The Common Good

Sojourners Poetry Submission Guidelines

  1. Address submissions to: Poetry Editor at Sojourners (3333 14th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20010). We accept hard-copy submissions only (no electronic submissions).
  2. Number. Submit no more than three unpublished poems at any one time. Since we receive as many as 50 to 60 poems a month and print only one or two we ask that you select from your poems those which you think are most appropriate for our pages.
  3. Include a three-sentence description of yourself with your submission, with information on where you work and live and any interesting hobbies. In addition, please make sure you include your address, phone number, and e-mail.
  4. Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we are no longer able to return poetry. For receipt acknowledgment, enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard. If we want to publish your work, we’ll contact you within 6 weeks.
  5. Themes. There is no restriction on topic or theme, but poems that intersect with and illuminate the perspectives found in Sojourners are most likely to be used. We look for original ideas or images, well-drawn portraits, and new perspectives on the issues we cover. We are also looking for poetry that reflects simple celebrations of life and beauty.
  6. Seasonal poetry. We often try to use poetry geared toward particular seasons, such as Christmas (incarnation theme), Easter, Pentecost, or other significant days (i.e. Hiroshima memorial, Dr. King’s Day). To use a poem in December, we have to have it by September, to use a poem in April, we have to have it by February.
  7. Length. We publish poetry on one magazine page, which limits us to two shorter poems (25 lines each) or occasionally a longer poem (40 lines).
  8. Payment. We pay $25 per poem upon publication. We also send complimentary copies of the issue in which your poem appears.
  9. Please type poems for submission (or print clearly). Please check all spelling and punctuation very carefully. It is extremely unlikely that we would publish a poem that contains exclusive language or sexist or racist images.
  10. All poetry submitted for publication must original and unpublished. If your material is copyrighted, we assume you are authorizing us to publish it. We also assume full reprint permission for any item we publish, unless otherwise indicated. This includes electronic reprint permission, the posting on our Web page (, and the use of excerpts in other Sojourners material.