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 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 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 is unnecessary, annoying and time-consuming, and may result in your work being rejected. The Curlew has its own style of simple, elegant presentation, which you can see in any copy, so any formatting you do yourself will be changed anyway. If you think strange spacing and incorrect punctuation are necessary to your work, please submit elsewhere.

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.

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, 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). If you change your mind about a submission we hold, 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 your work has been accepted, please don't hassle us for details of when, how, what colour socks, etc: remember, The Curlew is a part-time, voluntary endeavour, and we have other things to do as well (like making a living). We will tell you anything there is to tell as soon as it's been decided.




Aran, Ireland – Lynn Parr
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:

The Curlew is a nature writing journal, not a consumer magazine. We deal in poetry 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...
• No demands about spacing/design/order/etc. The Curlew has its own style – and it's all about the content, anyway.
• Please don't hassle the Editor once you've been accepted. We receive hundreds of submissions, so those surplus to one issue will be held over to the next (or the next).
• Send a BRIEF biography (100-150 words). And please make it relevant to writing and your inspiration from nature. We don't need to know what dessert you liked as a child or how many children you have.

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.

We are currently accepting submissions for the Summer 2019 issue (deadline May 1) and later.


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

To comply with the new data protection law in the EU, please mention in your submission that you are happy for your email address to be withheld for future communication – if we wish to publish more of your work, for instance. It will never be passed to a third party. If you buy a copy, we will delete your address as soon as it's sent (unless you are a subscriber).

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).

Now stop reading and start writing!