some very helpful guidelines for submission, culled from actual literary magazines
We seek work of the highest literary quality. Our only criterion is excellence. If your writing has an original voice, substance, and significance, send it to us. The main criterion for selection is quality. We like alliteration, extended metaphors, image, movement and poems that can pass the “so what” test. We look for the best writing available and are often pleased to introduce new writers. Poems should emanate from textured, evocative images, use language with an awareness of how words sound and mean, and have a definite sense of voice. We are looking for edgy, original poems. Our only fixed requirement is good writing. Each line should help carry the poem, and an individual vision must be evident. Be sure you read contemporary poetry. English poetry is a continuum in time, and the practice as well as the reading of poetry benefit from a broad knowledge and understanding of the development of the art and craft. Writers should expect their work to be considered within the full context of old and new poetry in English and other languages. [Our magazine’s] intention is to publish the best writing available, both from beginning and established writers. We prefer poems that are between 8 and 80 lines; serious, well-crafted, and full of imagery; tight and highly musical. We seek the very best work whether by Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners or by little-known (or even previously unpublished) writers. Work that conveys a sense of necessity and implores readers to pay attention is what belongs on [this magazine’s] pages. We are interested in any strong writing of a literary variety, but are especially partial to poetry that engages the reader through a distinctive voice—be it lyric, narrative, etc. The editors are especially interested in original writing that engages in the work of honest communication. We always ask “What’s at stake in this writing?” “What’s reckoned with that’s important for other people to read?” Send work that has a strong jab, work that knows how to sing, work that can endure long nights and early mornings. Originality and precision of language are important for us. Take us someplace new. Move us. Transport us. Run us over with a locomotive of brilliant imagery and voice. The most successful work is exciting, new, fresh, creative, carefully-wrought. We’ll use our intuition and a keen sense of smell to guide us in the right direction, and we’ll know what we want when we find it. [Our magazine’s] core equation: Idea + Imagination x Craft = Lasting Poetry. Poetry submitted for publication in [our magazine] must be typewritten. We suggest you familiarize yourself with our journal before submitting.