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Tinderbox Poetry Journal

:: Tinderbox Poetry Journal has been the original home of poems appearing in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Bettering American Poetry anthologies. We are a paying market that offers contributors $15, regardless of how many poems are selected. We publish four issues per year and nominate for Pushcart Prizes, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net.


:: We offer 300 fee-free submissions during each reading period, with the exception of our contest. To offset the costs of running our journal (and to continue offering no mandatory fees), we recommend Tip Jar ($3+) and Requesting Feedback options ($7) for folks with the means to make a donation. These proceeds will go towards the standard expenses a journal incurs: Submittable subscription, website fees, promotional costs, paying contributors and staff, etc. We appreciate your support in showcasing the talented poets of our era.


:: 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.


:: 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 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 only accept general submissions through Duosuma. Our average response time is 1 week to 3 months, but can occasionally take longer. Requesting feedback submissions can take between 6-9 months. For regular submissions, please wait 4 months after your submission has been received to query in regards to its status via Submittable or email. For requesting feedback submissions, please wait at least 9 months before inquiring.


:: We unfortunately cannot accommodate revisions once you have pressed the submit button and the work is under consideration, to guarantee our editors are reading the same draft. If you must, you can withdraw your submission and submit an updated file again (refunds will not be offered for withdrawn donation or requesting feedback submissions).


:: Please include all poems in one file. Please page break when a new poem begins.


:: We do accept simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately via Submittable 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 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.


:: We do not accept multiple submissions within one reading season. Please wait until a new reading season to submit your work again after it has been considered. (We are open for submissions four times a year.) We cannot offer refunds if submitters submit via donation or requesting feedback submissions twice--the second submission will not be considered. If you are a previous contributor, please wait at least one year after publication before submitting again.

2021 Contest: BIPOC Free Entry

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Tinderbox is pleased to announce the 2021 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize and the Majda Gama Editors' Prize. 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. Tiana Clark will judge the contest, and the editors will select another winner from the remaining submissions. Each winner will receive $500. Winners and finalists will receive publication in the Winter Solstice issue, which will be published on or around December 21. All finalist contributors will receive our standard payment of $15. Semi-finalists will also be considered for publication.

Please put all poems in one document. Submit up to three poems / pieces (five pages maximum) 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.

Please only submit original work that has not appeared in any form, online or in print. If you are submitting a piece that is "After" another artist or writer, please acknowledge this somewhere in the work.

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 Tiana Clark.

Send us your best work! We look forward to reading it!

2021 Contest: Regular Submission

Temp Closed

Tinderbox is pleased to announce the 2021 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize and the Majda Gama Editors' Prize. 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. Tiana Clark will select one winner, and the editors will select another from the remaining submissions. Each winner will receive $500. Winners and finalists will receive publication in the Winter Solstice issue, which will be published on or around December 21. All finalist contributors will receive our standard payment of $15. Semi-finalists will also be considered for publication.

Please put all poems in one document. Submit up to three poems / pieces (five pages maximum) 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.


Please only submit original work that has not appeared in any form, online or in print. If you are submitting a piece that is "After" another artist or writer, please acknowledge this somewhere in the work.


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 Tiana Clark.


Send us your best work! We look forward to reading it!

2021 Contest: Requesting Feedback Option

Temp Closed

Tinderbox is pleased to announce the 2021 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize and the Majda Gama Editors' Prize. 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. Tiana Clark will select one winner, and the editors will select another from the remaining submissions. Each winner will receive $500. Winners and finalists will receive publication in the Winter Solstice issue, which will be published on or around December 21. All finalist contributors will receive our standard payment of $15. Semi-finalists will also be considered for publication.

For $5 more than our standard contest fee of $15, the requesting feedback option allows you to receive feedback on your submission: up to a half page of commentary from our editors. If you’d like comments regarding a specific facet of your work, please indicate so in your cover letter. Please note that we can only offer our own perspective and editorial approach--we do not claim to know your work better than yourself or anyone else, but this option does help us continue to fund our journal’s cost of operations.

Please put all poems in one document. Submit up to three poems / pieces (five pages maximum) 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.

Please only submit original work that has not appeared in any form, online or in print. If you are submitting a piece that is "After" another artist or writer, please acknowledge this somewhere in the work.

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.

Send us your best work! We look forward to reading it!