Submissions

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 sexual references, graphic violence or explicit 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 be mainly about the natural world.

But we don't just want descriptions or factual journalism, or text right out of a TV wildlife show:  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 violence, even in nature. The Curlew is about celebrating the natural world and our relationship with it. Graphic descriptions of animals being trashed by vehicles or shredded by 'murderous' owls or foxes are not nature writing. Please be more original and thoughtful.

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

Please DO NOT add extra spaces into your text. Please consider the time it takes to hand-format each printed page of The Curlew (you can't just copy and paste). Any strange formatting (and pretentious punctuation) is unnecessary, annoying and time-consuming, and may result in your work being rejected. The Curlew has its own elegant design, which you can see in any copy, so any formatting you do yourself will be changed anyway.

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

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. 

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. If you change your mind about a submission we hold (please don't), please make it clear at least 2 months before publication to enable us to rejig the issue and replace it with something else.

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 accepted, please don't bombard us with new submissions – we like to give others a chance.

If you are uncertain of the best (and most polite) way to submit work to any publication, please see The Editor's FREE fun mini-course, Get Published in the CELTIC DREAMCATCHER ACADEMY  (http://dreamcatcher-academy.teachable.com). You will also find a more comprehensive course on nature writing, Writing the Wild.


Aran, Ireland – Lynn Parr

Thank you all for your submissions but the flood waters of poems are rising higher than our wellies. Consequently,  submissions are closed until further notice (probably after the Autumn issue in September). However, if you are under 16 and wish to submit for the Sanderlings section, please do so. And, of course, stand-alone illustrations and photographs are always needed. Thank you.

If you are published in The Curlew you will know that, not only are you in great global company, but you are helping to protect the natural world you care about.

Guidelines summarized in plain English below:

STUDY A COPY FIRST. Hopefully, style and requirements will then be obvious. (If not, read on...).
The Curlew is a nature writing journal, not a consumer magazine. We publish inspirational ideas expressed in poetic language – not journalism.
• No sexual references.
• No swear words.
• No graphic descriptions of violence or animal torture (this is not Game of Thrones). Yes, we know it happens in nature, but not in The Curlew...
• Please don't demand special treatment (extra space, extra-long titles, different design, free copies, etc).
• You cannot 'proof' your issue: The Curlew has its own simple, elegant design, allowing the content to shine through. You can see what your work will look like by reading any issue.
• Use short titles that will fit on one line (see a previous issue!).
• Send a few lines about yourself and your inspiration from nature (100-150 words). And please make it interesting and relevant. We don't need to know what dessert you like or how many children you have; we don't want long lists of publications you've been in since childhood. It will be CUT from the bottom as space demands, so put your important stuff at the top! The Curlew is about the work you have in that issue, and your inspiration for writing it, not what you've done in the past.

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

If you would like to submit work to The Curlew, please email your material as a WORD document to The Editor at info@the-curlew.com.

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). You are more likely to get in with an unusual subject – and evidence that you have read these guidelines!


Now stop reading and start writing!