Poems are considered for one issue only. We write to contributors as soon as a decision is made. As Magma receives a very large number of poems, we cannot consider more than four poems per poet per issue which must be sent in a single document.

Poems published in the magazine may also be published on this website and as a PDF version for Exact Editions. Poems remain the copyright of their author. Contributors receive a copy of the issue in which they appear and and can purchase further copies at a discount. They may also be invited to read at the issue’s launch reading.

I tell my mother she is still beautiful & she laughs. The room fills
with flies. They gather in the shape of a small boy. They lead her
back to the mirror, but my reflection is still there.

extract from 'Changeling’ by Hieu Minh Nguyen


Not the film with Angelina Jolie, but the dark myth of a fairy child left in the place of a human one. A strange substitute. An other – the unheimlich, or uncanny. A spell given corporeal form.

In her essay on the Metaphysical ‘I’, Dorothea Lasky wrote: ‘The best gift that a poet can give his or her I is to allow it to be its own cool animal. An I that is a wild thing, a mercurial trickster that  resists all definition. That is so close to a self (a self or the  self)—and so far away from it at the same time––that the reader can’t help but see a real self in it.’

We are looking for poems that explore this almost-I, this not-quite-thing, poems that unsettle and beguile; that shape-shift or transform; that deal in magic, childhood, folklore and the unknown.

‘The Stone is a mirror which works poorly,’ wrote Charles Simic,  ‘Nothing in it but dimness. Your dimness or its dim-/ness, who’s to say?’ If the poem is a mirror, what do you see staring back at you? Id or ego? Child or changeling?

We want to be surprised, seduced, unsettled and enchanted. Send us your dark poems, your strange or surreal poems, your metaphysical poems, your poems that aren’t who they say they are. Send us your poems of  transformation!

We look forward to meeting your ugly babies.

Ella Frears and Richard Scott, Editors, Magma 73


We welcome poems that have not been previously published, either in print or online. You may submit up to 4 poems in a single Word document via this Submittable form, or by post if you live in the UK. Postal submissions should be addressed to:

Laurie Smith,
Magma Contributions
23 Pine Walk

Postal contributions must be accompanied by an s.a.e. and are not acknowledged until a decision is made. The writer’s name must appear on each page.

Poems published in the magazine may also be published on this website  and as a PDF version for Exact Editions. Poems remain the copyright of  their author. Contributors receive a copy of the issue in which they  appear and and can purchase further copies at a discount. They may also  be invited to read at the issue’s launch reading.

Ends on September 25, 2018£16.00 - 22.00
£16.00 - 22.00

Magma is celebrating its 25th anniversary next year and in the run-up to this milestone we are inviting you to enter our first ever pamphlet competition, with the chance of getting published and a celebratory launch reading in 2019.  

1st prize: publication of the winning pamphlet + launch reading.

Poets on the shortlist of 10 will each get a paragraph of feedback. The winner and 3 others will have a poem published in Magma. All shortlisted poets will have a poem published on our website.  

Deadline: Tuesday 25th September 2018  

Judge: Magma Editors’

Competition rules

Your pamphlet

·  Please send us 18-24 pages of poems.

·  Poems should be typed in single spacing on one side of A4 paper and in a font size of 12.  

·  Start each poem on a new page.  Maximum 40 lines per page.  If you include a poem sequence in which the poems are 14 lines long or less, then you may put two on a page.  

·  All poems must be your original work.  They may have been published in magazines (paper or online) and anthologies but not in a pamphlet or collection.  

·  Poems must be in the English language or any of its dialects. They must be for adults and must not be translations of someone else’s work.  

·  Your pamphlet must have a title which should appear on each page.  Please do a front page with the pamphlet title and list of contents.  

·  Entries must be anonymous.  Please DO NOT put your name or contact details on any of the pages.  And don’t give us any other information (e.g. magazine credits).

·  If submitting through Submittable: please put the title of your pamphlet in the title box; do not include your name.  In the contact details box list your name, address, email, phone number.  The document you upload may be a Pdf; Word .doc or .docx.

·  Anyone may enter unless they advise or work for Magma. 

·  Simultaneous submissions are allowed but please let us know straight away if your pamphlet has been accepted elsewhere.  The fee is not refundable.

·  No changes can be made once you have submitted the pamphlet.

·  We won’t return your pamphlet so please keep a copy.  

How to enter

·  The deadline is midnight UK time on Tuesday 25 September. 

·  Entry costs £22, or £16 if you are a Magma subscriber. Non-subscribers may pay the subscribers’ rate if they take out a subscription when they enter: https://magmapoetry.com/buy-magma/

·  Payment must be in pounds sterling.  

·  You may enter as many pamphlets as you like.


Judging and Results

·  Entries will be read by a panel of Magma Editors’ to decide on a shortlist of 10.

·  The Magma board will choose the winning pamphlet. A paragraph of feedback will be provided to all 10 poets.

·  The winner and shortlisted poets will be contacted in November/December 2018.  

·  The winning pamphlet will be published by Magma in early 2019. Copyright will remain with the author.  Magma will have the right to use any of the poems for publicity.  

·  Magma will hold a launch in London.  We’d expect the winner to help with organisation and publicity for this. 

·  A poem from the winning pamphlet and one each from three shortlisted pamphlets will be published in Magma magazine.  These poems will also be published on our website, along with a poem from each of the other shortlisted pamphlets.

Magma Poetry