The best way to know what we publish is to buy a copy and read it!

We publish original poems (no more than 100 lines), short stories (no graphic violence or language, please; we have younger readers), and creative non-fiction (no interviews or journalism), both up to 2,000 words. We also use illustrations, drawings, paintings and photographs in black and white. 

All work must be original.

All work must bear some relationship to the natural world. But we don't just want descriptions or factual journalism: we want poetic language, beautiful imagery; writing that makes the heart soar.

Please do not submit work with sexual references, graphic violence or swearing, since The Curlew is a family publication. Any such work, if not amended with your permission, will be rejected.

We do not want work describing hunting, culling or the violence in nature. The Curlew is about celebrating the natural world and our relationship with it. Likewise, there are plenty of story themes out there that don't end in death! Try to be different. (And please, no more 'murderous' owls or foxes – we have herds of them galloping into the night...).

We don't care whether or not you have paper qualifications; we don't care if you've never been published before. It's all about the work. We just want high-quality material that sings.

Previously published material is OK as long as you, the author, hold the copyright  – we make use of One-time Rights for a specific issue – the contents cannot be read online. You are free to publish your pieces elsewhere afterwards.

if you would like some guidance on what nature writing is all about, why not sign up for our correspondence course, complete with personalized tuition?

There is no payment for contributors since The Curlew is a volunteer, non-profit venture, supporting conservation projects. Contributors receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears, and the option to buy more at a reduced rate. And you will know that, if you have been published in The Curlew, not only are you in great global company, but you are helping to protect the natural world you care about.

Please note: If you submit your work to
The Curlew and it is accepted, we will assume you agree with the terms of publication stated on this page.

Aran, Ireland – Lynn Parr
The Curlew is published four times a year, according to the quality of content, not a modern tyranny of schedules and deadlines driven by advertising. It will be ready when it's ready.

However, though we call it seasonal among ourselves, each copy is a complete, unique entity. It can be enjoyed at any time of year (therefore, don't be constrained by seasonal relevance).

You can send submissions at any time, but with your permission we will hold on to them until required – each issue is constructed organically to form a perfect whole (and we can't use everything we are sent, even though we'd like to).

We are currently accepting submissions for the Winter 2018 issue (deadline November 15) and later.

Please be patient for a response, as we have a lot of submissions to read and would like some time to do our own writing. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you would like to submit work to The Curlew, please email your material to The Editor at We will need a brief paragraph about yourself, your inspirations, and your general location.

To comply with the new data protection law in the UK, please mention in your submission that you are happy for your contact details to be withheld for future communication – if we wish to publish more of your work, for instance. They will never be passed to a third party.

If you are not selected for publication this time, please don't be downhearted or offended – it may just be that your piece does not fit in with the others planned for forthcoming issues (certain themes and species crop up much more than others – see paragraph 4...).

Now stop reading and start writing!