Poetry Submission Guidelines
-All submissions should now come through our Submittable page.
-Submit up to 5 poems, single-spaced (no more than 10 pages total). Please do not put more than one poem on a page.
-Please include in your submission a 2-3 sentence bio and have an author photo uploaded on Gravatar.com. In your cover letter, let us know the email attached to the Gravatar account. A Gravatar account is necessary to create the “About the Author” box on the page should your poem(s) be accepted.
-Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know right away if a poem or poems is accepted elsewhere. We are no longer accepting previously published work.
-Responses to poetry submissions range from a couple of days to two months. Feel free to query if it’s been longer than that.
Tips for Getting Poetry Published at The Good Men Project
-While we don’t necessarily want “easy” poetry, we prefer work that is accessible and engaging. We like imagistic work, fresh language, concreteness, and a strong emotional core. Poems that are heavily experimental, obtuse, or heavily reliant on abstractions probably won’t do well with us.
-Browse the archives before submitting. Read a couple of poems to get a sense of what we publish.
-Poems that deal with sex/sexuality are fine, though poems that provide graphic depictions of the act are probably not for us.
-Avoid clichés. This doesn’t just mean avoiding stock expressions; it also means avoiding overused scenarios and predictable sentiments.
-Avoid sentimentality. This does not mean that poems need to be stripped of emotion. Far from it! Most great poems have a strong emotional core. However, the type of poetry that appears in greeting cards isn’t what we’re looking for.
-In the words of Madonna—“Papa don’t preach!” Poetry that teaches a lesson or conveys a sociopolitical message is fine. Poetry that beats you over the head with a moral—not so much.
-Pay attention to craft! The best poetry uses the head as much as it does the heart.
-Poems most likely to succeed are those which follow Ezra Pound’s classic dictum “Make it new!” Give us something our readers can relate to, but make us see it in a fresh, interesting way.
–Photo by Shawn Clover/Flickr