Most poetry magazines have some sort of editorial policy, though they don’t always make it explicit. Some for instance are looking for poems of technical sophistication – in terms of style and structure, verse form, patterning of imagery and language. Others are more interested in attitude: they want poems that present a political line perhaps. Or they want poems that scream with raw emotion. Or poems that express the experiences and views of a particular social group. Yet others have accessibility as their leading criterion. Generally the advice editors give to poets has always been to at least take a look at a copy of any magazine before submitting your poems to it. Check that it does tend to print something vaguely similar to the stuff you’re sending – in terms of style, form, probably length, rather than of subject matter (which tends to matter less). If you don’t, you’ll probably have little chance of getting your work accepted.

So, what kind of poems are we looking for here at Natterjack? The simple answer is that this project is always shifting. It’ll define directions for itself as it goes along, but it’ll always carry on shifting. My own tastes tend to be fairly eclectic and open-ended. What I want to do is publish a range of different kinds of poetry, with poems by accomplished, sometimes established, poets sitting next to pieces by unknown, often less experienced (and perhaps rougher and rawer) writers, and sometimes next to famous (or once-famous) poems from the past. We’re open to experimental writing, to street poems, to children’s poems, as well as the more traditional or conventional or literary kinds of poem. Let’s mix them together and not try to fix the boundaries of what counts as poetry and what doesn’t. Sometimes, we’ll provide commentaries exploring possible links between some of the poems. Other times, we’ll just leave readers to decide how, or whether, any of the poems seem to work together, bounce off each other, resonate with each other, suggest new thoughts to you by being placed next to each other.

Also: we’re particularly (but not exclusively) interested in providing a platform for poetry (in however loose a sense of the word) that makes fuller use of digital formats. We want to do things that paper magazines can’t do. Some poems may be better as audio files or videos rather than written documents, for instance. Others may be both. In time we plan to be running visual slide shows, photo sequences, with words either visually on the screen, or on a soundtrack, or a combination of both. Or the soundtrack may be music. Or other kinds of sounds. We’ll be blurring the boundaries between poetry, performance, graphics, drama, music.

We don’t want to be prescriptive, but that doesn’t mean we’ll just publish anything: this is not an open mike spot. The website is edited. We have to feel that a poem is likely to interest some of our readers: it has to at least interest me. As we sift through what’s sent in, we’ll be looking for poems that somehow go together, so readers / visitors get some sense of cohesion from what we’re presenting. But it’s shifting, of course. Unlike a paper magazine, we don’t have to compile a new edition every month or every quarter. We add new content as and when we find something that fits – in some sense – which might mean it makes a contrast, for instance. And we remove items when we feel they’ve been up long enough and they no longer fit into the new shape we’ve shifted into.

Different people will be involved in the editing and selection at different times, so what gets chosen won’t just reflect one person’s tastes. Except mine, maybe. But mine just change all the time.

 

How to submit work

 

You can publish under your own name, or under a pen name.

Some brief biographical information may be helpful and interesting to our readers, perhaps including details of books or other publications. Or whatever you want people to know. We'll put this under Notes on Contributors. We're happy to include links to your own website or blog.

 

If you send a digital photo of yourself, we'll include it in our Notes on Contributors too. Entirely optional though.

 

Please submit work as a Microsoft Word document, as an email attachment, to:

mick@natterjackmagazine.com

 

 

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Minors: though we’re happy to consider poems from children, these should be sent to us by an appropriate adult (parent, teacher etc). We can’t enter into correspondence with minors.

 

Terms

 

As with the other sections of Natterjack, there are two systems. One is that you offer your work to readers for free. No money changes hands, but you get the opportunity to get your work seen / heard by visitors to the website and subscribers to the Newsletter.

The other way is that you offer your work for sale through Natterjack, as an ebook, audio CD, downloadable PDF, or other format, and we take an agreed commission on your earnings. Sometimes we’ll suggest offering a short free sample or two, followed by a collection for sale.

If you already have a book published elsewhere  (in any format) we can either act as another sales outlet for it, or carry an advert, with an internet link or email address as appropriate. We may also be able to write and publish a review of it.

If we don’t accept your work, we’ll always tell you why. And where we feel able to, we’ll offer critical comment, which you can respond to or ignore as you choose.

 

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