submission guidelines (as of 5-20-2019) read to the bottom please


Submission window for issue #41 is April. 15—May 31, 2019.

Deadline: May 31. 2019 (in hand/ not postmarked.)

We follow deadlines in a strict fashion. 

Please do not send any submissions before reading the new submission guidelines and the starting date of the reading period.

We reserve the right to close the submission reading period when we have reached the publication limit.

One submission per reading period/issue please unless notified by the editor.

These rules are strictly enforced to avoid any chaos.


Please read all of the following information carefully.

bottle rockets is a publication made of poetry, ink, and paper.

We are not an e-zine.

The staff of bottle rockets leans very much away from the outdated grammar school model of 5-7-5 haiku. Therefore, please do not send any 5-7-5 "haiku." It will surely be rejected and it will be a waste of your stamps and of our time.

Please see below some of the poems that have been published in bottle rockets #33 to get a feel for the types of poems we are looking for (free option.)  Or feel free to purchase the current issue or a back issue to familiarize yourself ($ option).

bottle rockets does not review unsolicited manuscripts nor will return any unsolicited manuscripts.

We will discard (that means “throw away”)  any submission that does not include a SASE (even if an e-mail is attached) or if the submission does not meet the stated guidelines.  We have a submission process and can’t tailor it for each individual.


What to Submit  [VERY IMPORTANT]

bottle rockets seeks: haiku, senryu, very short haiku-like poems (no more than 7 lines), tanka, and cheritas. Nothing else. (Pretty simple, no?)


We are publishing no more than 1 poem per poet per issue.

So please send your top quality work. Keep reading to the bottom of the page.



We do NOT consider renku/renga, rengay, haibun, haiku or tanka sequences, articles, essays, book reviews, haiga or photo haiku, or photographs.



How to Submit

  • All submissions within and outside the U.S. should be submitted through the post. We are no longer accepting email submissions. (We have already heard of number of complaints, please refrain from sending more. They will not be addressed, and they will be filed in a special place.) 

  • Poets within the U.S. must submit poems with a SASE — as you already have been doing for the last 19 years.

  • Poets outside the U.S. should submit poems via the post, and include your e-mail address so we can reply.  If no e-mail address is included, the submission will be discarded without any notification to the sender.

  • The poems:

    • Please send no less than 5 and no more than 10 haiku, senryu or related poems (7 lines or less.)  Any submission of more than 10 poems will not be reviewed or returned.

    • There should be no more than 5 poems per 8 1/2" x 11" page. Do not send, for example, 5 poems on 5 separate sheets of paper. 5 poems go on one sheet.

    • Each page should be typed and have the name, address, and e-mail (if you have one) of the author in the top right corner.

  • Cover letters: It is highly recommended that poets submitting work for the first time include a very simple cover letter/ salutations.

  • SASEs: All submissions must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) that is a size #10 (4" x 9.5"). Please do not send huge or really tiny envelopes. The standard size #10 is required. 

  • No submission will be returned; accepted or rejected. No exceptions. Please make a copy of your submission for your own records if you like. Send only disposable manuscripts. If you do not want to follow these submission guidelines, please do not send anything.

  • If you do not agree with these rules, that's ok, just send your work somewhere else.

Other important information

  • Due to a large number of submissions, please submit only once a submission period which will posted on the home page.

  • No simultaneous, previously published material, and/or work that has "appeared" anywhere in the universe please for any reason. That means in newsletters, websites, e-zines, blogs, discussion groups, contests, programs, flyers, any thing you can possible think of. Even if it is printed somewhere and the editor of that publication doesn't consider it "published," WE DO. If it has "appeared in public" or been published, do not send it. If you have read the poem in public, it can be submitted as long as it did not "appear" in print.

Payment for accepted work

We are once again paying the contributors within the USA with a token payment--a specially made wooden nickel. (This payment can't be accepted for discounts or purchase of publications from bottle rockets press.)  Submissions without an SASE inside or outside the USA are ineligible. We wish we could pay contributors outside the USA, but we can't. US currency is worthless anyway and goats, sheep and rocks are to costly to mail. We also reserve the right to change the type of token payment or no payment at all.  This all depends on the financial condition of the publication. Our staff is considering pebbles or grains of sand as possible future alternatives.


bottle rockets does not assume liability for copyright infringement or failure to acknowledge previously published work. Rights revert to the author upon publication. bottle rockets reserves the right to post on this web page any accepted work.


some sample poems from previous issues:


black and white cookie
how we split
everything up


olive oil
the salad

Dorothy Coraggio


into the            stone soup

Scott Billington


home alone
i enter the crawl space
of a younger self

Robert Epstein


the perfect argument
in reverse

Robert Witmer


   just today
can't the lion
   eat the trainer?

Stephen Addiss


following its lead my elongated shadow

Tom Tico


"He loves me not"
she adds another petal
to the chalk flower

Johnette Downing


so simple
one hayfield
one harmonica

Lee Giesecke


all through
my early spring depression
the forsythia defiant

Fran Witham


kissing her long neck
her work day

Tyrone McDonald


joining he orgy
on the computer screen
a moth

David G. Lanoue


pillow talk you go first

Bob Lucky


my hummingbird
hovers here
between one breeze
and another

Edward J. Rielly


light from the late train
finally appears
melting my anger
am I still easy to please
as when I was a child

Tyrone McDonald


having been
a soldier

I get confused about
who the enemy is

Bob Lucky