Submission Guidelines & Calls

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

Due to an overwhelming backlog, the website galleries will be closed to submissions on December 14th.  Once we get through the queue we will determine when the submission forms will reopen.

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 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is as follows: material that is obscene, excessively vulgar, pornographic, racist, or in any way bigoted will not be published here.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 or summer.  This call is only open for a short period each year to prevent us from getting so buried in submissions that we cannot find 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 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.  We no longer have any advertising on the site pages.  Any meager profit generated by our book sales goes right back in to publishing the next book and keeping this site running.  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.

Chapbook Submissions:

The Poet's Haven will be open to unsolicited chapbook manuscripts during the months of May and June, 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 or page-count 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.  (There is but one editor making all the final decisions here.)

PLEASE NOTE: This call will close on JUNE 30, 2019.  It will not be extended.