April is National Poetry Month. I’ve always loved National Poetry Month. In my days as a school librarian I devoted all my lessons that month to poetry, without asking permission from any administrator or curriculum guide.

We will devote one slot in each of our April shows to poetry. We will still do short stories, but we have room on our calendar for just a little poetry. So we are taking poetry submissions. But here’s the catch: we are releasing just four shows in April so we have exactly four slots for these. If you don’t follow the submission guidelines, you will not be considered. These are the rules, read carefully:

  1. Submit ONE poem of 20 lines or fewer (500 words or fewer for prose poems.)
  2. Poetry submissions will ONLY be accepted January 15-February 15.
  3. Paste your poem into the BODY of an email (unsolicited attachments will not be opened) and send to noextrawords@gmail.com. Please don’t worry about formatting, standard cut and paste is fine.
  4. Put the words “poetry submission” in the subject line
  5. Previously published work is fine as long as you retain the podcasting rights. Simultaneous submissions are fine, please notify us ASAP if you need to withdraw your submission.

Hint to submitters: We are delighted to bring our listeners poetry for the month of April, but we are ordinarily a short story podcast. When thinking about what to send to us, think of what might fit in to a show like ours. While we are happy to consider any poem you send, we are looking for strong narratives and are particularly interested in prose poetry.

Who decides if it’s a poem or a story? Well, as one of my students once said, “A poem is a big pile of words that somehow relate.” This isn’t a literature class. Free verse, blank verse, rhyming, non-rhyming, prose, lineated…if you wrote it and you think it’s a poem, it’s a poem.

We will send you one email letting you know your submission was received and a second email in early March letting you know if your work has been accepted.

Unfortunately, we are not a paying market (maybe someday!), so are unable to offer compensation for accepted poems. As with all our contributors, we will publicize you on our website and social media, give you full credit, and you retain all reprint rights to your work. For information on some of our previous contributors, please check out our Contributor Bios.

Poetry not your thing? We are open once again to standard story submissions. January and February are full, but at the present time we are scheduling stories for late March, April, and May. Please click on the link to Submit Your Story.