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Celebrate Dolly Parton with Poetry

Submission Call for Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology


Dolly Parton portrait in pop art style by Sahroe for Shutterstock
Sahroe / Shutterstock

Last year, many of you helped celebrate Dolly’s Parton’s 75th birthday with Limp Wrist’s tribute issue, co-edited by Limp Wrist editor Dustin Brookshire and poet Julie E. Bloemeke. 

We had over 18 poems selected from hundreds of submissions. Both Collin Kelly and Caridad Moro-Gronlier were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. We Zoom-debuted the issue with a reading, complete with musical numbers and a fashion homage to our favorite Saint of Tennessee.

But Julie and Dustin decided one celebration was not enough, and fortunately the folks at Madville Publishing agreed.

So, what better way to begin 2022 than by topping off our cup of ambition? Help us celebrate Dolly Rebecca Parton by submitting your work for the Dolly Parton Anthology, which will debut on January 19, 2023. Submission window will open on Dolly’s birthday and close at midnight (CST) on June 30, 2022.

What we are looking for:

Dazzle us with your Dolly expertise. Pay tribute to her music, movies, TV appearances, philanthropy, Dollywood, Dollyisms, interviews, fashion influence, religious connection, family history. We want to see how you envision Dolly as a cultural phenomenon, and how your work helps amplify Dolly as a national treasure. And, while we love rhinestones and sequins, we want to see poems that move beyond Dolly as queen of glitz and sparkle.

Poems don’t have to be “fully Dolly”—we invite work with cameos, Dolly impersonators/look-a-likes, or Dolly-adjacent portraits. We want to read poems that include a well-placed Dolly appearance that strengthens the intention of the poem.

Do’s to consider: Show us you’ve read some Dolly history, are up on Dolly lore, or give us some anecdotes that will surprise us. Reveal some Sevierville or Nashville or share some insight into Dolly’s costume designers or tour bus driver. Know where or on what Dolly first penned the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You?” Run with that. 

However, tread carefully when considering messing with perfection: there is a reason “Jolene” moves us all; trying to improve on Dolly’s writing might just make you a bit too mighty for your britches.

Previously published poems will be considered; please provide information on where the poem first appeared and be certain that you retain rights to your work.

A few notes for previous Dolly Limp Wrist issue submitters:

If you submitted to the Dolly Limp Wrist issue and your poem was accepted, you will be required to resubmit. If you submitted to the issue previously and your Dolly poem was not accepted, please only submit revised versions of your work.

Thanks to fundraising and generous donations, Madville is waiving the submission fee for the anthology.

Dustin and Julie will be donating their royalties, which will be paid annually, to Dolly’s Imagination Library. To be transparent, they will also provide evidence of the donations by way of their personal websites.  

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submissions must be uploaded to Submittable. Poems submitted via email will not be considered.
  • Submit no more than 5 poems in one Microsoft Word document.
  • Poems should not exceed 3 pages each; submissions should not exceed 15 pages total.
  • Poems should be single spaced and in Times New Roman font.
  • The Microsoft Word document should not contain any author identifying information.
  • All submissions must be received by midnight (CST) on June 30, 2022.
  • Deadline extended to July 31, 2022.  


Contributors will receive one copy of the anthology as payment for the acceptance of their work.

Need inspiration? Start here:



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