Submission Guidelines

UPDATE, APRIL 2018: The CDC Poetry Project is now closed to unsolicited submissions. Thank you for your support! Please follow us and keep reading as we share our “Greatest Hits”…and stay tuned for more news.
Poems submitted for this project should use all seven of the words the Washington Post reported on December 15, 2017 had been forbidden for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based”). We recommend reading Lucy Ferris’s post on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog for more background on the issue.

There are no restrictions as to form; the definition of “poem” can be stretched to include prose poems/microfiction, or even short plays. Works that use the required words in inventive ways are especially encouraged. Work may include visual or multimedia elements within the range of literary work.  Video or audio submissions should be accompanied by text transcript.

Although this is a timely topic and very much of the moment, we recommend that you take the time to review your work carefully and revise it before submitting.

Please submit previously unpublished work, as a Microsoft Word or Google Doc attachment, or in the body of the email. Include a one-sentence bio note in third person and a brief first-person statement about your inspiration for the poem (see published posts for examples). Also include a URL to your blog or website, as well as social media handles, if applicable.

Please submit only once to the project; 1-3 poems may be included in your submission. Simultaneous submissions are allowed; if your work is accepted elsewhere please inform us immediately.

Poems will be accepted on a rolling basis for publication on the blog. One new poem by a different writer will be published each week day, Monday through Friday, starting January 1, 2018.

If your work is accepted for publication, you agree to grant us First North American Serial Rights, all archival rights, plus the rights to reprint in any future anthologies. Upon publication all rights revert back to the author. You agree that if your poem/s subsequently appears elsewhere (in print or online), you will give due credit to The CDC Poetry Project.

Email submissions to:

Thank you for your support of The CDC Poetry Project!

Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon, Editors

DISCLAIMER: This project has no official affiliation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the United States Government under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The views and opinions expressed in the works published on this site are those of the authors.