Submission Guidelines for The Road Not Taken


First, remember that this is a journal of metrical poetry; some of our would-be contributors seem unaware of this. This does not mean however that we are trying to bring back the eighteenth or nineteenth century; The Road Not Taken looks for metrical poetry written in modern English.


What this means in practice:


Aesthetic Principles:


1) Rhyme is welcome but not required.

2) Please do not send us poems with meticulously end-stopped lines filled with heavy-sounding couplets. Rhyme should be graceful, not in-your-face.

3) There should be a reason for enjambment, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid of it.

4) Most of the poetry published in The Road Not Taken is written "in form" of some obvious kind (pentameter, ballad, etcetera). Flexibility is a virtue however, and line length can be a form of punctuation. If we see lines of uneven length however, we expect to find poems that (for instance) sound like pentameter even if they don't look like it: i.e. 7 syllables followed by 3, or 6 followed by 4. To summarize: feel free to "play with" external form, but do not simply disregard it.


Click on our Archives page to further familiarize yourself further with what we like.


When you are ready to submit, please submit 3-5 poems to


1) in the body of the email; no attachments.

2) include a brief, third-person bio.

3) Only one submission per issue.

4) Please submit in Times New Roman, font 12, single-spaced. Do not include spacing above or below paragraphs.




Finally, please do wait until the next issue is out to query. Editors collect all submissions and read them after the reading period has closed. Those who submit to the Fall Issue in July therefore will wait until November to hear from us. For a quick turnover, try submitting late in the reading period. All poems submitted during the reading period will be read without prejudice. Poems received after the end of a reading period will be held over until the end of the next.