For information on submitting artwork and photography, please CLICK HERE.
Submission enquiries BY EMAIL ONLY to the editor, Sharon Blackie, at info[at]earthlines[dot]org[dot]uk. We're sorry but we're unable to discuss submission ideas by telephone.
Please don’t attach large artwork/photography files to your email enquiry without asking us first! You may send written work as an attachment, but please note we can accept files in Microsoft Word (any document types) or PDF format only. (If we accept your work for publication, we’ll need Microsoft Word files, as we can convert them more easily for our typesetting/layout programmes.) We prefer double-spaced work in a simple font like Times New Roman but we're not too hung up on format. Please include a brief biography and mailing address with your submission. For work published in EarthLines, copyright of course remains with the author, but we request that you do not then re-publish the work for at least 3 months after it appears in EarthLines, and if you do re-publish, that you credit EarthLines.
Please also note that we’re looking for new, previously unpublished work (published neither online nor in print).
We're generally working at least a couple of issues in advance, especially for longer pieces. Please send in work in on a rolling basis; if we accept it for publication and the next issue is full, we'll just hold it over (with your agreement, of course) to the following available issue. It's our policy always to reply to submission queries within a maximum of two weeks (and usually much sooner).
Although we will gladly consider and include writing from elsewhere in the world, our main focus where possible will be on writing from the UK and Europe. We publish in English only.
We do receive a large number of submissions and only publish four issues a year, and so we can't possibly include all the work we receive in the magazine, no matter how well-written it may be. What we're usually doing, then, is making a choice based on maintaining a good balance of different kinds of writing and writers in our various issues. We don't any longer give reasons for not accepting work for publication; when we take the time to explain we do quite often receive unpleasant and even downright rude replies that take issue with our judgement. Although we continue to be surprised by it, apparently it isn't uncommon. After more than six years of this since we started publishing books at Two Ravens Press, we are beginning to lose the will to live! So we hope that you will accept a brief response if we aren't able to use your work, and respect both our judgement and the time that we've taken (unpaid) to read it and to reply to you.
EarthLines magazine is unique in the UK in its combination of full-colour, lavishly illustrated production and its focus on the highest quality writing about nature, place and the environment. However, we do not have either the public funding that enables literary magazines to exist, or the kind of large advertising incomes that sustain so many more commercial magazines. In which case, we're almost entirely dependent on reader support – both in buying the magazine, and in making donations. Although we are not looking to make a profit, we need to cover our costs. Until we have built up a strong and committed readership, it will undoubtedly be a financial struggle as we work to increase awareness of the magazine. And so we're looking, at least for the first few issues, for contributors who are willing to work with us without asking for a fee, to help us to get this exciting and worthwhile project off the ground. Similarly, we will be working on the magazine voluntarily with no pay. Assuming that the magazine is successful – i.e. we reach a readership level that can sustain print costs, overheads and payments to contributors – we hope to be able to pay small fees for major articles in future issues, but everything will depend on the level of subscriptions, advertising and donations that we can attract. At a minimum, all contributors will receive a couple of free copies of the magazine in which their work appears. This isn't a situation we like – we firmly believe that writers and artists should receive a reasonable fee for publication of their work – and we hope to be able to rectify it in future.
EarthLines editorial policy
Our focus is on writing which explores the relationship between people and the natural world, and encourages reconnection. We want to help forge a new literature that is truly responsive to, and that deeply and meaningfully engages with, the global challenges we face. Writing that doesn’t just acknowledge, but that actively embraces all the contradictions and discomforts inherent in our relationship with the natural world – those contradictions which surface in all of our genuine attempts to reconnect. We're not interested in feel-good or 'wellbeing'; we want grit.
EarthLines is neither a literary journal nor a commercial advertising-laden newsstand magazine; it is in shifting sands somewhere between the two. Although we are happy to publish academic essays, we are not an academic journal, and such essays will need to be relevant to the intelligent general reader, not just to specialists.
We welcome submissions from a wide range of contributors – not just professional writers. We believe that the clarity of our focus on writing that explores the relationship between people and the natural world and that encourages reconnection makes EarthLines unique; so does the inclusion of work by storytellers, artists, scientists, and others who live or work in ways that bring them close to the natural world.
