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The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry

Charles Portolano, Editor

P.O. Box 19186

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269



Dear Poet: 


Guidelines for  The Avocet


Please take a minute to read.


     Think of the Season when you send me your work, of course, there are those universal poems that transcend the seasons, they are always welcome at any time of the year.

     It is such a great honor to be the Editor/Publisher of The Avocet.  I love being a poet.  I love knowing if I get an idea, a phrase, or, even a word, it might bring about a poem, from out of nowhere, there onto the paper, such great fun.

    I believe the main purpose and focus of my being an Editor is to promote the best poetry possible in each issue.  I believe Poetry is everywhere, in everyone.  I believe if everyone wrote poetry we would have a better, kinder, more caring, planet Earth to live on.  I believe we as poets belong to a community who has a fiduciary duty to spread the word of poetry.


     I am looking for poetry that moves the reader through the beauty, the peace, and the fury of Nature in all of its glory.  I love poems that have people interacting with nature.  I love poems that have animals in their element.  I love poems that have a message!  I believe the purpose of poetry is to provoke thought! 


My guidelines are based on my experiences as a poet for the last 17 years.


5 tips to help get your poetry published…


1.     Never write to “To whom it may concern” or editor.  Do your homework and find out the editor’s (or editors’) name.

2.     Always write a friendly few lines to let the editor know you care about them as people, not just someone who can publish your poetry.  There are always more poets’ poetry than pages to put those poems upon.

3.     You have 5 lines to catch the eye or interest of an editor; make them engaging, make the editor want to continue reading!

4.     Send a few long (within the guidelines, of course) and a few short poems.  Never ask an editor to make an exception for your work.  If the line limit is 38 lines, don’t send poems that are longer.  Do your homework and follow the guidelines.

5.     Always, always, write a Thank you to an editor who is kind enough to publish your work.  Believe it or not, editors are people, too, who have feelings and they also have the power to publish or not to publish your poetry.  It amazes me how few of you do this.  I had over 100 poems published last year, and, for each poem taken I wrote a thank you to the editor for publishing my poetry in their publication.



All poems must be sent by snail-mail to the above address after October 1st of 2013, but you do not need to send a SASE.  Save money by using just a No. 10 Business envelope.  I will respond to all submissions by email only.  Please always have your address and email address for each poem submitted at the bottom of each poem.


If you do not have an email address, please make sure you send a SASE.


There will be four reading periods.  I start reading your poetry on the 15th of the second month of each reading period so the earlier you send in your poems in each of the reading periods the better your chances are to be included in the new issue.


January 1-  February 28

April 1 - May 31

July 1 - August 31

October 1 - November 30


Each poet who appears in an issue will receive a contributor's copy; our small way to say thank you for sharing your work with us. (only those poets who live inside the USA)


If you miss the deadline for one of the reading periods or the magazine slots have been filled, your poems will not be considered for the next reading period!


Please only one batch of poems submitted per reading period.


Please send no more than four poems.


Please no more than 38 lines per poem.   (spaces between stanzas count as lines)

Please use single spaced lines


Please, please put your name, address and email address underneath the poem, thank you.


I want a short bio so I can get to know you, the poets, of the Avocet community better!  I don’t care to hear where you have been published before.  Please tell me of your love of Nature.



**** If you live outside of the USA, you can send in your submissions by email, but know I will

(because of shipping cost and time spent at the counter at the Post Office) send you an attachment of the issue you appear in, instead of a magazine.


If a poem or poems of yours is/are accepted you will receive an email asking for a proofed copy of your work to be sent back to me.  All pages of poetry will be recycled.


I welcome previously published poems; if a poem is good enough to get published once before; it probably deserves to be read again!  Of course, please do not send poems that have already appeared in the Avocet.

There will be one poet picked who will be the Featured Poet for each issue and have the first three pages of that issue to showcase their work.  I love reading a few poems by a strong poet to get a true sense, feeling, of their magic.  The Featured Poet will receive three copies of that issue.


I only review books for members of The Avocet’s community.  If you would like to have your poetry collection reviewed, please send me an email telling me about the book.  The last three pages of each issue will be devoted to a poetry collection. The poet selected will have those three pages to impress us with the power of their work.  And, I will write a one page review of the book.  I do not review chapbooks, especially Finishing Line Press books.


At the end of each year, I will pick the six most thought-provoking poems for Pushcart nominations.


Please you must notify me of any change of address.  I will not send out another copy to a new address if you fail to tell me. 


 The purpose of poetry is to provoke thought, to move the reader to think.


   Please check out and support the magazine you want to be seen in by buying a sample copy of The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry, 64 pages of poetry, just $7.50 or $24.00 for a one year subscription.


Thank you, be well,


Charles Portolano

Editor of The Avocet and The Weekly Avocet


The Avocet

P.O. Box 19186

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269











Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems 1997-2012
P.O. Box 19186
Fountain Hills, AZ 85269
Charles Portolano, Editor-in-Chief
Peter C. Leverich, Immediate Past Editor
Pat Swenson, Founder & Editor Emeritus