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2017 submission guidelines

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the short version:

Rat’s Ass Review will accept poetry submissions as follows:
 
twice yearly for its regular issues.
 
The spring 2017 submission period began February 1st and ended April 15th.
 
The fall submission period began August 15th and will end October 31st.
 
 
Rat’s Ass Review accepts simultaneous submissions; however, we do ask that you notify us promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere. Submit no more than 5 poems. Include a brief (no more than 75 word) bio. I will do my best to make my decisions within a week of receipt of your work. Poems will appear in print shortly after the end of the submission period.
 
Rat’s Ass Review does not accept material which has been published previously, either online or in print, with the exception of material which you have posted only to your own blog or Facebook page. By submitting to Rat’s Ass Review you are assuring that you hold the rights to the work, and you are granting Rat’s Ass Review the rights to publish the submitted work. After publication, rights revert to the author.
 
To submit your material to Rat’s Ass Review, send your work as a doc or docx file to Submit. Please include your name in the title of the document, for example Frost, Robert Three Poems RAR July 2017.docx. We only accept electronic submissions. If you really want to make me happy, include your brief (no more than 75 word) bio and the titles of the individual poems in the email, type your poems using Times or Times New Roman, font size 12, left justified, and don’t capitalize the first word of every line as though you were writing with a quill pen.
 
For those women poets who have read this far, let me offer in advance this excellent advice from Kelli Russell Agodon, co-founder of Two Sylvias Press. Actually, the advice is sound for men as well as women, although perhaps this is one of the rare times when excess testosterone serves to guide one toward a good choice rather than a bad one.
 
Ready? Go ahead and Submit.
 

Note — some web-based email accounts (gmail and yahoo among them) do not work seamlessly. If the above link is unresponsive, email your poems to ratsassreview@gmail.com.

 

the longer version:

Rat’s Ass Review: why should you care?

 


“Well, there’s no reason on Earth why you should, of course. There’s only one editor here, one person whose taste determines what gets into the RAR, and if you don’t like my taste, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Go someplace else for your poetry dose. (I don’t really think that makes me different from all the millions of others with online poetry zines, but I’m willing to admit it.)
 
“But you’re here to find out what to send me so that you can partake of the glory that is Rat’s Ass Review. And I’ll tell you.
 
“Send me your best poetry. I don’t particularly care whether it’s formal or informal, metrical or free verse, rhyming or not. I’ve written all those possibilities myself. A good poem isn’t one that gets the grades for following particular rules. And I’m sure I’ll reject plenty of good poems anyway. I’m not even sure I’m looking for good poems. I’m looking for my kind of poems.
 
“Now we’re getting to it. What is my kind of poem? My favorite poets are Richard Wilbur and Elizabeth Bishop and W. H. Auden and Edna St. Vincent Millay and W. B. Yeats and Robert Hayden and a bunch of others who don’t have much in common. What they do have in common is that, if you read their best poetry carefully, you will understand something about what’s going on the first time you read it. You will get a lot more out of each poem the more you read it, but you don’t have to study it to get the first level of enjoyment. It isn’t work. You don’t have to tie the poem to a chair and beat it with a hose (apologies to Billy Collins).
 
“I do want to see something going on beyond the surface, so that I can read the poem over and over and still get pleasure from it. But I need that surface pleasure. I’m not a great thinker about poetry, and I need my immediate gratification.
 
“And what don’t I want to see? Well, I have my own prejudices, after all. I am not much interested in poetry about God, unless you are Alicia Ostriker or Mark Jarman and are wrestling with God in an interesting way. If you are a young poet with angst, I’ve been there and done that, and I don’t see any need to put it into my journal. I’m not interested in how evil any person or group of persons is. If you must write about Saddam Hussein or Dick Cheney, show me his warm, charming side. If you are impelled to write about the evils of the political left, take it to someone who agrees with you.
 
“And don’t send me anything I’ve seen a thousand times before. Send me the poem that no one but you, in the entire history of poetry, could have written.
 
“Send me as many as five poems. I’ll get to them when I can. We have three levels of form rejection letters: insulting, regular, and encouraging. You’ll be able to tell which one you get. If you aren’t rejected, you’ll get the glory of having your work posted on this site, and nothing else; you’ll give up first electronic publication rights, and nothing else. If I remember, I’ll register the copyrights as a compilation.
 
“If you want to send me a translation, it’s up to you to clear the rights to the original.
 
“I’m a writer too, so I understand about your not wanting to tie up your work in one place for a long time. I try to answer within a week, and unless you state otherwise, I’ll assume it’s a simultaneous submission.”


 
 
So wrote founding editor David M. Harris in 2009 when he launched Rat’s Ass Review. In early 2015 the editorship changed hands, but David’s vision remains the guiding sensibility of the journal. To David’s list of poets I would add Mary Oliver and Anne Sexton, and I hereby confirm that RAR’s selection policy will remain idiosyncratic and wholly subjective.
 
You are free to disregard any or all of these guidelines, but you do so at your own peril. If, for example, you choose to submit a poem about God, understand that you have dug yourself a hole, and are now trying to throw your work over a barrier which you have chosen to make higher.  
 
