Submission Guidelines & Calls

READ THESE GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING WORK. Failure to follow the instructions contained herein will result in an automatic rejection.

Introduction (applies to all submissions):

The Poet’s Haven is a place for artists across a wide and diverse spectrum to feel safe seeing their work published.  We are open to unsolicited submissions from both experienced, published creators and talent new to submitting work for publication.  We offer minimal restrictions on content and genre.  What little content that is disallowed is as follows: material that is obscene, excessively vulgar, pornographic, racist, or in any way bigoted will not be published here.  The Poet’s Haven also does not accept religious material.

Our publications are intended for mature readers.  While our primary audience is adults we are NOT limited to any one demographic.  We have knowingly published work from creators as young as 9 and as old as 95.

We are free to publish what we wish but we will maintain a level of decency; therefore, nothing obscene, pornographic, racist, or bigoted will be accepted.

The publisher has decided to focus on non-religious poetry, artwork, and stories.  That said, since many authors are highly influenced by their faiths, work that expresses faith may be acceptable but writing or artwork that preaches a faith will not be accepted.  Work that questions faith in general may be acceptable.  Work designed to insult the followers of any certain religion will be rejected the same as work of a bigoted nature.

Writing that is badly misspelt or in need of severe grammatical or punctual corrections will be rejected.  Your word processor program has a spell check.  Spell Check is your friend.  Use it.

Please make certain your are submitting your work to the correct call.  Submitting poems to the call for short stories will get your work rejected, unread.  Submissions of incomplete or unfinished work will be rejected, unread.  Sending a chapbook manuscript to a call for pieces for the website will get your work rejected, unread.

The Poet's Haven has an open call for chapbook manuscripts each spring.  This call is only open for a short period each year to prevent us from getting so buried in submissions that we cannot find enough time to read them all.  Do not submit manuscripts to other calls: they will be rejected without any consideration.


The Poet’s Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to the Galleries on the website.  The author retains ownership and is free to have it published elsewhere, provided the other publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.

The Poet's Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to The Poet's Haven Digest in both print and electronic formats.  The author retains ownership and is free to have it published elsewhere, provided the other publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.  We ask that authors refrain from submitting a piece published in a Poet's Haven Digest anthology to other anthologies, magazines, and/or online journals for at least one year.

The Poet's Haven receives the rights to publish all work submitted to The Poet's Haven Author Series in both print and electronic formats.  The author retains ownership and is free to submit individual pieces to anthologies, magazines, and/or online journals, provided the publishers do not require first-time or exclusive rights.  Authors may not place more than half (50%) the contents of an Author Series title at another press, including as part of a full-length "Collected Works" type publication.

Submissions must be made by either the creator of a work, or on behalf of the creator.  PLAGIARISM IS A CRIME, AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!  We will assist any investigations of a submitter for fraud to the best of our abilities.  If you are submitting work on behalf of the creator, be certain to give us a way to contact them other than through your e-mail, if need be.  A postal address will work fine.  The author or artist MUST BE AWARE THAT THEIR WORK IS BEING SUBMITTED!  The ONLY exception to this rule is in the case of a deceased author or artist, in which case the work must be submitted by the creator's next-of-kin/proprietor-of-estate.

Again, all work is copyright ©, property of, and owned by its original author or artist.  Nothing may be copied from the website or any offline publications without the explicit written permission of the original author or artist.



Due to time restraints, we are unable to critique each and every item submitted.  Comments from the publisher or editors will be rare.


Response Time:

The Poet's Haven is largely a one-person operation.  Some publications may have another editor helping out (such as the "VENDING MACHINE" anthologies), but nearly everything here is handled by publisher Vertigo Xavier.  Unfortunately, book sales and the few ads found on the website do not bring in enough money for running The Poet's Haven to be his exclusive, full-time job.  Real-life responsibilities do get in the way of him completing updates and reviewing submissions as fast as everyone would like.  In other words, it may be some months before your submission gets a response.  Please be patient.  If you choose to simultaneously submit work both here and elsewhere, when any sort of exclusive rights are required and the other publication accepts your work before you see a response from us, please remember to log back in to your Submittable account and withdraw your submission.

