online publication guidelines #classic: 

tenderness, yea is now accepting submissions of poetry, prose, and anything in between.

Send us that piece that everyone else in your workshop hated.
Send us that one weird poem about your next-door neighbor’s dog.
Send us used napkins, loose labels, expired warranties, and the tags you’ve ripped off your mattresses.

Just don’t send us something boring. Life’s too short for another story about some white guy whose marriage falls apart as he smokes a bunch of cigarettes, you know?

Here at tenderness, yea, we prioritize the work of LGBTQ+ authors, women, and people of color. If that’s you, awesome. We are literally so proud of you. Mention that in your cover letter/bio. If you’ve got a problem with that, we kindly welcome you to submit elsewhere.


Send us a third person bio.
Send us your work in a single word doc or pdf.
Because we’re interested in publishing as many different voices as possible, please refrain from submitting to us again for six months after your publication date.**


Send up to 5 poems to If you send more than five poems, the poems better take us out to dinner. We’re serious.

We want poetry that makes us feel things. Either be honest or tell fantastic lies, but don’t half-ass it either way. We’re much more interested in train wrecks than regular trains. Send us something catastrophic.


Send your fiction / nonfiction of up to 1750 words to Feel free to send multiple shorts at once, so long as the total word count of your submission is under 1750 words. We are specifically seeking flash prose under 750 words.


We are a very small press and publish very few books every year. However, if you feel like you have a book that would fit well with tenderness, feel free to send us a query email to along with the first 10 pages of your book and we will get back to you and go from there.


First time submitting to a lit mag? Terrified of our bizarre and somewhat obnoxious call for submissions? It’s ok. We’ve all been there, and we’re here to help. Joseph Parker Okay has written an excellent guide to writing cover letters and submitting to lit mags, which you can access here: . Don’t be shy. We can’t wait to read your work.

**this six month period is exclusively for online publication. If we have a special call for submissions listed, everyone is invited to submit to that.

chapbook series contest guidelines:

tenderness, yea is open for chapbook submissions from RIGHT NOW until thanksgiving.

in an effort to create a more inclusive literary scene, we’re only accepting chapbooks from writers who have not yet published a full length book.*


we want your most radical work. we’re especially interested in showcasing the work of QTPOC. we want work that interrogates, challenges, and opposes hegemony and oppression in every form. we want work that names, explores, and critiques the systems and structures which govern our lives. we want your most accessible, your most loving, your most passionate, challenging work. and, as always, we’re looking for tenderness.


Submission period closes at 11:59 PM CST, November 23rd 2017.

Email submissions to Put the word "chapbook" somewhere in the subject line so we know what is going on.

Length: 10-35 pages. A little over or under is probably fine, use your discretion. (but remember that if we wanted full-length books, we’d ask for them)

No submissions accepted from writers who already have full-length books out* except by solicitation.

Submit only one chapbook in a single word doc or pdf. With no more than one poem per page.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted (and encouraged, get your work out there!!!)

Winners will be notified and announced by the end of 2017.


*this includes if you’re under contract for a forthcoming book.