Last Updated: 9 November 2023
- AJ Odasso (they/them/theirs)
- Romie Stott (she/her/hers)
- Lisa M. Bradley (she/her/hers)
- Vanessa Jae (she/her/hers)
Your poem will be read by one of these four people, all of whom are poetry editors and make acceptance decisions. Our department does not use first readers.
What We Publish
We publish SF/F, speculative, and slipstream poetry.
What’s a speculative poem? We’re interested in hearing your answers to this question, not answering it ourselves. A poem’s experimentality on the level of language might make it a speculative poem. A narrative poem about a werewolf might be speculative. A speculative poem could explore how people with bodies considered inhuman or fantastical navigate our mundane world, and it might include no magic or ray guns at all.
We value formalism as well as experimentality, and are highly receptive to both. Poems must substantiate their forms, or their experimentations; a weak concept in rhyme is still a weak concept. Sonnet plus spaceship is not enough.
We are committed to uplifting the voices of marginalized poets. If you feel comfortable doing so, please do self-identify in your cover letter!
For more, you can read nearly every poem Strange Horizons has published since 2000 in our archives. We publish very short poems, very long poems, visual poems, illustrated poems, hypertext poems, and prose poems. We publish poems dictated to you by aliens.
Our pay rate for new poetry is $50 (U.S.) per poem, regardless of length or complexity.
We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for six months. After that period, you are free to republish the poem elsewhere. We hope (but don’t require) that you’ll allow us to post the poem in our archives indefinitely. You have the right to remove your poem from the archives at any point after six months. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief at management [at] strangehorizons [dot] com if you would like your work to be removed.
How to Submit
Please use our Moksha submissions system to send us your poems.
We accept the following file types: Text files (.txt), RTF files (.rtf), Word 97–2003 Documents (.doc), Word Documents (.docx), PDF file types (.pdf)
Please send us no more than six poems at a time. All in one file is fine. Separate files are also fine.
Don't stress about your cover letter or your wordcount. We read them (so don’t say anything you don't want us to see), but we don’t put emphasis on them. You can claim your poem is a million words long. It’s fine—it contains multitudes. Your cover letter can tell us about you, or can be "hi." Either way.
We do not accept unsolicited reprints. This includes poems previously published on personal websites or message boards. If a search engine can find it, so can we.
We accept simultaneous submissions. If your poem is acquired by another publisher before we reply to you, please withdraw your poem using the Moksha system. Assume you have our congratulations and we are delighted by your success. Be aware that if you elected to submit multiple poems in one file, rather than as separate files, there is no way to withdraw just one in Moksha. It’s the whole file or nothing. You can email us about it and we’ll take care of it, and will say hooray alongside you. Or when you know you plan to submit something simultaneously, you can proactively submit each individual poem in its own withdrawable file, and save us some work. (We will not know that you did this. But you will feel the glow of having been kind to us.)
We recognize poetry's longstanding tradition of remixing and machine randomization, from third-century Centos to 20th century Dada. If you are sending us patchwork poems, erasures, golden shovels, response poems, poems that started as magnetic poetry or shuffled paint chips, etc., please cite your sources either in your submission or in your cover letter. In this vein, we are up for reading stuff that evolved from a LLM prompt or that interrogates/complicates the use of LLM-generated material, but expect disclosure from the poet (and given the magpie data sets of a lot of LLMs, we suggest you check evocative phrases using a search engine to see if you can find original sources). We love it when poets are playful and culturally engaged, and respect when poets are nihilist or deconstructive, but ultimately we need to know what you contributed to the piece, since you're asking us to reply to you.
Strange Horizons responds to poetry submissions within four months. If you haven’t heard from us once the four-month mark passes, please send a query, because your reply was probably lost in a spam filter. (Meanwhile, emailing to ask us about a non-response before four months will most likely get you the answer “ask us when it's been four months.”)
How to Query
If you don’t hear from us within four months, please sign into Moksha and click on the My Submissions tab, where you will see a link called Get Status; from there, you will enter your email address and submission ID. If Moksha gives you any difficulty, please query using the old submissions listserv address (poetry [at] strangehorizons [dot] com), but do not send submissions there! We only respond to submissions sent via Moksha.
Please ignore the queue number that Moksha has automatically assigned to you; it has absolutely no bearing on when you will hear from us within the allotted four-month period. As a rule, we reject faster than we accept, so if you get a quick rejection from us, please know that you can try again as long as you have no more than six poems in with us at a time!
The Poetry Department is open to submissions year-round, including at times when Strange Horizons is closed to fiction submissions. The editors operate on a rotation system, so the person who reads and replies to your poem will depend on when you send it.
September 2023 Vanessa Jae (she/her/hers)
October 2023 Lisa M. Bradley (she/her/hers)
November 2023 AJ Odasso (they/them/theirs)
December 2023 Romie Stott (she/her/hers)
January 2024 Vanessa Jae (she/her/hers)
February 2024 Lisa M. Bradley (she/her/hers)
Each editor has jurisdiction over work submitted in their reading periods. Romie and AJ are only senior editors in length of tenure. They do not review or overrule decisions made by Lisa or Vanessa. Please note that AJ’s name is AJ, not the initials A and J. You can always address a submission “Dear Editors” instead of to a specific name.