Tinderbox Review Guidelines

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

Tinderbox is a poetry journal, but we publish reviews of most short form work. This includes poetry, flash fiction and creative nonfiction, lyric essays, and hybrid forms. These should be books/chapbooks published after 2020 (unless you are pitching a review for our Books That Stay With Us category). We are especially interested in featuring titles from smaller presses, but we don’t review self-published work, or work published by presses with questionable publishing practices. We are always looking for reviews of works by marginalized populations.

Reviews should be:

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

As for voice/attitude/style, we’re  looking for reviews that are enthusiastically thoughtful in their analysis of the books in question.  Thoughtful criticism is part of any good review, but the general tone should be enthusiastic, smart, bold, personal (if you like) and warm. We DO publish reviews of books written by authors you know personally, but  discuss this relationship early in your review. 

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

Please follow the format of the review below:

Please be sure to include a high res cover image, a bio, and a link to where to purchase this title. *Bookshop preferred.

All reviews are subject to editorial suggestions and revisions. You will have a chance to approve of any edits before publication.  If you choose not to make the edits, Tinderbox may not publish your review.

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. (Interviews are on hiatus. Please query in 2023.) 

Have questions? Want to pitch a title, or are you ready to submit a review?

Contact us at tinderboxreviews@gmail.com.

We look forward to working with you!

Sarah Ann Winn, Anne Graue, Dana Kinsey

Reviews Editors, Tinderbox Poetry Journal