As stated above in the short version, to submit your material to Rat’s Ass Review, send your work as a doc or docx file to ratsassreview@gmail.com. Please include your name in the title of the document, for example Frost, Robert Three Poems RAR July 2017.docx. We only accept electronic submissions. If you really want to make me happy, include your brief (no more than 75 word) bio and the titles of the individual poems in the email, type your poems using Times or Times New Roman, font size 12, left justified, and don’t capitalize the first word of every line as though you were writing with a quill pen.
 
If all of this isn’t enough, you can go to Jim Harringrton’s site Six Questions For . . . or to Trish Hopkinson’s site A Selfish Poet where I go on at even greater length. Both of these excellent sites were kind enough to allow me a chance to discuss Rat’s Ass Review and its editorial quirks.
 
And, you can also go to The Dreaded Cover Letter and let Samara give you more good advice on the fine art of not annoying an editor before she or he even gets to your first poem.
 
 
As a potential contributor you should know what we are offering to our poets:
 
Rat’s Ass Review is committed to publishing the best new and established poets, and to promoting those poets and their work as diligently as we can. We will work to bring our poets to the attention of literary critics and anthologists and onto the desks of award committees. We believe that your success is our success, and, if your work is accepted here, we want to be your best cheerleaders.
 
Effective with the publication of our Summer 2015 issue, we have established a forum for our contributing poets to participate in an ongoing on-line workshop, where they can submit draft poems and get feedback from other Rat’s Ass Review poets. There are currently 92 poets in this free workshop; if you are published with us, you will have the option to join them.
 
So send us that seething love poem, that ode to the outré, that snarky prayer.
 

Note — some web-based email accounts (gmail and yahoo among them) do not work seamlessly. If the above link is unresponsive, email your poems to ratsassreview@gmail.com.

 
Roderick Bates, Editor
Rat’s Ass Review
 
 

seeking cover art

Rat’s Ass Review is looking for original artwork for our covers. We are primarily an online journal, but we will soon have a modest print presence, and may also offer such items as t-shirts and coffee mugs with our graphics on them. All we can offer for remuneration for your creativity and effort is an appreciative platform, careful attribution of your work, and cheerful promotion of you and your work. Submit a jpeg image of your original art, which you certify is your own original work, and which has not appeared in print or online before. /RB    Submit
 

Note — some web-based email accounts (gmail and yahoo among them) do not work seamlessly. If the above link is unresponsive, email your poems to ratsassreview@gmail.com.

 
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23 thoughts on “2017 submission guidelines

  1. Second time I have read this.
    I don’t know if I will submit anything, but I have certainly enjoyed reading your poetry submission guidelines.
    Thanks! Denise

    • True, Denise, I too, enjoyed reading the submission guidelines. I’m also not only hesitant but scared to submit.
      Martina 😁

      • Well, as the editor of this apparently daunting website, let me encourage both of you to submit. The worst that can happen is that you won’t get published, which I must point out is your current situation.

  2. I have a couple of poems to submit but I am curious about the artwork category. Are you interested in Photography at all?
    Any particular themes for this winter issue ?
    Thanks in advance for your reply
    Joan

    • Yes to photography. No real theme, although I did say this: “if you wish, you may submit work which touches on the season: light for the submission period ending in June, dark for the submission period ending in December.”

      Looking forward to the poems. (somewhat more detailed response sent to JL directly)

    • As we say above, “If you aren’t rejected, you’ll get the glory of having your work posted on this site, and nothing else.”

  3. I too have some poems which I may try out with you. But too am curious about the desired artwork. Other than the acceptability of photographs there is no information. Do you only want thumbnail size as for the last two issues (the size would certainly limit the content). Do you want to continue the close relationship between art and title? And what do you mean by a modest print presence? and would that require art work?

    • There is limited information because I have only a limited idea of what I want. I would like the art to be large enough to serve as a t-shirt graphic with clear detail. I do like the current art’s close relationship between art and title (rats, sometimes ass foremost) but am not insistent on it. No cute kittens, probably no sunsets across the lake. How about this: something that an art editor at The New Yorker would love but would not quite dare to publish.

  4. I chuckled all the way through the submission guidance. I don’t know about anyone else, but now I just have to get a piece into this journal. Along with Cliterature Journal. I just can’t wait to have Rats Ass Review and Cliterature Journal in my author bio.

  5. Pingback: Poetry Competitions & Submissions – March 2016 | a dreaming skin

  6. Liked your ‘tude (mostly)
    Who wouldn’t want to be
    published by (I don’t give a…)
    Rats Ass Review.
    Dan the Cat looked at
    your site, though, said,
    Don’t push it too far, Pete!

  7. Damn! A day late and a dollar short. I would have LOVED to have at least had the chance to submit to this magazine. Something tells me next issue will be much more difficult to get into. I’ve already marked August 15, 2017 in my phone so I know when submissions begin again. Amazing mag here. I see many familiar faces and they are all Truly talented writers. It’s good to see a new magazine with Integrity. Kudos on what you’re doing with this. Keep it up and NEVER compromise!

  8. OK, why am I spending so much time reading guidelines and (2) why am I reading the comments? And as Heath says, don’t ever compromise. Except, of course, if I get around to sending something.

    Hey, Kelly Cherry is asking questions! I better send something in.

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