Contact Links and Author Bios:

Pages on the website featuring your work can also include a short author bio and a link to your personal website or social media page.  Please include this when sending your submission.  We will no longer list author e-mail addresses on the site.  If you wish to provide readers with a way to contact you via e-mail, we recommend setting up a small blog with a contact form.  The Poet's Haven Digest and VENDING MACHINE anthologies will include a very short author bio and website URL in the contributor index.  The Poet's Haven Author Series publications include an author photo and bio on back of the book (or inside the cover, if a flip-book format).

Payment for Publication:

Access to The Poet’s Haven website is free of charge.  Any meager profit generated by advertisements either goes toward paying for and promoting the site or towards producing our offline events and publications.  We cannot pay for work to be published on the website.

Payment for work used in print publications will be described in that print publication’s submission call.

Disclaimer (this is VERY important!):

The Poet’s Haven is a privately held publishing company.  This is not an open forum.  We, the publisher and editors, reserve the right to refuse any submission for any reason we see fit.  This may include work that we feel is questionable, may be in violation of any of the above guidelines, or that we have any objection to.  We have a policy of "ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLSHIT."  If you attempt to cause problems by initiating spam campaigns, attempting a DDOS attack, or harassing any member of The Poet’s Haven staff, you will be blocked from accessing the site.


Removal Requests:

The Poet’s Haven website is no different than a print publication.  If your poem is published in a magazine and a year later you decide you don’t like the piece anymore, the publisher can not go through all remaining copies of the issue and tear out the page.  The Poet’s Haven will not entertain ANY requests for removing poetry from the site on the basis of the author not liking their older work.  Removal requests can be made for the following reason ONLY: plagiarism.  Please provide documentation (ie: cite the work that was plagiarized) when making any removal request.

In the modern age of Google, some authors have expressed concern about work written many years ago, perhaps when that author was still in college or even high school, being found today by prospective employers.  Your work was found to be of a high quality when it was submitted, and it should not be removed from the site.  However, if you are concerned about the emotions of your youth influencing your professional standing today, we can alter the name listed with your work.  We recommend simply changing your first name to your initial.  This way, if you do someday return to writing, you can still take credit for your early work.

  • Poetry Gallery

    The Poetry Gallery makes up the largest part of The Poet’s Haven.  The emphasis sought is emotion rather than form.

    All work submitted must be reviewed and approved by a senior Poet’s Haven staff member.  Please submit up to four poems, one-at-a-time.  (Each submission should contain only one poem.)  Batch submissions will not be considered.

    Submit Work »
  • Art & Photo Gallery

    Acceptability of nudity in artwork will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Nude photographs are not accepted for publication (though they may be added to staff members’ private collections).  Photography should be creative.  Use of religious iconography may be acceptable as part of a larger work of art, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    JPEG format files are preferred, and the image should be no less than 600 pixels wide.  Images 1200-1800 pixels wide are preferred and look best on the site.  Excessively large images will be resized appropriately.  If you do not have access to a digital camera or scanner, try your local print shop.

    We reserve the right to change file types, resize the image, or clip edges for space as needed.  If we feel a major change is necessary, you will be contacted.
    Submit Work »
  • Story Gallery

    Stories must be original, and feature original characters.  NO FAN-FICTION!  Characters based on or using mythological or fairy-tale characters may be acceptable.  References to heaven, hell, angels, and demons are okay, as these do not directly pertain to any one religious faith.  Subjects such as King Arthur’s quest for the holy grail, where religious motive is part of a story’s background but NOT the story itself, are acceptable.

    True story essays should be submitted here the same as short fiction.  The Poet’s Haven is not seeking other types of non-fiction essays, reports, or articles at this time.

    As this call is for stories to be published on the website, which is in a blog format, please limit submissions to stories no longer than 8 pages.  Stories between 32 and 72 pages may be considered for publication as novellas in The Poet's Haven Author Series and can be submitted to that call when it is open.
    Submit Work »
  • The Poet's Haven Author Series - CALL FOR AUTHORS OF COLOR

    Chapbook Submissions:

    The Poet's Haven will be open to unsolicited chapbook manuscripts authored by people of color from April 16th through April 30th, to be considered for publication in The Poet's Haven Author Series.

    Manuscripts should be between 28 and 40 pages  in length NOT COUNTING title, copyright, dedication, or table of contents pages. Manuscripts containing full-color artwork may be shorter, 20 to 24 pages. One page can fit approximately 30 lines of poetry or 325 words of prose. If you have original artwork to be used as the cover, please submit it as well.  Slightly longer manuscripts will be considered, however, any manuscript longer than 72 pages will be rejected automatically unless the publisher gives prior approval before submission.

