Write for Garland

Submission policy

Garland welcomes submissions from writers.

Some things to keep in mind:


Our reader is someone who reflects and enjoys well-made objects. While thoughtful people, our readers are not exclusively academic. They are looking for an authentic voice, based on the writer’s personal knowledge and experience. They are particularly interested in learning something new about the maker, technique, place, culture and tradition.

Following this, Garland does not use footnotes or academic referencing. We do however encourage you to include a Further Reading section where there are references to follow up.


The length is variable depending on the subject-matter, but consider a range of 800-1200 words.

Images could be crisp and at least 1000px wide. If possible, they should be 300 dpi resolution. Images should be submitted separately from the text and with captions. Captions should be in the format: Artist, title, year, materials, dimensions (h x w x d), photo:. It is best if you put the caption as EXIF data inside the image. Or more simply, you can put the caption as the file name. Please do not submit a PDF as the only text file. A Word or Google document is ideal. The texts will be edited in Google document format and authors will be sent a link to their formatted article before it is made public. 

The titles of artworks are italicised and in title case. 

Please avoid footnotes. We want to allow for an uninterrupted flow of reading. You are welcome to have a Further Reading section at the end.

We use British English spelling and double quotation marks for quotes. 

Biographical details

As Garland seeks to locate work in its context, we also need to provide readers with information about the writers. Articles should be accompanied by two or three sentences about yourself, including where you live, what you do and any current or upcoming projects? We’re happy to include a link that helps promote your activity. Please also provide a portrait image, which we will render into a black and white square format. This can be your standard image, but you are also welcome to be a little creative and feature something of your world.

Submission process

Please submit your idea for a contribution as a paragraph to the editor at [email protected]

Articles are due on these dates:

  • 1 February
  • 1 May
  • 1 August
  • 1 November

At this stage. Garland is not in a position to pay for writing except our quarterly essay. We do offer a free annual subscription and good karma. We are also happy to work with you to provide letters of support if you’d like to apply for funds towards a writing project. Your article will be formatted initially in Google Docs for editing. Any major changes will be checked with you. If you want to make further changes, please do that directly on the Google Doc, which will retain work already done in formatting it for publication. The week before publication, you will receive a link to your article for final checking. Publication will involve making the link available on the website and featuring the article in one of the newsletters that will follow, accompanied by promotion on social media.

Writing quality: Be specific

If you are looking for stylistic guidance, there are few points that are working considering.

You are encouraged to focus as much as possible on the particular. This involves more “showing” the reader the material, rather than “telling” them an interpretation. Consider an ekphrastic style of writing. Avoid generalisation. It’s better to jump right into it at the beginning than start with something too airy. Though it sounds like a cliché, think of if as taking the reader on a journey, rather than giving a lecture.

Garland aims to be an enduring archive of thoughtful writing. Besides having a story to tell, the writing should be well-constructed. A shack thrown together from found materials will have an immediate charm, but it is unlikely to survive the storm. A well-constructed building, where each element is carefully chosen and connected, is more likely to endure.

Be confident in your voice. We encourage the use of first person. This is particularly important if you are writing about another culture. You need to identify where you are coming from and avoid the universal perspective. Consider carefully before sentences beginning “I think…” It is better to be direct with the reader.

Avoid superlatives like “incredible” or “amazing”. If you feel this about a subject, it is better to describe what causes this sensation. Show, rather than tell. 

While writing styles will vary greatly, it is useful to have a well-crafted base. This means paragraphs with sentences that work together as an integrated whole, without phrases added in an ad hoc manner. When in doubt, consider breaking sentences up so they retain their integrity. In this way, there is more chance of sustaining the reader’s attention. As we know, attention is a rare commodity these days.

Another way of holding the reader’s attention is to be concise. Academic writing has conditioned many of us to make everything explicit, similar to legal discourse. It’s worth considering if any of the text can be removed if doing so does not change the meaning. This also strengthens the writer’s voice by making it more direct. 

We have a collection of essays online that can offer inspiration here

Quarterly essay

The quarterly essay is a long-form article around 5,000 words. This essay focuses on a handmade object that evokes the world of its material origin, its maker and the lives of its custodians.The essays are structured around a narrative that involves a question or mystery. This narrative provides a thread that connects the essay together, though diversions are encouraged for reflections along the way about history, biography or philosophy. Consistent with other content in the magazine, a grounded writing is encouraged that includes a close view of the object itself. Quarterly essays are available for subscribers and part of the annual print compendium. Previous examples can be found here


Garland publishes around 20 articles in each issue. At least half of these relate to a particular place in the Indo-Pacific. There is also a related theme that helps interconnect the articles and engage broader discussion. You can find our latest Garland itinerary here, which outlines the upcoming themes.