Send me your poems! I am now on duty reading Strange Horizons poetry submissions for May and June. Full guidelines at the link, but basically, if you have unpublished poetry that exists in a science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, gamer, or supernatural horror space, and you think it’s good (where good could mean personally revealing, or funny, or formally innovative, or the kind of vivid that sticks in your head), kick it my way. Maybe we’ll change the world.
Here are some quick answers to obvious questions:
1. There’s no particular advantage or disadvantage to submitting early or late in the reading period. You’ll hear back from me pretty quickly if I’m sure it’s a pass, but anything “maybe” will get held to early July, when I send out acceptances.
2. I’ll consider anything, as long as it’s not previously published. Yes, published on your blog or on facebook counts. But I’ll look the other way if you made like 10 xeroxes and sold them for $2 to people who live in your neighborhood. Don’t push this.
3. Never say never, but I read a LOT of poems about birds. Birds and the ocean and misunderstood fairytale characters. Sometimes all in the same poem. I don’t hate any of those things, but if you’re looking to stand out, maybe go a different direction.
4. No submissions fee. Ever.
5. It’s possible to write a cover letter that gets my attention, but leaving one off doesn’t hurt you at all, nor do I especially care whether you spell my name right.
6. Normally, people say something like “read our past issues to get a good idea of what we like” but I’ve been on sabbatical the last couple of years, so reading recent poems won’t help you guess what I like. If you really want to deep dive, look at archived poems from 2014. Not all of those are my acceptances, but if you look at the poems from July 14 through September 1 that gives you a pretty good cross section of my tastes. (I love those poems. I linked them in the comments. Worth your time to read just for the sake of reading them. Here’s another one I like a lot.) Still, really, it’s not necessary that you think that hard about the “perfect” submission. Just send it in. What’s the worst that’ll happen?
7. We pay $40 on acceptance.