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 pitch or a review, please visit our Submittable page.

Questions? Contact us at tinderbox@gmail.com.