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.
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.
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.
Now stop reading and start writing!