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’re delighted to offer the inaugural Love & Eros Prize for 2021: $3000 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, Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf, 2021).


Kaveh Akbar's poems appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Paris Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. His second full-length volume of poetry, Pilgrim Bell, will be published by Graywolf in August 2021. His debut, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is out now with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK. He is also the author of the chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, published in 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press. In 2022, Penguin Classics will publish a new anthology edited by Kaveh: The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine

In 2020 Kaveh was named Poetry Editor of The Nation. The recipient of honors including multiple Pushcart Prizes, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and the Levis Reading Prize, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. In 2014, Kaveh founded Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in American poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he wrote a weekly column for the Paris Review called "Poetry RX."

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. Second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively.


submission guidelines

  • 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.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions—just please 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.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the $20 reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on October 18, 2021.



included unique opportunities & discounts
As a thank you for your support for Palette, we'd like to offer 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 the confirmation message at checkout.

The Writing Salon is offering every submitter a 10% off discount code on a writing class. Go to https://www.writingsalons.com/ to find a class and type in the code in the confirmation during 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.

Submissions for our Featured Poetry category are open year round to poets at any stage of their careers. We highly encourage emerging authors 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 voices 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.
  • Send us only your best. We will be extremely selective.
  • 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 8-12 weeks for a response

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 on 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, dismissed, and lost. 

We at Palette Poetry hope to use our platform to actively begin demolishing the discriminatory systems that pervade the publishing industry. We stand with our Black writers, our Native writers, our LGBTQIA+ writers, our Disabled writers, our Neurodiverse writers, our culturally under-represented writers. This space is yours.

We welcome all self-identifying, historically marginalized authors to submit here for a quick decision made directly by the editors. We'll do our best to get word back to you on your poetry within 2-4 weeks. 


Sending every good wish your way,

Sarah & the Palette team


Guidelines:

  • Submissions are open internationally, for self-identifying, historically marginalized authors 
  • Send us only your best. We will be extremely selective.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere (we want to say congrats!)
  • 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