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Last Updated: 1 September 2021

Poetry Editors

  • AJ Odasso (they/them/theirs)
  • Romie Stott (she/her/hers)
  • Sydney Hilton (they/them/theirs)

Your poem will be read by one of these three people, all three 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.

Pay Rate

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 6 poems at a time. All in one file is fine. Separate files are also fine.

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.

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.

Strange Horizons responds to poetry submissions within 4 months. If you haven't heard from us once the 4-month mark passes, please send a query.

How to Query

If you don't hear from us within 4 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 4-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 6 poems in with us at a time!

Reading Periods

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 - October 2021: Sydney Hilton (they/them/theirs)

November - December 2021: AJ Odasso (they/them/theirs)

January - February 2022: Romie Stott (she/her/hers)

You can always address a submission "Dear Editors" instead of to a specific name. Romie and AJ are only senior editors in length of tenure. They do not review or overrule decisions made by Syd.  Each editor has jurisdiction over work submitted in their reading periods.