Submission Guidelines


Please respect the fact that I am not paid to do this and that this blog (as yet) makes no money (if you are interested in supporting Meta/ Phor(e) / Play click here). By this, I mean, be sure to follow these guidelines as they make it easier  for me to do this project. Politeness is always appreciated in corresponding with me, as well.

Please send a query using the form below. Follow the general guidelines and the guidelines for the genre.

General Guidelines

Please keep in mind that the format is online and thus short-form. I prefer first-time publication, but will consider re-publication in some cases. Copyright remains with the author or artist, although I copyright the specific presentation online. If your work has appeared elsewhere, please mention this in your query and include a link to it in the letter.

Fill out all of the fields, including a website url where I can see some of your work (please use a permalink to your work so I don’t have to go searching for it). I will respond to your query either yes or no, and give you instructions (see below) about how I would like you to send your files if I say yes. If you send files in these areas without having been invited to do so after first sending a query, your files will be deleted unread. After you have sent your query, please give me up to 30 days to respond. If I have not responded in that time, you may send another query using this form, asking if I received the first one.

Poetry, Flash Fiction, Flash Creative Non-Fiction, Hybrid, Experimental

I like a wide range of poetry, but mostly I like poetry that excites me, provokes me, leads me to unexpected places. I am not usually interested in traditional forms unless they are really “made new.” I don’t want greeting-card or self-help / inspirational-placard poems. If that’s what you have, sell those to the greeting card and poster companies, and may you make your fortune doing so.

I am more interested in your work sample(s) than your publication history for the query letter. In addition to the one required Web url, please feel free to include others in your query letter. Let me know in a short paragraph or two what you like about Meta/ Phor(e) /Play and how your work would fit in, enhance, expand its scope — that is, what would your work add to the site. Still, the links are what matter to me. If you work in more than one genre and would like to submit in these, choose your primary genre in the form and mention the others you do / would like to submit in the query.

If you have an idea I don’t mention on this page and you think it might work on the blog, please feel free to suggest it using the form. Send me a link to something you’ve done that is similar, or something you’ve seen that is similar, if you want to try something new. I want to have a sense of experimentation and trying out new media, new forms, new online experiences, within the limit of the technology I have to use for this blog (which is limited as I use the free WordPress dot com without any upgrade).

Essays, Interviews, Reviews

I am interested in essays and reviews about contemporary poetry, flash fiction, hybrid, or experimental writing and about contemporary writers. I am interested in criticism that opens up a text to readers or introduces the work and poetics (broadly defined) of a writer.  Interviews should also be focused on introducing readers to the writer and providing insights into the writer’s work.

No essay, review, or interview should be purely promotional or marketing—so no fluff, no hyperbole, no selling. I am definitely not interested in discussions about the Poe-Business, Writing Business, the damage done by MFA workshops, How to market, PR, whether or not poetry is dead, or such axes to grind or affiliate products to promote.

The writing should engage the reader in interesting writers and texts.  I prefer original work, but might consider a re-blogged post.

If you have an idea that fits these criteria, and would work online in short-form, send me a query describing what you have in mind.

Be specific about writers, texts, books you would write about and how you would present them to readers. Make sure you have permission to use the works (copyright could be an issue if you want to include a whole poem, for instance). I would also ask you for images (photos, book covers, or other relevant images), so please let me know if you have access to any. Web link you provide should be to a work that has similarities to what you would write here.


For now, I can accept jpg images of artwork. I am interested in a wide range of artistic styles and media, including digital media. Send link(s) in your query where I could see several examples of your work. I would consider YouTube links to video that would fit the site—please browse the site to see what is here, and in your query describe how the video would fit.

Genres of writing not mentioned specifically above (Other)

Please read all of the above guidelines and write a query letter that follows them relevant to what you would like to send. Explain how it fits in Meta/ Phor(e) /Play.

