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All work should be previously unpublished, unless it has appeared only on a personal website.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 exception of story submissions) may 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.

You can also use this form to submit your work:

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.

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.

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.

We publish essays on our blog. 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.

We publish visual art in the Leaf.


  • Drawings, paintings, photography, and other art forms are welcome.
  • We do publish some portraits, but we tend not to publish as many of them. See our reasoning process in the next point.
  • We are especially looking for art that pairs well with poetry, but doesn’t illustrate it. In poetry, we look for poems that convey an (often indefinable) emotion rather than explaining what is going on, and that’s (kinda) what we look for in art as well.
  • We suggest reading some poems on our Weekly Poems list and asking yourself, “Would my art pair well with a poem in this style?” If so, chances are that it will pair well with the Leaf.
  • If you’re creating an artwork especially for the Leaf, you might consider finding a Weekly Poem that you resonate with, creating an artwork based on the aesthetic of that poem, and submitting that artwork.


  • We print the Leaf in color.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Take a high-quality photo or scan of your art. Do not downsize the image files that you send to us. We need the full resolution.
  • Send the whole artwork. No cut off edges, please!