and platform emerging and established poets.

The world is eager for poets. In 2016, more people spent their hard-earned money on poetry books than in any other year on record. When times are dark, the world often turns to poets for insight and for language reanimated. Palette Poetry is here to paint our small part of the world with truth through poetry, as imaginative, eviscerating, and provoking as truth can be.

Our mission is to create a nourishing and brave space for poetic voices, whether new, emerging, or established, especially those that often go unheard or unrecognized. Our goal is to recognize and publish the most innovative and exciting poetry we can.

Palette firmly believes writers should be compensated for their work and is a paying market. We pay $50 per poem accepted. We do not charge fees for Featured Poetry submissions and offer a quick-response submission option for writers of historically marginalized identities. All creative work published in Palette comes through our submission windows; we do not solicit poetry whether for Featured Poetry or for our contests.

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.

**If you haven't already, please verify your email address with Submittable for more consistent communication.**

Unless specifically requested, we do not accept AI-generated work.

$20.00

We’re delighted to bring back the Love & Eros Prize for 2024, awarding $3,000 and publication! Love engulfs us, desire rules us. We encourage love poems beyond the confines of what’s traditionally “romantic.” Rather, we’re seeking unflinching examinations of our sharpest human sensations—those of desire, longing, devotion, and intimacy. All iterations of love are welcome—send us your bitter and your sweet, your queer, platonic, reverent, and devotional. 

The winner will be selected by our guest judge, John Lee Clark, author of How to Communicate (W. W. Norton & Company, 2023). John Lee Clark is a DeafBlind poet, essayist, translator, historian, and Protactile educator. His debut collection of poems, How to Communicate, won the 2023 Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His latest book is Touch the Future: A Manifesto in Essays, also from Norton. He makes his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the ASL Deaf artist Adrean Clark, their three kids, and two cats. 

Palette’s editors will choose the ten finalists and any honorable mentions that warrant extra attention. Our judge will then select the winner and runner-ups. The winner will receive $3,000; second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively.  

submission guidelines: please read carefully!

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing primarily in English. Code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • 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 previously unpublished work. If your poem has been published on a blog or on social media, it is not eligible for consideration.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions—just send us a note if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere (we want to say congrats!).
  • There is no page requirement, but your submission must be no more than three poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission (of up to three poems) will require the $20 reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history, if any. This field is where you can include your name and/or author bio! If you select the editorial feedback option, this field is also where you can name which poem you’d like feedback on.
  • Writers from historically marginalized groups are invited to submit for free until we reach the fifty free entries budgeted for this particular contest. (free submissions for this contest are now CLOSED)
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions for anything not addressed here.
  • Work generated by AI will be automatically disqualified.
  • Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines will be automatically disqualified.
  • The contest closes on April 7, 2024. 

included unique opportunities & discounts 

To thank you for your support for Palette, please take advantage of these unique opportunities: The Poetry School is offering 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 our confirmation message at checkout. The Writing Salon is offering every submitter a 10% off discount code on a writing class. Find a class on their site and use the provided code.  

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 from the submission, 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 from the submission, including suggestions for future submissions, from THREE separate guest editors. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the feedback fee 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 poem is largely in English.
  • Please do NOT include your name or identifying information anywhere within your packet of poems. We do not read submissions anonymously but prefer identifying information to be included in the cover letter, not the 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 around 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 white. This inevitably creates systematized discrimination in terms of who gets published—without active and deliberate measures, people of color will continue to be marginalized. Important, 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 of unpublished poems are open internationally, for historically marginalized BIPOC writers ONLY. 
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a message via Submittable 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 brief 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