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St. David’s Day by Tanya McDonald

Open for submissions February 129 and August 131, 2024. Poems received outside of this submission period will not be read.

Submit between 510 unpublished haiku/senryu. I’m looking to publish the full spectrum of haiku/senryu, from the traditional to the experimental. All poems must be your own original work. Bilingual haiku are welcome (preferably translated by the author). Please submit only once per issue.

No previously published haiku/senryu. I acknowledge that every journal has different definitions of “published,” so here are mine: if a poem has been curated, I consider that to be published, so please don’t send it to Kingfisher. To me, curated means that it was selected by someone else for publication, such as in a journal (print or online), in a contest, or for an anthology. Furthermore, if a poem has appeared in a self-published chapbook, don’t send it to Kingfisher. If it has appeared as part of another poem, such as a haibun, haiga, or rengay, don’t send it to Kingfisher. If you’ve shared it on social media, that’s not curated, so it’s okay. If you’ve workshopped it in a writing group, that’s not curated, so it’s fine to submit. If you have any questions, please ask:

One of the reasons for this is that I nominate haiku and senryu from Kingfisher for awards (like the Touchstones) and anthologies (like the Red Moon Anthologies) and I don’t have the time to track down the original publishing credits for previously published poems. I also do not have space in Kingfisher to print previous publishing credits. And ultimately, it’s the editor’s prerogative to establish guidelines for submissions, and I want to be the first one to show your brilliant poems to the world.

Do you write haiku in another language? I would love to read your work with an English translation (preferably your own).

No simultaneous submissions. My goal is to keep the turn-around time between receiving submissions and notifying you of my decision as short as possible. You can help me with this by keeping good records of your submissions. If you find you’ve made a mistake, please notify me as soon as possible.

Please send your submissions to with the subject “Submission: (your name).” No attachments. No fancy fonts. Let your poems speak for themselves. If you feel that there’s something in your formatting that isn’t going to come across via email, please let me know. There is no need to include a lengthy cover letter, and I don’t need to know your publishing credentials, though I do enjoy brief, personal notes. Wondering how to address your submission? I’ll make it easy for you: Dear Tanya, or Dear Ms. McDonald are just fine.

Please include your name as you wish to see it in print, as well as your location. For example, “Tanya McDonald, Happy Valley, Oregon.” I include locations in the index.

Sorry, no payment or contributor copies. Subscriptions will be available through the website (PayPal, credit card), by personal check (made out to Tanya McDonald), or cash (U.S. funds only).

What I’m Looking for:

What I’m Less Keen on:

What you can expect from me:

Poems will be read in the order in which they are received and I respond to every submission, whether it’s an acceptance or a rejection. If you don’t hear back from me within about two weeks of sending your submission, please contact me. Email is not infallible. Nor am I. But I do want to read your submission, so don’t be afraid to follow up if two weeks pass with no response from me. I appreciate your patience.

A note on rejections:

There are many factors involved in selecting and not selecting poems for a journal. To give your poems the best chance possible, please make sure you follow the submission guidelines (for Kingfisher and every other journal to which you submit). Sometimes, a submission is full of decent poems, but none of them dazzled me. This doesn’t mean they’ve failed, only that other poems stood out more. Maybe it was due to the freshness of subject, or a particular turn of phrase, or the sound when I read it aloud, or any number of other factors. Likewise, maybe I didn’t select a poem because I’d just read one similar to it in Modern Haiku, or I’d already accepted a poem about petroglyphs for this issue, or because I’d read too many poems lately about skinny-dipping, or because it was cliché, or because I failed to understand it, or any number of other reasons.

Rejection isn’t fun, but don’t get discouraged. Patience, practice, and persistence. Sometimes my submissions get rejected, too. Just because I don’t accept your poems for Kingfisher doesn’t mean that another journal might not take them. In almost every journal I read, I see poems that I didn’t accept for Kingfisher and I’m happy that those poems have found a home. Sometimes it takes a while for a poem to find the right editor. Sometimes it takes revision, which is where trusted friends, haiku books, and workshops can help. And yes, sometimes you have to just let go of a poem and focus on others. Keep at it, read lots (see Resources, seek feedback, and keep writing!

I look forward to reading your poems!

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