Dear Submitters:

Please note that the fee-free option is meant for those who cannot afford to pay the reading fee--it is there for students, those with low-income, adjuncts, and everyone else who simply doesn't have the money available. We know this can be expensive and cost prohibitive for many.

We write this because we take our work seriously, and we are a volunteer-run operation. We put our money into our books and the artists who write and design them, and we want the donation-free option to be a guilt-free way to keep the doors open for those who couldn't otherwise afford to pay the fees that keep us going. Please don't take a fee-free spot when you could afford to donate to the press and let that money go towards the production of the next book. 

Know that we wouldn't have this note if we didn't have to; we got burned last reading period, and we're trying to keep the fee-free available to those who need it. 

Truly, if you are submitting to fee-free or paying the donation with an open heart and an earnest desire to be published by our press and know what that means, we cannot wait to read what you've written. We are still reading from the winter reading period, and so far, we've already taken three manuscripts, and many other gorgeous books that are in production have come from these open reading periods as well.


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Our manuscript reading periods will operate as follows:


Summer (July & August): Prose & Prose-like Manuscripts

- July 1-7*: fee-free open reading period

- July 1-August 31: $25 donation period


Winter (December & January): Poetry & Hybrid Manuscripts

- December 1-7*: fee-free open reading period

- December 1-January 30: $25 donation period

Feel free to visit our Facebook page, our Twitter page, or Instagram to keep up with the happenings.


* Or until we reach 300 submissions, whichever comes first.

Please note: DO NOT USE THIS OPTION IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT FOR REVIEW. This option is only for those who are donating purely to help fund Tinderbox's mission or as a smaller donation during our fee-free period, which ends on the 7th of December and the 7th of July, or until we reach 300 manuscripts, whichever comes first.


Tinderbox Editions has hit the pavement running. We have five books for 2016, and five for 2017, including a lyric essay anthology, and books by Laynie Browne, Judy Jordan, and BK Fischer. We've become an established nonprofit, but it takes three years before we qualify from some of the area grants; in the meantime, we're seeking donations and funding from many sources. This is one way you can help us, by making a donation to get these beautiful books into the world. The more money we can raise, the bigger the catalog we can bring to readers. Every penny we raise goes into the press, and we appreciate all the help we can get. Thank you.

Thank you for considering Tinderbox as home for your manuscript!


Tinderbox Editions has won independent press awards and nominate our books regularly for awards. We stand behind our authors for the long run.


Like our sister publication, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, we are interested in work that causes our breathing to change rhythm and the desire to suddenly print the manuscript and sleep with it as a pillow.

This is not a contest. The donation is important to us to be able to establish print runs, but we know what it's like to not be able to pony up the fee for contests. In the end, this is about reading good books and bringing those to the public eye, not about fundraising. Because of this, we have a seven day period within our two month reading period in which you can submit without the obligation of paying a fee (andyes, it is true that we will read those books with no bias). 


Some things to know:


:: We will not be reading blind. You can include any personal information on the ms. or leave it off.

:: Because this is an open reading period, it is not guaranteed that we will publish anything from these submissions; it also could mean more than one manuscript will be selected for publication.

:: Publication will come with a standard contract.

:: There are no page limits, though two caveats: 1) we aren't a chapbook publisher but a publisher of full-lengths and 2) a standard book of poetry tends to run in the general vicinity of 48-68 pages, and this seems like a comfortable amount for us. (Our books have gone over, though, and this is just fine too.)

:: We encourage you to simultaneously submit. We don't plan to sit on manuscripts long, but we do know placing a book is a long and difficult process. We don't want to keep your book in a holding pattern.

:: I will read every manuscript. 

:: Please only submit one manuscript during this reading period. We'll read again for this genre next summer, and we'll read for poetry collections in the winter.


Our tastes range from Nikky Finney to Eduardo Corral to Rebecca Lindenberg to Ocean Vuong to Jody Gladding to Claudia Emerson to Ken Chen to Bhanu Kapil to Rachel Zucker to Sharon Olds to Cynthia Zarin.


As always, thank you for trusting us with your work. I'm looking forward to reading each manuscript. Finding new voices that deserve to be heard is one of the greatest pleasures of being an editor; getting to promote and be a home for those voices is even better.

Tinderbox Editions