If I ask you to submit, you will receive this information—but FYI:
Here are my boilerplate instructions

Please send an email reply to this email (so I see the subject line) with 2–3 poems or 1–2 prose pieces in a word processing file (I am multi-word process functional so whatever format you usually use should work-just not PDF) . You may send them as a single or as multiple files.* For art, send 3–5 images of artwork (JPG, PNG, or TIFF, high-quality, high-resolution where the shorter side is at least 1200px). For audio or video, send up to 3 links with title, date, and any other relevant details you think I would need to know to view / listen to the work.

Type of work to send

Any poetry style / genre (my preferred maximum lines usually would be 60, not counting blank lines — if you have a much longer poem that you would like to send, go ahead but only send one poem then, please. I favor contemporary and experimental poetics, but consider a wide range for Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, including traditional forms. See under audio and video if you would like to include a recording of you reading / performing the poem.

Most prose styles / “literary” genres, fiction, non-fiction, or hybrid—except: horror, mystery, erotic, romance that have no other artistic-literary purpose. Flash, for this site, has an upper limit in the rang of 750–1,000 words, and I have a preference for flash works. I will consider longer works, with an upper limit of 1,500–2,000 words as short-form (not flash) writing. As with poetry, I favor contemporary and experimental poetics in the works on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, but consider a wide range, including traditional prose-narrative forms. See under audio and video if you would like to include a recording of you reading / performing the work.

Most flash (see the prose paragraph above for exceptions) interests me—fiction, non-fiction, prose poetry, hybrid, experimental, who knows what genre this one is—all good. I prefer flash for prose genres.  As with poetry, I favor contemporary and experimental poetics in the works on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, but consider a wide range, including traditional prose-narrative forms. See under audio and video if you would like to include a recording of you reading / performing the work.

Original art—either high-quality, high-resolution photos (shorter side at least 1200px) of work (painting, sculpture, print-making, ceramics, collage, other media) you’ve done or digital art in JPG, PNG or TIFF formats (please no GIF static images—ask if you have a GIF animation that is art you want to share). For now, I cannot accept movies / animations / multi-media presentations for direct posting, so submit a link to YouTube. Ask about Vimeo, I may be able to embed it or post a link and use a still from the movie.

Audio and video of readings or performances of the published work and of spokenword (considered stand alone or with accompanying text) are welcome. I will not showcase bands or singersong writers, etc. However, I would consider  an original song (with lyrics and chords—on occasion), compositions, sound experiments, or video experiments in addition to readings and spokenword performances. The video or recording needs to be available on YouTube or SoundCloud. Send me a link.

Doing the following will help considerably when I post your work

If any of the work has appeared elsewhere, please include a credit (and link if applicable) in the file with the work. That way, if I accept the work and use it, I have the information right there, in the file itself.

Also include a short bio and any links to website(s) or social media where readers could find your work / follow you (links optional). If you include your Twitter handle I will tag you in tweets promoting your work on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play. You may include this in the single file, if you make one file for your submission, or in a separate file, if you provide multiple files. I prefer to have it in a file, not in the email.

Please include a jpg high-resolution photo / image (shorter side at least 750px) of you (let me know any photo / art credit if needed).


Usually I will let you know ahead of the date the work will be posted. Occasionally it might be the day of posting.


*Note about formatting for work that has a special layout (others can skip this): Please use spaces instead of tabs so that it remains consistent when moving to the blog (tabs often are not defined at the same length and don’t reproduce at all in some cases). For similar reasons, please use spaces for indented lines and not margin setting or tabs, if the indent is part of the intended final appearance. (I use block paragraphs for prose, so it is not relevant unless your are using the indent for a special intent integral to the work itself.)

I can’t provide special fonts or rotated lines in text posts—for work that uses these, please provide a high-resolution jpg (NOT a PDF) that is at least 1200px in each direction (it need not be square, but the shortest dimension should be 1200px). It is probably best to do this if colored text is part of your work.

If you have any questions about a particular piece, please send them with the submission. We can figure out how to make it work on the blog if the files you send won’t work as they were sent.