Rattle

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Poetry rejections

Standard

2020

Dear first-name,

Thank you for sending us "[Titles]," but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish anything from this submission. We work hard to consider every poem fairly and carefully—Megan and I read everything we receive without delegating that task to any interns or other readers, but we're whittling 120,000 a year down to the 150 that we publish, so the odds are always long. That doesn't mean we aren't grateful that you shared your work with us, or that we don't find value in it.

We're happy to read submissions any time, year-round—regular submissions are always free, and we pay all contributors. So hopefully we’ll always be at the top of your list for places to send new poems.

Best Wishes, Tim

__ Timothy Green Editor

2018

Dear first-name,

Thank you for sending us "[Title]," but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish anything from this submission. We work hard to consider every poem fairly and carefully—both Megan and I read everything we receive without delegating that task to any interns or other readers, but we're whittling 120,000 a year down to the 150 that we publish, so the odds are always long. That doesn't mean we aren't grateful that you shared your work with us, or that we don't find value in it.

We're happy to read submissions any time, year-round—regular submissions are always free, and we pay all contributors. So hopefully we’ll always be at the top of your list for places to send new poems.

Best Wishes, Tim

__ Timothy Green Editor

2015

Dear —,

Thank you for sending us "—," but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish any of these pieces. I'm sorry that it's bad news. We work hard to consider every poem fairly and carefully, with both Megan and I each reading everything separately, but we're whittling 100,000 a year down to the 150 that we publish, so bad news is an inevitable part of it. That doesn't mean we aren't grateful that you shared your work with us.

We're happy to read submissions any time, year-round—regular submissions are always free, and we pay all contributors. So hopefully we’ll always be at the top of your list for places to send new poems.

Best Wishes, Tim

__ Timothy Green Editor tim@rattle.com www.rattle.com

2011

Thank you for letting us consider some of your work, but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish any of these pieces. I want to assure you that your work has been taken under careful consideration—at least two editors read each submission, and I’m always one of them.

This is a form letter—necessary with a tiny staff and all these submissions—but what I’m about to say is sincere: Unlike most literary magazines, we don’t solicit work from famous poets; we feel that practice isn’t fair, and doesn’t make for a good magazine. Every single poem we publish started out as a submission, and 90% of the submissions we receive are from people who’ve submitted before. If you add those two facts together, you’ll see how much we rely on your persistence and generosity. We really do hope you’ll keep sending new work as it’s ready.

Also, it should go without saying that our decision to return this submission doesn’t mean much. We’re just fans of poetry ourselves, and all tastes are subjective. Moreover, we’re always looking to make the magazine as eclectic as possible – often we end up turning down submissions that we enjoy, simply because they’re similar in tone or content to other pieces we’ve published.

In any event, thanks for continuing to share your work.

Best Wishes, Tim

Chapbook

2020

Dear <name>,

Thank you for entering our annual chapbook prize competition. Unfortunately your manuscript did not win publication, but we appreciated the opportunity to read it. As always happens, we were blown away by the quality of the chapbooks we received. 1,885 manuscripts were entered this year, and so many of them were so good. We really are living in the golden age of poetry, and it was a privilege to read all these great books.

After much deliberation, we’ve selected three winners for 2020 (and for more on the winners, visit https://www.rattle.com/chapbooks/c2020/):

"A Juror Must Fold in on Herself" by Kathleen McClung

"Trailer Park Shakes" by Justene Dion-Glowa

"A Plumber’s Guide to Light" by Jesse Bertron

Eighteen hundred manuscripts submitted translates into nearly 35,000 individual poems that I’ve read over the last three months. Given the quantity of poems, it’s very difficult to consider them individually in this context, though we are always able to select a few. So if you’d like to submit any of these individually at some point, please feel free, following the regular submissions guidelines—we won’t mind reading anything again.

We also still have no idea which manuscript is yours, so if you’d like to enter a revised version next year, you’re also free to do that. (I’m just trying to anticipate what are always common questions.) There were a great number of manuscripts that we would have been proud to publish—we simply chose the three that we loved the most.

Anyway, thank you again for entering the competition. I hope you enjoy the winners, and your subscription to Rattle.

Cheers, Tim

Standard?

Poets Respond

Dear —,

Thanks for sharing this—it's perfect in spirit for this project, but we received over 200 poems this week, and I ended up choosing something else—check our website tomorrow morning to read it.

This decision is, of course, no reflection on the importance of the event you were writing about, or of your response. It's great to read poets reacting in a meaningful way to current events, and very difficult to choose just one.

I'm sorry that I can't reply individually, though many poems make me want to—reading all these every Saturday morning is a lot of work! We do have a closed Facebook group, where you can safely share your poems with each other, if you'd like—just join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/poetsrespond/

Anyway, don't hesitate to try again whenever you have another timely one—or to send general submissions any time.

Best, Tim

___ Timothy Green Editor / Rattle www.rattle.com

Higher Tier

Hi "..." --

Thank you for letting us consider your work, but unfortunately we’ve decided not to publish this piece. I want to assure you that your work has been taken under careful consideration — at least two editors read each submission, and I’m always one of them.

Sorry for the ridiculously slow reply. I enjoyed this piece, the scope of it -- very ambitious. Hope you'll consider sending more soon.

Best, Tim