OVERVIEW: While listening to the radio recently, I heard several songs in a row that started with the words “If I.” This made me think of other songs and poems that begin the same way — and to reflect on how these two little words can lead to very big insights.  We want to hear about your “If I” musings for the Silver Birch Press IF I Poetry & Prose Series. The prompt leaves a lot of room for interpretation — anything from wishful thinking (e.g., If I had a million dollars), to rewriting the past (If I had gone to law school), to something that you’d like to do (If I move to Paris).

PROMPT: Tell us about your “If I” musings in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems). The piece has to start with the words “If I,” and the title also needs to include the words “If I.” 

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media.We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press IF I Poetry and Prose Series on our blog starting in September 2016 . We’ll also feature the work on Twitter and Facebook.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write “IF” in subject line of email. If available, please send a photo of yourself at any age that complements the piece — and provide a caption for the photo (when, where).


To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person.

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. If available, send a photo of yourself at any age — as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg). Also send a current photo to accompany your bio.

7. Email to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com — and put IF in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Thursday, September 15, 2016.