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Artwork by Maggie Yang. Previously published in The Adroit Journal Issue 42.

Poetry / Prose Guidelines

Writer Qualifications

  • High school students (aged 14-18) from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.

  • Students who are currently editors on Polyphony Lit's staff are not eligible to submit.

  • Works must be written in English.

  • Original works only.

  • Submit a maximum of three pieces altogether.

  • If you are submitting multiple pieces then please upload them as separate submissions. If you submit multiple pieces in a single document, then your work will be withdrawn and you will be asked to resubmit your pieces separately.

  • We accept simultaneous submissions and work that has been published elsewhere. When you submit previously published work, please note that the work was previously published, where and when it is being published, and if it is eligible for republication. If it is accepted for publication elsewhere after submitting to Polyphony Lit, you must notify us immediately... but if you are still interested in publication at Polyphony Lit, then please do not withdraw your submission. If we choose to accept a previously published submission for publication, we will acknowledge the site of the original publication.

  • Pieces that have been published elsewhere are not eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Young Writers..


  • Poetry must be 80 lines or less.

  • Fiction and creative nonfiction must be 1,800 words or less.


  • Do not put your name on the piece, as all work is blind juried.

  • Poetry should be formatted flush left unless another format, such as centering, is an integral part of the piece's meaning.

  • We accept submission in .doc, .docx or .rtf formats.

  • We prefer common conventions:

    • Color: Black & white

    • Font Size: 12 pt throughout, including titles

    • Font Type: Times or Times New Roman

    • Margins: 1-inch at the top and bottom, and 1.25 inch at the left and right. One space after periods. There should be no extra returns after paragraphs unless you have a meaningful reason for the extra space.

Using Submittable

  • Please upload submissions through Submittable. We do not accept email submissions or hard copies via mail.

  • If you submit a revision of a piece that has already been returned to you, type the abbreviation (REV), in parentheses, after the title you enter.​

  • There is no fee to submit.

  • By submitting my Work to Polyphony Lit, you agree to the terms and conditions outlined in our Privacy Policies:

Additional Guidelines for Creative Nonfiction​

  • At Polyphony Lit, we look for creative nonfiction pieces that are written in the style of personal essays or short memoirs. We are looking for pieces that are informal, flexible in form, and most importantly, personal. Personal discovery is the keystone of a personal essay. Self-revelation, human experiences, humor, and flexibility of form are all aspects that we look for in pieces we publish as creative non-fiction.

  • We do not look for op-ed pieces, critical analyses, research papers, or academic essays (unless the academic essay in question takes a creative approach and is written as a personal reflection).

  • We would advise reading some samples of our work, in order to understand the material that we publish. Here are some samples of creative nonfiction that we have published:

  • Memories of the Boy I Didn't Know

  • responses to love

  • Holiday in a Burning City

Art Guidelines

Artist Qualifications

  • High school students (aged 14-18) from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.

  • For the art category, we welcome multiple submissions.

Artwork Guidelines

  • Submitted artwork will be considered for any of the following categories: (1) Cover Art (which will appear both on the website and in print), (2) T-Shirt Art (which will appear in our online store), and (3) Promotional Art (which will appear on social media, on our website, and in our online workshops).

  • The T-shirt art winner will receive $150 and a free t-shirt featuring their design.

  • Images must be a .PNG or .JPG file.

  • Images must be at least 2700 x 1800 pixels. Images with low resolution will not be eligible for cover art or t-shirt printing.

  • Images must have a resolution of at least 300 DPI (dots per inch).

  • Portrait orientation is preferred.

  • For the purpose of t-shirt printing, your artwork may be edited in order to create a color palette that works for printing.

  • Polyphony means “many voices,” which you can use as inspiration for your design. You are not limited to that theme, as we are looking for the creativity and imagination of your visual art to be a match for the wide-ranging literary works contained in our annual volume.

  • We accept simultaneous submissions but if the piece is accepted elsewhere, please notify us immediately. Only previously unpublished works are eligible.

  • All submissions must be original and may include drawings, paintings, collages, photographs, or mixed media.


Using Submittable

  • In the submission form, please select "Cover Art" as the genre for your submission.

  • Please upload submissions through Submittable. We do not accept email submissions or hard copies via mail.

  • Upload only one piece per submission file; to submit more than one piece, make more than one submission file.

  • There is no fee to submit.

  • We do not provide feedback on cover art submissions. If your piece is accepted for publication, we will notify you at the close of our submission cycle.

  • By submitting my Work to Polyphony Lit, I, the AUTHOR of this Work, agree to the terms and conditions outlined in our

"I was pretty much expecting
to be rejected when I submitted
my essay on a whim, but the comments are actually a huge boost of confidence. The thoughtful, detailed, and constructive edits I was given helped immensely."

— Sandra C.


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