TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics welcomes submissions of poems and other writing about or related to poetry. Send original poems in English, English translations of poems in other languages, scholarly or creative essays about poetry, interviews, visual poems, or art-poetry hybrids. We’re open to possibilities, as long as it has to do with poetry or poetics. We welcome submissions from writers with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, voices, and aesthetics, including work by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and D/disabled writers.
Before you submit
Before you invite us to consider your work, take a look at the aesthetic range at tabjournal.org. You may want to consider our design, including the horizontal online page orientation and low-vision standards, when you decide what to send our way. Also, follow us on Twitter @TabJournal (at least for time being) and on Facebook.
To reduce barriers to access and with support from Chapman University, Tab Journal does not charge a submission fee. In addition, though we cannot guarantee payment, we hope to pay $75 to each contributor for as long as the budget allows. We understand that if we are not able to offer payment for work we accept, an author may withdraw their submission.
Tab Journal considers simultaneous submissions, but if the work is accepted elsewhere, writers must contact us immediately through Submittable.
Chapman University (the institutional home of Tab Journal) shall have First North American Serial Rights to publish accepted work electronically and/or in print. Publication rights revert to the author upon publication in Tab Journal, but we do retain permission to republish and to submit to other outlets such as the Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net. In addition, we ask that subsequent publication of the work acknowledge its first publication in Tab Journal.
For accepted poems, Tab Journal requires poets to provide an audio file or give Tab Journal permission to make a recording of the work. Audio provides a reading experience via the ears and increases access to the work. Instructions will be provided when poem acceptance is confirmed, so audio should not be included in the initial submission. We are not currently requiring audio for work other than poems.
Using the submission form
Please use the Submittable form appropriate for the type of work you’re submitting. Read the specific guidelines within that form.
You’ll be prompted to complete a short eligibility form before you can access the main submission form. Tab Journal does not consider previously published work, work by individuals with current or recent affiliation with Chapman University (e.g., faculty, students, staff), or work by individuals under 18 years of age (with the exception of our partnership with the California Coastal Commission K-12 poetry contest).
The submission form itself requires a title for the work (which will be the submission’s identifying label) as well as your name, pronouns, and email address. We also ask whether you want to receive the Tab Musings newsletter, which we hope to expand in the future.
In addition, three demographic questions help us understand our submissions pool. Initial readers do not see the answers to these questions, individual data is not shared externally, and each question offers the option “I prefer not to answer.” This portion of the form is part of our ongoing effort to aggregate demographic data and create an increasingly inclusive literary experience.
We invite you to include a short cover letter with a biographical/professional statement to add context for your submission. We also invite you to share your social media url/handle(s). These components are optional and not seen by initial readers.
The last step before submitting the form is to upload your file. Because the initial review is done anonymously, do not include your name in the file name or inside the file.
What if I don’t see the forms?
We read year-round. If you don’t happen to see the submission forms, Tab Journal is temporarily closed to new submissions while we catch up with what’s in our queue and plan for the future. If that’s the case, check back in a few weeks.
What if I can’t use the form?
If you are experiencing challenges with the submission form or require assistance, please contact the staff using the Contact form on the website; if you don’t get response within two weeks, you are welcome to contact the Editor at her Chapman University email. We will be happy to assist.
While our anonymous reading process is built on Submittable, individuals who are unable to use that system can use the Contact form to ask the best alternate way to submit.
Can I submit a book review?
The Tab staff contributes all book reviews. While we cannot guarantee a given book will be reviewed, we welcome review copies that help us represent an inclusive literary ecosystem. Use the Contact form for inquires. Any unreviewed copies are distributed to MFA students in poetry classes.