Helen Ivory is now open for general submissions of poetry and prose until midnight 24th June. You can email her at submissions@inksweatandtears.co.uk.

Editing intern Kobi Essah Ayensuo is closed for all submissions. This includes those for their special feature on the theme of Pride.

You can submit reviews to publisher Kate Birch at enquiries@inksweatandtears.co.uk.

We are closed for submissions of word & image and filmpoems.

Please mark all submissions with your name in the subject line and indicate where applicable those which are for a specific feature.

Do please read the Submission Guidelines below. Note particularly the point about not submitting within six months of your work being accepted or three months of it not being accepted.

Helen, Kate & Kobi.

Please read these carefully, also please see the notes regarding GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Submission Guidelines

What to Send

Send your submission of, ideally, no more and no less than 4-6 pieces of poetry (or 1-2 short prose/flash fiction works) and include YOUR NAME in the subject line. [please cut and paste email address and add it to your address book – it’s a spam avoidance technique] We ONLY accept submissions by email.

While nothing is sacred – and we will consider ‘political/current affairs’ contributions – we do reserve the right to reject any submission we feel is deliberately offensive or actionable.

Sorry, we do not pay for submissions – we have no money.


Your submissions can be within the body of the email or as pasted into a single Word document. If you are sending a graphic, including haiga, then PDF and JPEG files are fine.

Due to the vagaries of WordPress, we are also asking for pdf or jpg submissions (as well as in doc format) of all concrete poetry. Please use a sans serif format. We use Didact Gothic on the site which can be downloaded for free but Trebuchet MS and other similar san serif fonts are also acceptable. Font size should be 10 pt. (We may ask you to adjust this as we are still working out the best way to feature concrete poetry.)

Please note the maximum word length we will publish is 750 words.

When it comes to Word + Image poems, please see our previously published work to check if your piece fits the criteria. Ekphrastic poetry does not count as Word + Image.


Filmpoems, if accepted, will be uploaded to our YouTube channel. These ideally need to be in MP4 video format according to YouTube guidelines. The poems may have been published in print or online before. We will also occasionally accept Filmpoems that have been published before.

About You

Please include a short biographical note about yourself in the THIRD PERSON, 30-to-40 words max.  You may include links to publications or your blog or your website. Max 2 links.

Once we have accepted your work, please do not send us edits or biography updates unless we have asked for them. This is very time-consuming and very difficult to keep track of.

Social Media

We also ask that you Like/Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or X if you use social media. If you have included an X or Instagram @username in your bio, we will automatically ‘mention’ it when we post about your work. However, we cannot guarantee this unless you include these details in your bio, although we will do the best we can.

Please let us know if you DO NOT want us to do any of this in regards to social media.


Please DO NOT submit work that includes copyright material (such as pictures) belonging to other people/third parties unless you can supply us with written authorisation by that person/third party.

As the author you retain full copyright in your work. By submitting a piece of prose or poetry to us, you are merely granting IS&T a non-exclusive right (or ‘bare licence’) to reproduce your work.

No Simultaneous Submissions, Please

No simultaneous submissions please (and that includes work also being submitted to competitions) if only because it causes us unnecessary kerfuffle when, having accepted a piece, the author then gets it accepted elsewhere and wants to unsubmit it to us – or else even asks us to delete from the webzine a piece we have already published.

Important: Please note that, because of the number of submissions we receive, we can no longer accept work that has been previously published or is about to be published elsewhere; this includes personal blogs and Facebook. If, after accepting or publishing a work on IS&T, we find it published elsewhere on an earlier date, we will remove it from our web site. (We would also be very grateful if you could keep from posting your works elsewhere after IS&T publication, at least until we have decided on our Pick of the Month shortlist for the relevant month.)
The ‘not previously published’ criteria does not apply to Filmpoems or work submitted for our National Poetry Day or 12 Days of Christmas features.


Please, if your work is accepted, allow at least six months to pass before you send us more work for consideration. This does not include Word & Image and Filmpoems which can be submitted more frequently. This also does not apply to work submitted for our National Poetry Day or 12 Days of Christmas features.

If your work is not accepted, please allow at least three months to pass.

And we ask you to be patient, there are more of you than there are us! We normally try to get back to you within ten weeks and it is usually much less. Very occasionally there is a three month waiting time between work being accepted, and it being published.



We have no resident reviewers but are pleased to accept unsolicited reviews for poetry and short story collections.  The guideline word-count for a full collection is 700 words, for a pamphlet, 500 words. All relevant submission guidelines from the list above also apply to review submissions. All reviews must be submitted by the reviewer directly.

We generally ask that poets or publishers find their own reviewers, someone who is a poet or critic but not family or a close friend. These will almost always form part of our ‘In Praise Of’ series.

Ledbury Poetry Critic and former IS&T editing intern Leah Jun Oh writes about this approach below.

Introducing ‘In Praise of’ and some basic guidelines for reviewing

Please do not send us reviews that have been published elsewhere, or will be in the future.



Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Ink Sweat & Tears…

Q. Do contributors receive any payment?
A. No, sorry – we wish we could, but we publish 365/6 days a year and are privately supported with no external funding.

Q. Is there any way of providing feedback on the pieces published on IS&T?

A. Unfortunately, due to the unpalatable helpings of Spam, we have had to remove the ‘add comments’ feature. We are on Facebook, Instagram or X though, so please redirect your comments there.

Q.Will IS&T review my book/pamphlet?
A. We have no in-house reviewers, but you are welcome to solicit reviews of your publication from experienced reviewers.  Please see the Reviews section at the bottom of this page for more information.


(General Data Protection Regulation) GDPR is an Privacy Law that came into effect on 25th May 2018 which we still adhere to despite no longer being a part of the EU.

Any organisation collecting, changing, transmitting, erasing, or otherwise using or storing personal data will need to comply with the GDPR.

By submitting to Ink Sweat & Tears, you allow us to contact you with regards to our acceptance or non-acceptance of your submission. If we do not choose to publish it, your contact details will be deleted (unless you have already agreed to remain on our Contacts list.) If your submission is accepted we will sent details of it and your email to our administrative address – inksweatandtears@aol.com – where these will only be used regarding that submission, for example, if you have been shortlisted for Pick of the Month or if we have to reschedule you.

At this point we may write you and ask if you want to be included on our permanent Contacts list. We will then need your explicit written consent to store and use your email and will only use it to circulate specific kinds of information.

(A) If, as a winner of, or shortlisted for, Pick of the Month, we are considering your poem as a Forward Prize Submission.

(B) with details of discounts or offers on our IS&T pamphlets and with news of our Pamphlet Commission Competition – less than once a month.

You may choose to opt out of (B) but be assured that all group emails will be sent BCC and others will not have access to your address. (The only people to have access to those details will be editor Helen Ivory and publisher Kate Birch.) If anyone gets in touch with us wishing to contact you we will always pass on their address to you and will never share your details with third parties.

You may ask to be removed from our Contacts list at any time.