Rockvale Writers’ Group

Rockvale Writers’ Group is comprised of three separate writing-related entities. Although all three entities share the name Rockvale, the same founder, and are linked via their websites, they operate separately. Think of them as three sisters within the same family – glad to be related, but with unique personalities and distinct purposes.

Rockvale Writers’ Colony, located in College Grove, TN, is a writers’ residency tucked in the beautiful rolling hills just south of Nashville.

Rockvale Review is an online poetry journal that publishes two issues a year. The journal presents 30-35 poems by established, emerging, and beginner poets and pairs each poem with a piece of art or photography chosen by a featured artist. Beginning with Issue Four, Rockvale Review intends to add audio files to showcase music composed in response to selected poems.

Rockvale Press, forthcoming in 2019, is a small, independent press publishing poetry chapbooks which are chosen through contest entry. Two to four winners will have their chapbook introduced each year. Because we are a Tennessee-based press and want to honor our home state and the writers in it, at least one of the chapbooks chosen will be from a Tennessee poet.


Please make sure you choose the correct Submission / Application form! There may be more than one open at the same time. 

We Publish Only Poetry. Please read the following guidelines carefully and in their entirety.

Disregarding our guidelines may result in your submission being disqualified.

We have TWO reading periods each year:

  • Jan 1 through March 31   (with an issue published in May)
  • July 1 through September 30  (with an issue published in November.)

Work submitted outside these windows will not be read. Right now, our issues are un-themed.

IMPORTANTWe read blind, so don’t put your name anywhere on your work or on the title of the file you attach. If we see a name, the submission will be disqualified and we won’t read it. You can add a cover letter and a 100-word, 3rd-person bio in the appropriate section on the form if you wish, but we are more interested in the quality of the work you send now than in your past achievements. If your work is accepted, we will contact you for your author’s bio.

ALSO IMPORTANT – Send 1-3 poems, no longer than 50 lines each, in a single document. Begin each poem on a new page. Submit only once per reading period. If your work is accepted, we ask that you wait a year before submitting again.

Don’t send song lyrics or greeting card verse, poems with explicit language, or poems that are overtly political, sexual, or discriminatory. It is unlikely that we will publish rhyming verse. It is unlikely that we will publish translations. 

Please take a peek at our past issues before you submit. They are available for free under the Issues tab, so there’s no reason not to! We hope this will aid you as you select the poems you send us. Plus, we think the poems in our issues are fantastic. Prepare to be inspired!

We like Times New Roman and 12-point font best, so if you want to make us happy, you’ll like that too. Also, we prefer .doc, .docx or PDF files.

Occasionally, we may ask for a minor edit in a poem we really believe in.

While we’d love to compensate you for your beautiful words, we can’t do that yet.

We only accept work via Submittable at the link below. Simultaneous submissions are perfectly OK, but please let us know if your work is accepted somewhere else by making a note in Submittable. Previously published work is not accepted.

We acquire first North American serial rights for work we publish. All rights revert to the author upon publication. Should your work be subsequently published in a chapbook or full collection, please mention that it appeared first in Rockvale Review.

Thank you for sending us your work. We appreciate the chance to read it. We generally respond within 12 weeks.

NEW FOR ISSUE FOUR: Ashley Trabue will be our Featured Artist. Ashley will pair each accepted poem with a piece of her art. The poem and art will be published together on our website and in the optional print magazine. Sherry Paige will be our Featured Composer. Sherry will choose 3-5 of our accepted poems and write a musical composition that responds to that poem. The audio file will be available with the chosen poem on our website.  

We accept applications year round and only through Submittable. A $35.00 application fee applies to all first time applicants.

If you are a previously accepted writer and it has been 12 months or more from your first application, you may apply under the “Returning Residents” tab and pay the application fee of $25.00. If you return for residency at RWC within 12 months of a previous residency, no application or application fee is required, but you will need to email the director at sandy.rockvale@gmail.com to discuss dates. If you have questions about this policy, please email and we can discuss your specific situation in detail.

Please Note Updated Policy: If you are interested in a 1-3 day mini-residency, no application is necessary. Please email the director sandy.rockvale@gmail.com to discuss dates.