Submissions Guide

We aim to publish the best in new poetry and poetry translations, alongside articles, debate, comment and reviews of recent poetry publications.

We publish new and established writers, and are proud to have discovered many new voices.

All poems are considered on merit. We welcome unpublished and unsubmitted poems, translations of poems, articles and debate on poetry covering a wide variety of topics and with different writing styles.

Please read this guide to get the best out of submitting your work to Acumen.

Preparing your submisson

Please do take a look at Acumen. You can see examples of our content on these web-pages, or you can order a copy of Acumen, take out a subscription, or ask for a subscription or copy as a birthday or other present. Knowing the sorts of work we take will help you choose which of your poems or prose are most likely to appeal to Acumen readers. Please do not send short stories or novels, we do not take those.

Submission process

We are trialling a new process whereby submissions to Acumen are collected and collated by Google Forms. If you can, please use this method (you will need to be signed in to your google account). Alternatively, you can also make your submission by email or by post (see below).

We do not run submission windows; so you can submit at any time when you think your work is the best you can get it, and you do not want to change it.


  • Submit no more than 6 poems (fewer if they are long) or one essay/article or letter in one Word file or pdf.
  • Include your name, address and contact details (email, phone no) in the footnote of every page.
  • Name your upload file with your FirstName Surname.
  • Indicate if you are submitting for the young poets pages on the website
  • Do not make a simultaneous submission (i.e. work that is submitted, published or held for publication elsewhere) to Acumen. The submitted work should be unpublished in any form (including on the internet, facebook, twitter or other, or in a competition booklet) and not submitted elsewhere. Please confirm this in your submission. Please also do not submit your work elsewhere until you hear back from us.
  • Submit no more frequently than once every four to five months, and do not submit again while we are considering your work or it is in the shortlist. If you have recently been published please leave a gap of at least one issue before submitting again.

What happens after your submission

  • The editor aims to read all submissions, usually several times, within 8-10 weeks of receipt.
  • If your work is not shortlisted we will reply/return the poems/article.
  • Unfortunately due to the large volume of poems and essays we receive we are unable to provide individual appraisal.
  • If your work is shortlisted, it enters the shortlist for the next issue of Acumen. The final poems/articles to be included in the issue will be chosen from the shortlist about two months before the issue is released. So, for example, the September issue will be finalised towards the end of July, the January issue towards the end of October, and the May issue towards the end of March.
  • This means that if your work is accepted it will be published in the next issue of Acumen.
  • Page proofs of accepted poems/articles will be sent with notice of the acceptance while the issue is being prepared for authors to check.
  • We cannot pay for published poems or articles, but we can give you a free copy of the magazine when your poem or article is published. This is a PDF for non-subscribers due to postage costs.
  • We receive thousands of poems and many more good poems and articles than we can publish, and so don’t be discouraged if we have not chosen your work on this occasion. You can find lists of poetry magazines for example at the Poetry Library or the Poetry Kit.
  • Once the shortlist is overfull and we are starting to select poems from it for the next Acumen, submissions not yet reviewed are considered for the subsequent Acumen.

Alternative methods of submission

You can also make your submission by email or by post (see below).

Submitting by email

  • Please send up to 6 poems, or one essay, in ONE file, as a word or text file.
  • Please provide a brief covering email confirming that this is not a simultaneous submission and is intended for Acumen. Failure to provide this cover email may mean your work is not considered, as we have discovered some poets emailing submissions at the same time to many magazines.
  • Please ensure your name, address and email are included in the file as above.
  • Please name your word file with your FirstName Surname.
  • Send your submission, with the brief covering email, to:
  • We will let you know if any of your poems are included in the shortlist.
  • If you have not heard from us after 12 weeks please do get in touch, as we have found that unfortunately sometimes emails end up in the junk mail and we will always endeavour to let you know if any poems are in the shortlist or not.

Submitting by post

  • Please send up to 6 poems, or one essay, to
    Danielle Hope, Editor, Acumen,
    4 Thornhill Bridge Wharf,
    Caledonian Rd,
    London, N1 0RU.
  • Please ensure that you have sufficient postage for your letter, and include a Stamped self-Addressed Envelope (SAE) with sufficient postage for a reply, and for return of your poems if required. If you wish to know if a poem is held in the shortlist, please send two SAEs.
  • Submissions with insufficient postage on receipt or no SAE will not be considered further and not be replied to even, if you provide an email address for reply.
  • If you would like early notice if any of your poems are included in the shortlist, and want to know which ones are/are not in the shortlist, please include an additional SAE. This SAE will be returned to you if not needed.
  • Please do get in touch if you have not heard after four months, as that should be the longest time that your poems could be held in the shortlist before you are notified of the outcome. Unfortunately, mail sometimes goes astray.