We are accepting submissions for the FALL/WINTER 2020/2021 issue until JUNE 15, 2020.

Plainsongs’  title suggests not only its location on the Great Plains but also its preference for the living language, whether in free or formal verse. Published twice a year (fall/winter issue in January; spring/summer issue in July) by Hastings College Press in Hastings, Nebraska, Plainsongs presents poems that seem to be aware of modernist and postmodernist influences, not necessarily by imitation or allusion, but by using the tools provided by that rich heritage. Featuring poetry that runs the gamut from traditional to experimental, from realist to surrealist, Plainsongs strives to capture the multiplicity of voices--including those of feminist, nonwhite, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ writers--that make up this vibrant and wonderfully diverse Midwestern soundscape. Poets from all fifty states and many foreign countries contribute regularly to Plainsongs.

We request that poets submit no more than four poems for consideration for each issue. Poems of any length and genre may be submitted. Before uploading files, please verify that your submission conforms to the following guidelines:

  1. Your full name and mailing address should appear at the top of each poem.
  2. Each poem should begin on a new page.

Our submission deadlines (June 15, December 15)  indicate when we read manuscripts. Manuscripts received shortly before deadlines usually receive a response within twelve to sixteen weeks. Others are held longer. 

  • Submissions received between June 16 and December 15 will be considered for our spring/summer issue. Submitters can expect to be informed of our decision in April.
  • Submissions received between December 16 and June 15 will be considered for our fall/winter issue. Submitters can expect to be informed of our decision in October.

If you wish to withdraw any individual poems from consideration, please log in and add a note to your submission telling us which ones you wish to withdraw. We will see the note when we read your submission and will only consider the remaining submissions.

Successful contributors receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their poem appears.  Three poems are chosen from submissions to each issue and honored as  award poems with short essays by the members of our Readers Board. Award poets receive small monetary sums, currently $50.

We ask for first-time rights only; copyright reverts to the author. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

Hastings College Press