2023 Contest

Tinderbox is pleased to announce our 2023 poetry prizes, the Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize and the Majda Gama Editors’ Prize.

Tinderbox readers and editors will read submissions, 15 of which will be passed on to our judge for their final decision. The judge will select the winner of the Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize. This year’s final judge is Paul Hlava Ceballos. The editors will select the Majda Gama Editors’ Prize winner from the remaining finalists.

The winners of each prize will receive $500. The winners and all finalists will be published in our Winter Solstice issue in December.


  • There are no limitations in form or content; we are interested in anything from traditional forms to free verse to lyric essay to flash fiction.
  • No more than eight pages maximum per submission.
  • The entry fee is $15 for three poems. For $20, you can opt to receive feedback on your submission.

We will be accepting submissions through Submittable starting August 1 and closing submissions August 31st.

2023 Judge: Paul Hlava Ceballos

A Latino male looks directly at the camera in front of a blue sky and green desert plants.

Paul Hlava Ceballos is the author of banana [ ], a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. His collaborative chapbook, Banana [ ] / we pilot the blood, shares pages with Quenton Baker and Christina Sharpe. He has fellowships from CantoMundo, Artist Trust, and the Poets House. He currently lives in Seattle, where he practices echocardiography.