We recognise that for many people, their connection with the natural world is something that they conceive of, at least in part, as a spiritual connection. We equally recognise that there are many people who are deeply connected to the natural world for whom even the word ‘spiritual’ is anathema. In recognition of these diverging perspectives, and to ensure that we keep our very clear focus on writing about nature, place and the environment, EarthLines will not contain articles that focus specifically on either spirituality or self-help and ‘wellbeing’; there are plenty of other magazines that do so (including, for example, Resurgence). We do, however, intend to respect the beliefs of all contributors to EarthLines and if an article should contain passing reference to such beliefs and practices then we believe that’s entirely appropriate. We’re striving for both breadth and inclusivity, and hope that both readers and contributors will approach the magazine in that spirit.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for submissions predominantly of nonfiction prose – essays, feature articles – from writers who are interested in working with us both to celebrate and to develop the field of writing about nature, place and the environment. We're looking for strong voices and for new forms. We're looking for essays, memoirs, travelogues ... and in the tradition we've long established at our publishing house Two Ravens Press, we're looking for bold and innovative writing that shows us new ways of looking at and being in the world.
We're not just looking to publish writers; we are also interested in highlighting the work of storytellers, ecopsychologists, scientists, artists and other professionals working in this area. But the emphasis will always be on high quality writing.
The specific kinds of writing we are looking for follow. If it doesn’t appear here, it doesn’t mean we won’t consider it; we don’t want to be too proscriptive. And it’s hard to cover every possible kind of contribution on a page like this. But it’s important to understand that all we can ever do is express possible interest; we can’t commission work, or guarantee to publish work in advance of seeing it in its final form.
Please note that, unless we specifically indicate below, we’re not hung up on word counts and don’t plan to publish to formulas. Sometimes an essay or article needs to be short; sometimes it needs to be longer. In general, articles of up to a maximum of 5,000 words will be considered, but obviously we'll have more space for shorter pieces of writing.
Our magazine is full-colour, and we want to make it a thing of beauty. All contributions will be illustrated. If you have your own illustrative material to accompany your work, or would like to suggest an appropriate artist who you know, we’ll happily talk about it.
Essays and creative prose
About nature, place, and the environment. About any aspect of the kind of writing we’re focusing on. About the work and lives of other nature writers, poets. Pieces of creative prose, scholarly articles or not so scholarly, academic essays or not so academic (but bear in mind we're not an academic or ecocritical journal. Work must appeal to the general intelligent reader). We want a variety! Above all, we want beautiful writing that expresses our connection with the natural world. We're not interested in work that is purely descriptive. Between 500 and 5000 words. (Shorter pieces are more likely to find space but again, we plan on a mixture.)
We’re especially interested in articles by/about people who live in wild places, close to and connected with the earth. We’d be interested in articles written by/about scientists and other professionals whose work leads them to connect with the natural world, either directly or indirectly. We’re interested in articles about ‘movements’ and groups that facilitate connection with the natural world. Between 1500 and 5000 words.
Regular feature: A Sense of Place
Short (up to 360 words) pieces of writing by readers about a place that had a special impact on them. Please CLICK HERE for full details.
… with well-known writers, artists or other workers in relevant fields.
Because there are many more outlets for publishing poetry than for prose writing of this kind in the UK, the magazine's overall focus in very much on prose. We do seem to have been inundated in poetry since we opened up submissions, and so we plan currently to include poetry by invitation only until we have magazine space available again.
We plan to publish very little fiction, but we’re not ruling it out. Please note that short fiction submissions must clearly relate to the focus and themes of the magazine (stories that just happen to be set in ‘the countryside’ or that happen to have wildlife in them don’t count!) If you’re wondering about the style of fiction we might be interested in, please check out the Two Ravens Press website, where you’ll find words like contemporary, innovative, risk-taking … We’ll consider anything from microfiction up to a max of 3000 words. We don’t rule out extracts from novels but the extracts really must be able to stand alone, and frankly, few do …
Stories and storytelling
Storytellers: if you do story-related work that fits into the subject matter of the magazine, please get in touch. We plan to feature an article on oral traditions in every issue.
Bookmark: in which writers and other professionals talk about a book of writing about the natural world that particularly influenced them. Please ask first rather than sending a piece in on spec. Max 750 words.
Courses, events, related items …
Books, films, exhibitions ... ONLY in the category of work relating to nature, the environment and place. Please check first before submitting a review. Max 750 words; shorter is fine.
If you have a suggestion for another kind of content, then please feel free to email us at info[at]earthlines[dot]org[dot]uk.