:: Tinderbox Poetry Journal welcomes new and emerging voices. We are a paying market and pay each contributor $15 regardless of number of poems selected. We publish four issues per year timed with the lunar calendar: Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice. 

Past contributors include Emily Yoon, Carmen Giménez, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Erika Meitner, Diannely Antigua, Maggie Smith, Aria Aber, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Emilia Phillips, Kelli Russell Agodon, Brandon Amico, Angela Voras-Hills, and Rachel Mennies among many wonderful others. 

The heart of our mission is uplifting new writers, regardless of publication history-- we endeavor to be your first paid publication. 

:: We offer fee-free submissions during each reading period with the exception of our contest. Our first 2024 reading period opens March 15th and closes March 31st at midnight, PST. 

To offset the costs of running our journal we welcome Tip Jar submissions ($3) on a rolling basis. 

We also offer a feedback submission for $7.

Tip Jar and Feedback Submissions allow us to pay our contributors, sponsor web hosting, offset the cost of submittable, offer free submission periods and sustain vital literary community. 

Our yearly contest charges a submission fee of $15. For $20 we offer feedback on contest submissions. The contest opens August 1st, 2023 and closes August 31st at midnight PST.  

We appreciate your support in showcasing the talented poets of our era and are honored to be trusted with your creative work.

:: To get a better sense of our aesthetic, we encourage submitters to read past issues via our archives. When we read submissions, we seek poems that give us a little shiver, poems that catch the light and compel us to look closer. We don't have restrictions on form or content, and we are interested in featuring poets at all stages of their career.

A few specifics--

:: While we are a poetry-specific journal, we seek to expand the definition of poetry.

:: Please include all poems in one file. One poem per page, up to four poems total. Poems can be longer than one page as long as the submissions packet is no longer than eight pages total. 

:: We do not accept previously published work. This includes work that has been revised from a previously published poem.

:: We ask for first rights, and we also ask that any future publications (congratulations!) of your accepted poems are acknowledged back to Tinderbox Poetry Journal.

:: We accept general submissions through Submittable. Our average response time may take up to six months and sometimes longer. In general, submissions are read for an issue that will appear six months later. For instance, September submissions will be read for the following March issue. 

For regular submissions, please wait 6 months after your submission has been received to query in regards to its status via Submittable or email.  Contest winners are published in our December Solstice issue.

:: We cannot accommodate revisions to work that has been submitted for consideration.

:: We welcome simultaneous submissions. Please let us know if a poem submitted is no longer available by using the message tab in Submittable. If a poem needs to be withdrawn for any reason, use the message tab in Submittable rather than withdraw the entire submission.

:: We request that poets writing “after” poems not only attribute the name of the poet they are responding to, but the title of the original poem as well. Additionally, if a submitted poem quotes lines from another poet, we ask that the source text be properly attributed as an endnote.

:: If you are a previous contributor, please wait at least one year after publication before submitting again. 

Ends on

Tinderbox Review Guidelines

Thanks for thinking of Tinderbox Poetry Journal as a home for your work!

Tinderbox is a poetry journal and we publish reviews of short form work. This includes poetry, flash fiction and creative nonfiction, lyric essays, and hybrid forms. We want to connect new work to its readers and celebrate contemporary poets. We encourage reviews of books/chapbooks published within the last few years (unless you are pitching a review for our Books That Stay With Us category; see below for details).

We are especially interested in featuring debut titles from smaller presses.

Reviews should be:

  • roughly 500-800 words for a chapbook/micro/nontraditional review
  • roughly 750-1000 words for a full-length collection review

Tinderbox is a supportive community. We celebrate new and emerging writers. Thoughtful criticism is part of any good review, but the general tone should be enthusiastic, smart, bold, and warm. We DO publish reviews of books written by authors you know personally; this relationship should be indicated early in your review.

Please include information about the author’s other work, awards, and or community engagement.

If possible, please include a high-res cover image, a bio, and a link to where to purchase this title. *Bookshop preferred.

In addition to reviews, we are interested in:

  • Longer review essays of more than one title that explore a theme or trend in addition to reviewing the books in question
  • Round-up reviews of more than one title (three chapbooks, two short essay collections, etc.)
  • Books that Stay with Us: reviews of books that are at least ten years old of any genre *Must still be in print.
  • Pitches for other book-related writing (ex: essays on the poetry publishing business, craft essays, using chapbooks in the classroom)

Tinderbox highlights the work of poets who are active in supporting and engaging with the poetry community in positive ways. In addition to reviews, we have featured interviews between close writing friends, partners/collaborators, writing influences/heroes and mentor-mentees. We strive to highlight these relationships in our reviews. Our intention is to support vital creative practice, to help work find its readers, and nurture genuine literary community.

To submit a review, use the option above. 

To pitch an idea for a review, get matched with a book of poetry to review, or have any questions, contact us at tinderboxreviews@gmail.com.

Tinderbox Poetry Journal