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The Curator

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What we’re looking for: objects + meaning
The Curator explores the meaning and matters of the heart and spirit reflected in cultural objects, experiences, and the arts.

We publish at least one piece of prose (including creative nonfiction essays, reviews and interviews) and one poem each week.

Thematically, we curate writing about art intersecting with humanity. Here’s what interests us:

  • Essays that contemplate the stories behind everyday objects;
  • coverage of artists and their artworks with personal reflection and/or cultural commentary;
  • Photo essays and travelogues;
  • personalized reviews (though because of our schedule, we’re not usually looking for time-sensitive reviews);
  • intimate artist interviews;
  • cultural artworks, relics, artifacts, and personal objects of value;
  • pieces that answer the questions, what objects will outlast us? Which cultural relics will continue to move humans of future generations? What past works of art, objects, and artifacts continue to make us feel something today?
  • or philosophizing on cultural kitsch(we're suckers for well-written, historically based nostalgia pieces).

Aesthetically, we desire to showcase a diverse range of voices, artforms, and styles, but we do not accept academic essays. We do publish personal essays, interviews, reviews, reported stories, and memoir with a tie to an artwork, piece of music, or an everyday object. If there is meaning to be had in this world, our writers will find it.

In other words, as Marianne Moore put it in her poem “When I Buy Pictures”:

of whatever sort [the picture is] is,
it must be “lit with piercing glances into the life of things”;
it must acknowledge the spiritual forces which have made it.

Culture at large, or art, or writing, all are material manifestations of the workings of the inner life and of the spirit of the times (the zeitgeist). A pitch or submission should, on some level, address deeper questions within ourselves and our society.

Because we explore the meaning we find in artistic and everyday objects, we’re open to writing that incorporates spiritual elements. We welcome writers from all backgrounds to share their work with us.

Lists of Books We Can't Stop Thinking About Free

Open

What We're Looking For

Us writers are big readers. As a way of continuing to expand our personal libraries, we publish occasional collections of 5-7 books grouped by theme. We're interested in featuring general market books--memoir, graphic narrative works, essay collections, short stories, novels, poetry collections... we want to read it all.

Guidelines

Each list begins with a short introduction to get us into the theme (say, "5 Books that Celebrate Black Scientists," "5 Novels of Family Dramas," "Five Cookbooks that Double as Memoirs," or "Five Poetry Collections About Living with Disabilities"), a list of the books with title and author as a headline, and below each selection, 100-200 words to briefly describing each. Make the list catchy, uniquely themed, and make us want to spend our Saturday nights pouring over your picks.

Nonfiction & Multimedia Free

Open

Call for Submissions and Pitches
We’re honored you’d send us your work, and we want to respect your time and talents. We’re interested in original works, not reprints. Completed essays should run between 800 and 2,000 words, though we're open to considering longer pieces. Sadly, we cannot pay writers at this time.

Here’s what you can expect when you send your words our way:

For nonfiction, we prefer to consider pitches over fully-formed drafts, but we’ll read both. Expect to be edited heavily, regardless, as our editing process is collaborative and thorough. (Check out our guide to pitching prose.)

If you send us a pitch, please send 150-250 words describing:

  • Your angle — what will your piece say? Give us a clear thesis that explains the object you want to explore and why it matters.
  • Your form and deadline — is it an essay, review, criticism, or an interview? How many words do you expect to write? When do you expect it to be complete?
  • Your background — what makes you the right person to cover this? You can include links to previously published work, if helpful, though prior bylines are not a requirement for us to consider your work for publication. (In fact, we enjoy working with new and emerging writers.)

You’ll hear back from us within about a month. If we accept your pitch, we’ll:

  • ask for a draft (send us a google doc, or if you must, .doc or .docx, double-spaced, and as close to AP style as you can get it),
  • offer any relevant guidance from the section editor over google docs,
  • set a mutually agreeable timeline to publication,
  • ask for a short bio, headshot, and your social media handles.

Poetry

Temp Closed

Poetry
We’re interested in craft and poems that make us want to read them again. We aim to publish a new poem every Thursday morning.

Guidelines:

  • 3 poems maximum
  • All poems should go into one document (acceptable file types: .doc .docx .rtf or .pdf)
  • Email subject line: “Poetry submission”
  • Simultaneous submissions are ok; let us know asap if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  • We do not accept previously published poems.