Call for Submissions: Eye to the Telescope 2: New Zealand and Australian Speculative Poetry

This is an open call to New Zealand and Australian poets for submissions to Issue 2 of “Eye to the Telescope”, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s new online journal, to be edited by Tim Jones and published in July/August 2011. The focus of Issue 2 is on New Zealand and Australian speculative poetry. Issue 2 will include a maximum of 20 poems.

You can read Issue 1 online here:

In this notice:

* Submission guidelines: including submission format, payments and rights, and who can submit

* What is speculative poetry?

* What is the Science Fiction Poetry Association?

* Who is Tim Jones?


Because this is an open call for submissions to all New Zealand and Australian poets, and time is tight, submissions do that not follow the guidelines below are unlikely be successful. In particular, attachments will not be read.

Submission format

1) Send no more than three poems in an email message to with the subject line “Submission to EOTT 2”.

If you include more than three poems in your message, I will only read the first three. You are welcome to send fewer than three poems.

2) Include your poem(s) in the body of your email message. Do not send attachments. Attachments will be not be read.

If your poem has special formatting requirements which cannot be reproduced in the body of an email, please send it anyway within the body of your email, but include a note about the formatting requirements. If necessary, I will get back to you to request a copy in the correct format.

3) Poems of longer than 75 lines will not be considered. There is no lower limit on lines, so you are welcome to send haiku and other short forms, provided you send no more than three poems in total.

4) Preference will be given to unpublished poems. However, some previously-published poems may be included. Poems that have been previously anthologised will not be included – for example, poems that were published in Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand will not be included. Please clearly indicate any poems that have been previously published, and give their publication history. Unpublished poems selected for inclusion will be eligible for the Rhysling Awards: see

5) If you are unsure what speculative poetry is, please see the notes below. If you are still not sure whether your poem fits, please send it anyway, and I’ll make up my mind when I read it.

6) After your poem(s), please include a biography of no more than 100 words in the body of your email message. You can also include a link to your blog or website or Amazon author page etc. – whatever link seems best to you, as long as it will continue to be valid at least throughout 2011.

7) Submissions are now open. Please submit your poem(s) by midnight (New Zealand time) on Wednesday 15 June 2011. Any submissions received after I check my email the next morning will not be considered.

8) I will aim to make my selection and respond to all submitters by Wednesday 30 June 2011. However, this response date depends on the volume of submissions received. Please be aware that, due to the limited number of poems to be included, most submitted poems will, unfortunately, have to be rejected.

Payment and rights

9) Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar, minimum US $3, maximum US $25. Payment is on publication.

10) The Science Fiction Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send cheques. If your poem is accepted, I will get in touch to confirm payment details.

11) “Eye to the Telescope” is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original poems) or reprint electronic rights are being sought.

Who can submit?

12) Residents of New Zealand and Australia, and citizens of New Zealand and Australia no longer resident in those countries, are eligible to submit. If you do not currently live in New Zealand or Australia, but think that you qualify to submit, please include a note in your email outlining your status and your connection with New Zealand or Australia.


Speculative poetry is poetry that falls within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, plus some related genres such as magic realism, metafiction, and fabulation. It is not easy to give precise definitions, partly because many of these genres are framed in term of fiction rather than poetry.

A good starting point is “”About Science Fiction Poetry” by Suzette Haden Elgin, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, which you can read here:

Despite its title, this article is applicable to all forms of speculative poetry.

Closer to home, I had a go at defining science fiction poetry on my blog, in two parts:

These blog posts date from 2009, and the Voyagers anthology has since been published. Theses posts do refer specifically to science fiction poetry, rather than the broader field of speculative poetry.

As noted above – if in doubt, submit it anyway, and I’ll decide.


As the SFPA says on its website at

“The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. What is sf poetry? You know what they say about definitions—everybody has one. To be sure, it is poetry (we’ll leave that definition to you), but it’s poetry with some element of speculation—usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some folks include surrealism, some straight science.”

See the SFPA site for lots more information – and please consider joining.


Tim Jones is a poet and author of both science fiction and literary fiction who was awarded the NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2010. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Among his recent books are fantasy novel Anarya’s Secret (RedBrick, 2007), short story collection Transported (Vintage, 2008), and poetry anthology Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand (Interactive Press, 2009), co-edited with Mark Pirie. Voyagers won the “Best Collected Work” category in the 2010 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Tim’s third poetry collection, Men Briefly Explained, will be published by Interactive Press of Brisbane in late 2011.

For more, see:

Tim’s Amazon author page:

Tim’s blog:

4 thoughts on “Call for Submissions: Eye to the Telescope 2: New Zealand and Australian Speculative Poetry

  1. Hi Tim, this might be a silly question (and I have read all the various resources) but can Speculative Poetry be humourous?ThanksKate

  2. Thanks for your query, Kate, and it is a very good question.The answer is: Absolutely! I would welcome submissions of poems that are both speculative and humorous.

  3. Hi Tim, just wondering if you are acknowledging submissions? I sent one to you a few weeks ago but since I've had several emails go into the ether, I'm thinking I should check if you are replying to subs… cheers, Margaret

  4. Thanks for the query, Margaret – I haven't been acknowledging subs (mostly because mags I submit to usually don't – are you finding that the poetry markets you submit to do? In that case, I may do things differently in future).Anyway, I can confirm that I did receive your submission – thank you!

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