:: Tinderbox Poetry Journal has been the original home of poems appearing in The Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Bettering American Poetry anthologies.

:: We are fee-free for the months the seasons change over: March, June, September, December. The money raised in the donation-only submission months will go towards standard expenses a journal incurs: Submittable fees, website fees, promotional fees. We remain a volunteer-run journal, and we appreciate your help in keeping us in print. (Please note that Submittable only allow us 200 fee-free submissions within a month, so if we reach this limit anytime within the month, the fee-free submissions will close automatically. Please submit early in the fee-free months.)

{2018 update: Regular and fee-free submissions will re-open November and December}

When asked what we are looking for in our work, we can simply say, writing that causes that little shiver.  We don't have restrictions on form or content, and we are interested in the established to emerging writer.  

We want to hear from a diverse range of voices and experiences; we want  our ideas of a well-crafted poem to move beyond the MFA workshop and  into the mettle of life and experience. We want our understanding of the  world to expand, leave us silent and struck, lead us in song and in  praise. We editors want to be challenged out of our comfort zones. We  are looking for the well-written but also, more importantly,  the well-lived. We recognize that the cover letter can be a crucial  component in the reading process. Rather than a hoop through which to  jump, a cover letter can become a lens through which we can better  understand the work you are submitting to us. We want to know the places  from which you write, the identity with which you identify, so we  encourage you to introduce yourselves and your poems to us in your cover  letter.  (If you do opt to include a bio in your cover letter, please keep it to 100 words or fewer.)

We thank you for trusting us with your work.  One of the luckiest things is finding the amazing and unknown within these submission pages.

A few specifics--

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

:: We regret we cannot pay contributors at this time, but we do nominate for Pushcart Prizes, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net.  We are proud of our contributors, and seek to help promote your work.

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

:: We only accept general submissions through Submittable.  We encourage you to query via email in unique circumstances.

:: Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate revisions once you have press the submit button and the work is under consideration. 

:: Please include all poems in one file. It keeps costs down. Please also refrain from putting more than one poem to a page.  

:: We do accept simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if your submission has been accepted elsewhere.

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

:: We do not accept multiple submissions. Please wait to hear from us about your active submission before you submit again.

:: We hope to respond to your submission within three months--sooner!--though the ebb and flow of our inbox will cause variation. Please feel free to query if we take longer.

:: Note about reviews: Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future we are not accepting more books to review, as we've slated reviews well into 2018. Thank you for understanding. 

We are pleased to announce the 2018 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize contest. There are no limitations in form or content; we are interested in everything from traditional forms to free verse to lyric essay to flash fiction.

One winner will receive $750 and one runner-up will receive $500.  

Submit up to three poems / pieces (five pages maximum) per entry. You are more than welcome to enter the contest more than once provided you pay the fee of $12 for each entry.  

Please put all poems in one document, as only one document is permitted per entry.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but know that if your poem(s) or piece(s) are accepted elsewhere, we cannot refund your contest entry. We also cannot accept revisions on poems; you are welcome to withdraw the whole submission and resubmit. If you need to withdraw a poem due to acceptance at another publication, please leave a note in Submittable. Please only use the "Withdraw" feature if you need to withdraw the whole of your submission.

Please only submit original work that has not appeared in any form, online or in print.

Please make certain all identifying material is removed from the manuscript.  

All work submitted to this contest will be considered for publication in the Winter Solstice issue, which will be published on December 21.

This year's judge will be Zeina Hashem Beck.

Please send us your best work! We look forward to reading it!

Tinderbox Poetry Journal