Tanka Studio Submission Guidelines

Note: This column was discontinued at the end of 2022. Our gratitude to editor Autumn Noelle Hall for editing this column.

Welcome to the Tanka Studio

A gathering place for members to discuss and demonstrate tanka craft.

Submissions are open to all members of the Tanka Society of America. If you’re not already a member, please see How to Join to participate. Selected poems appear three times a year in the “Tanka Studio” column, edited by Autumn Noelle Hall, published in the societys journal, Ribbons.

Visual Prompts

Each Tanka Studio column invites tanka inspired by a visual prompt, presented here.

For the Winter 2023 issue

(submissions due by December 31, 2022):

Some questions to get you started: What does this image say about the relationship between nature and humanity? In which direction is that relationship moving? What physical or archetypal roles do trees play in our outer and inner landscapes? How might we strike a balance between urbanization and the natural world? Meditate on any sensations or emotions and consider what message this image might have for you. Then show it to us in tanka.

Photograph by Alexander Abero.

For the Fall 2022 issue

(submissions due by August 31, 2022)

Some questions to get you started: How might this image speak to concepts such as land ownership, privilege, and class? Are there times when you have been excluded or when you have excluded others? Why? When might boundaries and exclusion be appropriate, such as in cases of bodily freedom, intellectual property, or personal privacy? Meditate on any associated sensations, smells, tastes, or sounds and consider what message this image might have for you. Then show it to us in tanka.

Photograph by Peggy Sue Zinn.

For the Spring/Summer 2022 issue

(submissions due by April 30, 2022)

Some questions to get you started: Whose footprint is this? What is happening in this moment? What led to it? What follows? What memory or feelings does the image evoke for you? What are its metaphorical implications? How might it relate to our world today? Meditate on any sensations, smells, tastes, sounds and consider what message this image might offer you. Then show it to us in a tanka.

Photograph by Jayalekshman SJ.


Members are invited to send one original, unpublished tanka on the assigned visual theme for each edition of the Tanka Studio column in Ribbons. Remember, the image is not intended to be an ekphrastic prompt—please do not just describe it. Instead, try to journey through and beyond it, allowing the image to carry you. Dive into it—seek to discover the story it has to tell you, and then ask yourself how that story relates to your own.

All variations on the tanka form will be considered; but authentic, inventive work that employs vivid imagery, tangible emotion and expansive dreaming room is most appreciated. Please revisit your poems with these qualities in mind to ensure you send your best work!

All submissions will receive an acknowledgement of receipt, and sixty to eighty of the best tanka will be curated in the next issue of The Tanka Studio—please await your issue of Ribbons to learn the status of your work. Any comments included with submissions may be considered in part or in full for publication in addition. Please send submissions to Autumn Noelle Hall at thetankastudio@gmail.com with the subject heading “Tanka Studio.”

Please include your full name as you wish it to appear and your full location (City, State/Province, Country) directly beneath your tanka in the body of your message. Do not send attachments.

In-hand submission deadlines are as follows:

    • April 30: Spring/Summer issue

    • August 31: Fall issue

    • December 31: Winter issue

Member’s Choice Tanka

The Tanka Studio column will continue the tradition of honoring one Member’s Choice Tanka, to be selected from the previous Tanka Studio column by the previous winner. All members whose work is included in that previous column will be eligible, though only one will be awarded the $25 Member’s Choice honorarium. The winner will be invited to select the next Member’s Choice tanka and two or three additional tanka for commendation, as well as to offer constructive comments on their selections for the next edition of the Tanka Studio column.