Poetry CE Information


Thank you for your interest in becoming a Poetry Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine! Below you will find some information on the volunteer Masthead position as well as how to proceed from here.


At Barren Magazine, we utilize Contributing Editors (CEs) as our first-line readers in each submission period. We have CEs for every written medium based on volume. We typically publish one issue per month, and have rolling submission periods that last anywhere from 4-6 weeks. In that time, we receive between 300-600+ poems on average. We are assembling teams of Poetry CEs so that every CE doesn’t have to read for every reading period. We’ve found that burnout occurs after consecutive reading periods, and we are looking to prevent that for everyone’s sake. All Barren Magazine Masthead positions are volunteer-based.


We receive submissions via email that are filtered to our Poetry Editors and myself. Each submission is entered into a Google spreadsheet and then forwarded on to CEs. CEs then read the submissions and enter their recommendations on the spreadsheet with comments (as necessary). We communicate via Slack, and have a separate Poetry channel that you will have access to for discussion. At the end of each reading period, CEs send their favorite 10-20 selections to the Poetry Editors (entered into spreadsheet, via email, or via Slack).

CEs may be involved in sending rejection (we hate that word) emails to writers in high volume submission periods.


All contributing editors who are reading during a specific period are expected to finish in a timely manner. We set (sometimes) soft deadlines for CE Recommendations, which is usually around a week after submissions close for that reading period. Therefore, it is best to keep up as best you can. That said, we are very flexible with respect to life (family, work, school, etc.), so if you are behind, just let me know.

All Masthead volunteers are given a Barren Magazine email address and Slack account, which should be checked on a daily basis if possible.


It is common for CEs and other editors to volunteer for other literary magazines and journals. We reserve the right to disqualify candidates who are involved with entities in our literary circle, simply on the basis of conflict of interest. All CEs must agree not to compete against Barren Magazine with regards to writers and their material — all submission material is considered private and confidential. All contributing editors must agree not to disclose any material found in submissions, in email communication, or in Slack communication with anyone outside of the Barren Magazine Masthead.


All Barren Magazine volunteers must agree in principle to the following statement:

Barren Magazine is a safe space that embraces the beauty of the human condition and celebrates diversity, inclusion, and equality. We at Barren Magazine do not tolerate any form of racism, bigotry, sexism, harassment, political extremism, religious exclusion, or abuse of any kind from our readers, contributors, or volunteers.


If you agree with the information above, we would love to have you on our team!

Please email the following to jason@barrenmagazine.com

  • Your name (as you would like it printed)
  • Your social media profile links (@____ handles)
  • A brief bio (100 words or less)
  • A profile photo (see our Masthead section for examples)
  • 1-3 examples of your poetry (published or unpublished)
  • A brief description of what you look for in poetry: what attracts you / what moves you?
  • Which months out of the year do you anticipate wanting to read submissions?

I look very forward to hearing from you!


Kindest regards,

Jason D. Ramsey
Publisher / Executive Editor
Barren Magazine

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