Submissions Guidelines

All work should be previously unpublished, unless it has appeared only on a personal website. If it has, please let us know. We require first rights for publishing work in Curator publications, as well as the right to publish in other publications by the Curator in future, should we decide to do so. The author retains the copyright and can publish elsewhere at any time following the first publication of the work by the Curator. We accept multiple and simultaneous submissions.

All Submissions

Submissions (with the sole exception of story submissions) should be emailed to with the subject “Weekly Poem Submission,” “Essay Submission,” or “Leaf Submission” as applies. Attach a profile picture and include a one-sentence description of yourself.

Note: If your email bounces for some reason, you can send submissions through the Contact page. Be sure to let us know what went wrong with the email.

When to Submit

You can submit to the Curator year-round. We read weekly poem submissions throughout the year, and you should hear back from us in around two months from submitting. For the Leaf, we begin reading submissions in February, and our deadline for Leaf submissions is March 31st of that same year. You should hear from us by June of that year.

Poetry Submissions Guidelines

We publish poems year-round as Weekly Poems or annually in the Leaf. Please specify which you are submitting to.

Poems are accepted based on their excellence in both form and content, and always at the discretion of the editors. We love both rhymed and free verse. Poems should display poetic devices such as metaphor and imagery, and show the reader something fresh, deep, or delightful.

Story Submissions Guidelines

We publish stories year-round through Nettlesome and annually in the Leaf. We accept both fiction and creative nonfiction. Stories for either Nettlesome or Leaf should be submitted through the Nettlesome submissions page, where more guidelines can be found.

Essay Submissions Guidelines

We accept essays that have to do with literature: close readings of poetry, book reviews, opinions on literature, etc., are all welcome. We will also certainly consider essays that do not fall under these categories.

Visual Art Submissions Guidelines (Important!)

  • We print the Leaf in color. Drawings, photography, and other art forms are welcome.
  • Do not downsize the image files that you send to us. We need the full resolution.
  • Photography should be in portrait orientation. It is also possible for us to use photos that have plenty of empty space for text overlay (see previous years of Leaf for examples).
  • Artworks:
    • Our book’s page sizes limit the kind of art and photography that we can use. We can usually use portrait-oriented images easily. Landscape images can work if their visual interest is not primarily in the center (the crease of the book is there). We use artworks of other sizes as objects on a page. So if your art can be placed in the middle of a white page without unsightly edges, that works too. For example, if you have a drawing of a boot, we can use it as long as part of the boot isn’t cut off in your drawing.
    • Send the whole artwork. No cut off edges, please!
    • Take a high-quality photo or scan of your art.