We publish poetry, essays, images, multimedia, hybrid, cross-, multi-, and post-genre work. We are interested in work that does not sit comfortably inside genre labels—–work that bends or pushes against traditional limitations; that mixes, blends, and steps outside of the normal bounds.

During September 2023, we will accept submissions for issue fourteen of Ghost Proposal.

We seek work that resists, interrogates, or experiments with form. Words that describe work that we (editors) have previously enjoyed and may wish to publish (non-exhaustive): poetry, intermedia work, visual and concrete poetry, essays, video poems, translation, hybrid forms, new media, hypertext works, poetry games, poetry in the expanded field, poets’ theater, sound. If your work isn’t described by any of the words above but you still think it might make sense for Ghost Proposal, feel free to send it.

Submission guidelines:

  • Send us up to five pages of work. If your work is in another format (such as video), send us what you feel is the equivalent of five pages worth of work. 
  • A cover letter is optional, as is a bio. A lack of either will not impact our decisions. If you wish, you may use the cover letter field to give us context for your entry, provide instructions on how to view the piece, or to tell us more about yourself or your work.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine. Let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • There is no need to anonymize your submission; we do not redact poets’ names during our adjudication process.
  • We accept translations. We do not require that the original text be published alongside your translations (though we do welcome it) but you must provide proof that you have permission to translate the work.
  • We will notify everyone of our decision in advance of our publication of the issue.
  • We regret that we are not presently able to pay our contributors. 


Formatting:

  • You may need to shrink your file in order to meet Submittable’s size limits. Please let us know in your cover letter if a higher-quality version would be available should your work be selected for publication. We will keep this in mind during review.
  • If you would like to submit a video, please submit a text file or a PDF and provide a link to Vimeo, Youtube, or similar.
  • If your work is hosted on a webpage (e.g. your private website or a hosting site like itch.io), you may also submit a text file or PDF containing an explanatory note and a link to view the work.
  • If your file type or size is not supported and the options outlined above do not work for you, feel free to contact us via email at ghostproposal@gmail.com and we will do our best to help you find a way to submit your work.

Each year or so, the Ultraslant Prize is awarded to one work of visual poetry. The contest is judged by the Ghost Proposal Editors. We will publish the winning piece as a printed pamphlet in an edition of 75–100. The Ghost Proposal editors will work with the winner to lay out the pamphlet. The 2023 winner will receive $250 and 10 copies of the printed pamphlet.
 

Guidelines:
 

  • Please submit as a PDF document of no more than six pages.
     
  • Your PDF may include up to two separate contest entries. If you are including multiple entries, please make this clear to us either in the document or in a cover letter.
     
  • Entries must be previously unpublished.
     
  • You are welcome to submit as many entries as you like, but you will need to submit a separate Submittable form and pay a separate sliding-scale fee per packet.
     
  • We will gladly accept works in color—in fact, we strongly encourage them! However, please keep in mind that the colors may come out somewhat differently in print.
     
  • You may include a cover letter along with your submission, but this is in no way required.


Reading fee: As a small journal and press, reading fees fund things like web hosting and printing. We will charge a sliding scale reading fee for this contest of $0–$20.  Please choose whatever fee makes sense for you.


 

FAQs


What is visual poetry? Great question! We would like to find out, too. Send us your best guess.

Okay, but what kind of work should I submit? We are open to a wide range of poems that incorporate visual elements. People may call works like these visual poems, concrete poems, poetry comics, and lots of other terms we are forgetting right now.

Is there anything I shouldn’t submit? As opposed to a broadside competition, the Ultraslant Prize focuses on poetry that already has visual concerns. This is not a contest for poetry with separate illustrations alongside it. We would also discourage you from submitting video, audio, dimensional, or computational works, or other forms not easily translated into print. Finally, if your poem could also be submitted with relative ease and minimal adjustments to a contest whose guidelines read something like: “Please submit your poems in 12-point Garamond font, single-spaced in a Word document,” it is probably not a good fit for this contest. 

Ghost Proposal