    BOOK FORMAT:  The  Poet’s Haven Author Series chapbooks will be published in a “pocket  size” as often as possible, measuring 4.25″ wide by 5.5″ tall. The books are saddle-stitched (aka stapled) and typically run 32, 36, 40, or 44 pages in length, including title and copyright pages. A full-color, cardstock cover will adorn the books. Changes to the dimensions and page count will be considered on a case-by-case basis when the material calls for it. The cover price will be $6, subject to change with any increase in production costs (paper prices, etc.) or when a particular title's design requires a different price point.

    PRINT WINDOW:  The chapbooks will be kept in print for a period not less than 24 months. After 24 months, authors will be contacted before additional copies of the chapbook will be printed.

    PAYMENT FOR PUBLICATION:   Authors will receive 25% of all printed copies. That breaks down like this: If the first print run is 80 copies, 20 of them go to the author.  If the first print run sells out and a second print run of 40 copies is produced, the author will receive 10 of them.  If the author wants/needs to acquire additional copies, they can do so at a 50% discount.

    WHAT IS THE POET’S HAVEN LOOKING FOR?:   A collection of your poems centered on a theme, a collection of work from a certain era of your life, a series of poems that tell a narrative  story... These are just a few general ideas.  Also, the Author Series is not limited to poetry chapbooks.  We are interested in publishing short story collections, novellas, books of art, and more.  If you can create it, we will consider it.  Contact the publisher if you wish to propose an Author Series publication that cannot be submitted as a Word DOC.

    WHO IS THE POET’S HAVEN LOOKING FOR?:  The Poet’s Haven has always taken pride in being open to both newcomers and seasoned pros. That said, for legal reasons, chapbook authors must  be at least 18 years of age or have a parent/guardian involved in the process from submission to publication.

    A NOTE ABOUT PAGE COUNT:   Several authors have commented that other publishers consider a 40 page collection to be a full-length book, not a chapbook. At The Poet’s Haven, we consider a full-length collection to be no less than 96 pages.  That said, since many authors are used to submitting manuscripts of 20 pages or less to other publishers, we offer this idea: two 20-page  collections from the same author together as a flip-book.

    Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please log in to Submittable and withdraw your submission if your manuscript is accepted by another press. Due to volume and real-world occurrences, it may take longer than 12 months for decisions to be reached regarding all submitted manuscripts.

    PLEASE NOTE: This year's call for manuscripts will be open ONLY to authors of color for the first two weeks.  A call for all authors, regardless of their melanin levels, will be open during the month of May.

    Submit Work »
  • The Poet's Haven Digest: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

    DEADLINE: MAY 26, 2018
    The Poet's Haven is seeking poetry and short stories that begin with the cliche line, "It was a dark and stormy night."  Pieces can be dramatic or humorous: we are seeking a variety for this anthology.

    We are repeating this here due to the number of people who have submitted pieces without understanding what is stated above: THE FIRST LINE OF ANY POEM OR STORY SUBMITTED TO THIS CALL MUST BE "IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT."  While we will allow for some variation (such as "A flash of lightning penetrates the darkness"), any piece that simply ignores this one requirement will be rejected without further consideration.

    (Despite publisher Vertigo's well-known cat obsession, there is one canine he adores: Snoopy. V's been on a kick watching "Peanuts" cartoons, and he's been reading the collections of Schulz's original strips when he has the time, so when it was time to pick the next Digest theme, this is the one he selected out of the dozens of ideas post-it noted all over his walls.)

    This call will close on May 26, 2018.  The anthology is targeted for printing in early or mid-summer.

    As space in this anthology is limited, submitted works should be no longer than 10 pages.  (A size 10 font with single-spacing is fine for formatting.)

    Publication in this series pays one copy per piece.  A maximum of two pieces will be selected from each contributor.  All contributors can purchase additional copies at a 50% discount.

    Poet’s Haven Digest titles are published as 4.25″ wide by 5.5″ tall pocket-sized books.  We are not seeking cover art for this anthology.  (The publisher has already decided what he wants on the cover and will either draw it himself or commission someone to do it after he decides his artwork is horrible.)

    Submit Work »