Submission guidelines – archive

Each issue of Not Very Quiet began with quote and/or image as a prompt, a provocation, a reminder note, a tease, a dissonance, for your writing. Poets were invited to use all of it as a theme, an idea, a concept, a dilemma, a contradiction; or use part of it, or just one word.

We have retained this page of guidelines as part of the NVQ archive so that authors and publishers may refer to it in the future

Submission guidelines and policies

Please read these guidelines before you submit.

What we’re looking for

We seek to publish in the intersection of women and poetry. We are looking for writing that is questioning and exploratory – social commentary, exploration of places and people, the relation of these to the poets.

Just as the content of or provocation for writing may be fluid and responsive, so the form can be flexible even useful. Poets write and experiment with many different poetic forms; so, Not Very Quiet will accept a wide variety of forms.

Our first rule is that the words and the white space on the page convey meaning and emphasis. We are looking for poetry that communicates. We do not want poetry that is obfuscative or impenetrable.


What forms of poetry do we accept for Not Very Quiet? We are open to all forms including:

  • Page poetry (including that which plays with space and line)
  • Found poetry
  • Ekphrastic (responsive to other art forms)
  • Prose poetry
  • Landay
  • Tanka and other short form poetry including senryu, kyoka, haiku
  • Haibun and tanka prose
  • Lyric
  • Formal rhymed forms
  • Song lyrics
  • Performance poetry
  • Speculative poetry
  • Free verse

If you are writing in response to an art work you must fully acknowledge the piece and the artist.

If you are creating from ‘found poetry’ which may include text from a variety of sources such as: washing machine instructions, newspaper articles, advertising, etc then you must fully acknowledge the source. You must have acquired all permissions, where relevant, to that sentence.

If your found text is a poem then the correct term for this is a ‘cento’ you must fully acknowledge the source (poet, poem, lines, publication details).


Your poems should be shorter than you first thought. They should be finely edited so every excess word, phrase, stanza is deleted. Shorter is better.

  • We will accept work from a haiku to a prose poem.
  • Poems should be max 32 lines at 1.5 spacing.
  • Prose poems should be max 250–300 words.
  • We can accommodate a line length of 84 characters (including spaces).  Longer lines will wrap automatically.
  • The display space of our pages is close to A5 – if you want to ensure that it will fit properly, use an A5 page in Word with 12 point sans serif type.

Send one piece for us to read in each submission period. No more please.

Note: although we have a strong preference for the length indicated above, we reserve the right to select longer pieces on occasion.


English – we accept poetry in all Englishes and will keep US, UK and Australian spellings as submitted by the poet.

We do not publish poetry with pornographic descriptions of sex or violence; or poetry that vilifies or demeans anyone.

Legal stuff

Blind submission process

We review and select submissions for publications using a ‘blind’ selection process. This means that you should not put your name anywhere in the file you upload – not in the text itself, not in the filename.

Originality and copyright

In submitting to Not Very Quiet you are guaranteeing that your submitted work is original, unpublished (anywhere, anytime, anyhow) and not under consideration elsewhere.


We will notify authors of acceptance of their work(s) for publication within a few weeks of the closing date and request that authors reply with a formal agreement to our terms and conditions.

The editors’ selection is final. NVQ does not provide authors with feedback or critical review.

You will be asked to agree to NVQ’s terms and conditions via Submittable.

Terms and conditions of publication

Not Very Quiet seeks online publication rights in perpetuity. We request that authors acknowledge Not Very Quiet in any subsequent publications (e.g. First published in Not Very Quiet, Month Year,


We can’t pay for poems we accept at the moment but we hope that this may change.


We cannot accept poetry from poets under 18 years old.

Your bio blurb


Submissions should include a short biographical statement (approximately 50 words).

Reference style in bio

If your Bio includes references to your previous publications please use the following styles.

  • For a collection: Collection Title (Publisher Name year). For example, Who Sleeps at Night? (Ginninderra Press 2017).
  • For a single poem in a book or journal: ‘Poem title’, Book or Journal Title (Publisher Name year). For example, ‘Leavetaking’, Black Tulips (Recent Work Press 2017).

Note that we may make minor copy edits to the bio notes.

Page proofs

We provide PDF page proofs to authors about a week before the scheduled publication date. Once an issue is published, we can correct any errors that may have slipped through.


We will make every effort to maintain the formatting you indicate in your submission, including:

  • caps (or lack thereof) in the title and/or text
  • indented paragraphs (stanzas)
  • centred paragraphs or right-aligned paragraphs
  • italics and bold

BUT, we are limited by the styles available through the website software. Our website cannot do extra spaces between words or different indents between lines. We can control the indentations of stanzas.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that we do not have the same level of control that print on paper affords.

PAGE SIZE / PRINT AREA  (i.e. the text display area) on our website is small – similar to A5 or chapbook with 12 point type. Do not set out your poem on A4 with the expectation that long lines will fit. They won’t. They will wrap awkwardly.

Special characters

  • Most special characters can be reproduced in the text of a poem.
  • Special characters cannot be reproduced in the title field.

Privacy Statement

Email: If you contact us and provide your email and any other personal information, we will only use that information to respond to your query.

Submissions: We use Submittable to manage submissions. We will only use  the information provided to us through Submittable for the purpose of publishing our journal. See Submittable Privacy Policy. You may also wish to view Submittable’s Terms and Conditions.

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