Submit

There are, of course, no rules for poetry, but here are a few submission guidelines:

  1. Send up to three poems at a time to admin[at]spillingcocoa[dot]com. Either put the poems in the body of the e-mail or attach them as JPEGs or PDFs if the shape is important. E-mails with other attachments will be discarded, unread.
  2. In the body of the e-mail, please give your name as you would like it to appear on the site, along with a short (50 word or less) third-person biography, which may include links to your website or Twitter feed.
  3. Please do not infringe anyone else’s copyright. Your work must be entirely your own. If you are a plagiarist, the editor will hunt you down and kill you. Slowly and painfully.
  4. You may send us work that has been published elsewhere, as long as you still retain the copyright and tell us where it has been previously published.
  5. The subject matter is completely open, although it should make the editor laugh at least once. Nothing is off limits, although we reserve the right to give you funny looks. Contextually-appropriate bad language is permitted.
  6. The editor will aim to respond within one month. Please don’t send it anywhere else in the meantime as this causes all sorts of problems with scheduling if we accept something that turns out to be on longer available. If you do not hear back from us within three months, do give us a nudge in case your piece has fallen down the back of the sofa.
  7. Please do not ask for payment. This site is being run purely for the love of it. If at some point in the future, the traffic to this site becomes so immense that we can take advertising, we may reconsider this, but don’t count on it.
  8. No correspondence may be entered into. If the editor says no, the editor means no and is under no obligation to say why.
  9. Please wait at least a month before resubmitting, whether successful or unsuccessful. Unless the editor specifically invites you otherwise.
  10. You’re allowed to use rhyme. But if you do, the rhyme must be there for a reason. Make the rhyme unexpected. And make the lines scan. Or, if they don’t, make them not scan for a reason.
  11. You’re allowed not to use rhyme. But do make sure you’re not just taking a paragraph of prose and breaking it up into random lines. The key to the humour of a piece is often in its shape.
  12. Here are the names of a few poets who have made the editor laugh: Pam Ayres, Brian Bilston, John Cooper Clarke, Wendy Cope, Carole Ann Duffy, John Hegley, Roger McGough, Spike Milligan and Benjamin Zephaniah.