March 24, 2023

A Few Words on Submissions

We periodically post here about how we review submissions. With a week remaining for submissions for this month, we offer the following information and suggestions.

We love our blog and you can find the newest prompt here as well as on our website but be sure to review our submission guidelines before submitting a poem for the next issue.

We also read submissions for print publications and poetry manuscripts and admit that we at Poets Online are kinder than many publications that will reject your submission for not following any of their guidelines. Submissions generally are read by three readers and poems accepted by two or three of those readers are published. (Editor Ken is the tiebreaker.)

But we do have guidelines. So why do we decline submissions? In short, most poems that are not accepted did not address the current writing prompt, or the poet submitted more than one poem. Of course, the readers look for what they consider to be quality writing and that is subjective. 

Poets Online began as a sharing of poems by a small group of poets who met in writing workshops. We thought of the sharing as an online workshop (long before virtual workshops were a common thing) and the poems shared were not always final versions. But in the 25 years since then, we have become more formal in the process. Unfortunately, we can not respond personally to every poem submitted or offer critiques of your work. We know that there is an informal sharing of comments among some of the poet regulars to Poets Online who share their email and are open to comments. 

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For all of our past prompts and more than 300 issues, visit our website at

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