All types of poetry are welcome, from formal to experimental. Emphasis is placed on the ideas conveyed, craft, language, the beauty of expression, and the picture that extends beyond the frame of the poem. Quality is paramount. No previously published poems, please.
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please be a good poetry citizen and inform us through a note in Submittable if some of your work is accepted elsewhere. We usually respond to submissions within a month of receipt.
Here’s what some of our editors have said about what they look for:
When a piece of work touches my ear lyrically or if the words jump at my eyes on the page, I’m excited. A writer needs to say something I haven’t heard a million times before. “The moon” has to be melting Velveeta to catch my attention. “My Soul” is a deal breaker, no matter how tortured it may be. I want a twist, a new perspective, an inventive thought, a word used in a freshly descriptive way. – Joe
What I look for in a poem is the sense that I am somehow being addressed. I want to see that the poet has the reader in mind. Equally important to me is the poet’s skillful and fresh use of contemporary language and imagery. Poets who don’t have a clue about craft should learn about it before submitting. Finally, I would encourage poets to write about something worth writing about, rather than leaving me with the urge to say, “So what?” – Marilyn
I want to see poems that are outward-looking and accessible and material that is outside the individual psyche of the author. Many good poems end in ways that surprise the writer, who starts out attending closely to something and finds, through writing, what it means to him or her. – Lynn
I look for an interesting story or a photograph within the poem. I look for layers of meaning and for what isn’t said. In a love poem, for example, I look for the absence of words like love, heart, soul and all the other words or phrases that are expected. I want the unexpected. – David
How to Submit:
Submit no more than three poems in a single .doc or .docx file through our Submittable portal. Use the link below.
Your file should contain no identifying information, as all submissions are read blindly by our editors. A cover letter or biography is not necessary but we enjoy reading them. We welcome simultaneous submissions, but please be a good poetry citizen by informing us promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere. Be sure to find and like us on Facebook. Something of yours could be featured someday and you wouldn’t want to miss it.
By submitting work to Third Wednesday, the author grants us First Right to publish the work in print and electronically (on our blog site). Work that is accepted will be published in one print issue of Third Wednesday. All copyrights revert to the author upon publication.
We have historically been a token paying market, $3 for each accepted piece. We wish we could pay what we think your poetry is worth, which is a good deal more, so beginning on 2/15/2020 we are offering a substantial payment for a single poem judged to be the “best in the issue”. Every submitter will have the option of contributing a small amount into a prize fund, 50% of which will be paid to winning poem for that quarterly issue. In other words, it’s a contest that guarantees one poet a payday of at least $50.00 plus a one year subscription to 3rd Wednesday in print. Participation is optional – submissions will always be free from mandatory fees.