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How to Submit

We are not able to pay for most of the poetry and fiction we publish, although we will continue to add prize payments/honorariums as possible. Contributors receive their choice of a free PDF or eBook version of our print issue.


We do not take copyright to any work by any contributors to this publication, although you grant us the right to use the work in anthologies or promotions. The exception to this is work authored by the publisher, including interviews.

Please submit your poem or story in the body of your email.


If you want to add it as a word or pdf you may, but unless the submission is in the body of the email, it may not be considered for publication. Along with your work of art, short story or poem, please send your full name and return address, as well as the name would like listed for the work, if different.


Free Verse Poetry Page

Submission Guidelines


The good news is this page is not run by committee. You do not need to impress a host of readers.  You just need to impress me.  What I love in a poem is that it surprises me, moves me, astounds me with the thoughts edged into existence by its words. Publication credits, prizes and awards tell me a great deal and they can certainly be impressive.  With that said, not having publishing credits or prizes takes no one out of the running.   A great poem can come from anywhere and I don’t want to miss a single one.

What you won't see on our General or Free Verse Page:

Rhyming Poems

Long Poems

Haiku (and other 2-3 line poems)

​​We can’t accept epic poetry (roughly 30 lines tops should do it).

Please send in formal poetry to our formalist/rhyming page editor, Vera.

Please send in haiku poetry to our haiku page editor, Kevin.

We are also always on the look out for great translations, those, you may send to S Ye for the translations page.

And if your work falls into the experimental category, we even have a page for that!

Send in all manner of poetry.  I am always starved for good poetry.

-Suzanne Robinson


We have African Poetry edited by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, International Poetry guest edited by Michael R. Burch, Poetry Translations edited by S. Ye Laird, and a page for Sentimental Poetry!

We also publish Experimental Poetry!

Author of monthly Featured Poem (publisher's choice) receives payment of $20. 

Author of monthly Featured Poem (editor's choice) receives payment of $20.

Submit via email only to:  We ask that you copy your work into the body of your email, as attachments cannot always be opened.

Some email programs strip elements such as italics, indenting, etc. If you are submitting work that requires special formatting, please note that and we will respond.


We DO accept previously published work.


If previously published, make sure you have the rights to it. Most publications do not keep the rights to poetry.  We do not, we retain the right to use them in anthologies or promotional material as we see fit in the future, but we do not retain any copyright to your work.


Do tell us where it was previously published so we can credit them. If you self publish it or post it to an open group, we do not consider that published, so no mention need be made.

We do respond to accept or decline submissions. Response time varies from a couple of days to a couple of months. If we publish, we send a notification of publication.

Due to a temporary lack of funding, we will not be able to pay for poetry or fiction until further notice. Our staff donate their time, and, once funding permits, contributors will be paid first. Contributors receive their choice of a free PDF or eBook version of our print issue.

        Author of monthly Featured Poem (publisher's choice) receives payment of $20.

        Author of monthly Featured Poem (editor's choice) receives payment of $20.

                The Featured Poems can be chosen from any poetry category. 

             (Payment via Paypal only, so you need a Paypal account to receive it.)


If you have submitted work, and have not received a response within 60 days, feel free to inquire.

Submit up to 3 poems or micro fiction, one short story, unless otherwise invited, and up to 6 haiku, limericks, cinquains, etc.

If you are submitting free verse for our General Poetry Page please put Poetry Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting flash fiction (under 1000 words) please put Flash Fiction Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting a short story, please put Short Story Submission in your email subject line.

(Short stories of over 2000 words may be serialized.)

If you are submitting non fiction or a personal essay please put Non Fiction Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting an image, please put Image Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting haiku, please put Haiku Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting formal poetry, or lighthearted verse, please put Formal Poetry Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting translations of poetry, please put Translations Submission in your email subject line.

If you are submitting experimental poetry, please put Experimental Submission in your email subject line.

​If you are submitting haiku, limericks or other extremely short poems, you may send a half dozen as our Haiku page editor sometimes publishes a block of haiku and short poems together. Our Formalist may choose to do the same occasionally with limericks.

'Ambidextrous' authors may submit to more than one category at the same time.

Please include a short bio with your submission - 30 word length preferred. If you do not include one, and some or all of your work is chosen, it will be published with your name only.

Send one submission no more often than once every 3 months.

We rarely publish long  poems (over 50 lines), we do, but rarely. We have a soft spot for limericks (and haiku, speaking of short poems). In fact, we have a soft spot for short poems. We do publish longer pieces on occasion.

We will publish any good short story, that we like. Full length short stories, up to a maximum of 7000 words, will be serialized.


In both the poems and the short story, we aren't prudes, but we aren't looking for gratuitous sex, violence or crude language. We will accept any of these things if we feel they are important to the story. We will not publish anything that we think can be construed as hateful.


That does not mean you can't tell the story of a terrible event, murder rape, beatings or whatever, but make sure you are not glorifying the evil. We love a good story. We love a great poem.

As of January 2018, we have 20 full issues online for you to read. You can familiarize yourself with our content before deciding what to submit to us, and enjoy some great writing along the way. Several pages have an index of links to that page in all previous issues.

Each of our editors makes their own choices. Kevin may publish up to 5 or 6 haiku by one poet. Other editors may choose 1-3 poems. On the Formal page, if I accept 3 poems I usually publish them consecutively over 3 months. When there is a surfeit of great fiction submissions, we sometimes add a More Fiction page with a second story. We do get more submissions in most categories than we can accomodate, so if we decline your submission, try again! Wishing you inspired writing. - Vera Ignatowitsch, Managing Editor, January 2018

To our contributors: You are our treasure, the reason Better Than Starbucks exists, and is able to offer so much great poetry, fiction, and more month after month. Occasionally emails go astray, and I encourage anyone who has not received a response from us to email again and inquire. I will do my best to respond to every email personally. Thank you again for trusting us with your work, and we hope you continue enabling us to make this journal an ever better showcase for your writing. Responses regarding acceptance can take a couple of days to a couple of months, depending on the editor (they're amazing too), and volume of submissions in each category.

Vera Ignatowitsch, Managing Editor, October 5th, 2017

Better Than Starbucks is also listed in Poets & Writers, on The Review Review, and at TheHyperTexts.

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