‘a fine line’ quarterly magazine

a fine line is New Zealand Poetry Society’s quarterly magazine. Each issue contains feature articles, poetry book reviews, members’ poems, plus a seasonal featured poet.

We only publish poems written by our members, so we encourage you to join or renew your membership if you’d like to share your work. Non-members are welcome to send work for consideration for other sections of the magazine. 

One of the many ways we support NZ poets is to put forward every edition of the magazine for consideration in the annual Best New Zealand Poems.

Autumn cover Spring cover

Publication guidelines

We welcome contributions to the following sections of a fine line. If you are new to contributing your work, or have not read the magazine before, please view the latest edition from the archive. It may help give a clearer idea of our preferences.

Please also read our Style Sheet and edit your work accordingly before sending it in.

Feature Articles

  • We are keen to publish articles that encourage and strengthen readers’ and writers’ relationship with poetry. We would also like to see articles that can assist NZPS’s readership in practical areas, such as poetry publishing or poetry performance. NZPS members include beginner, emerging, and established poets, so the article needs to be of relevance to them. The subject matter is open.
  • Members’ contributions will have precedence.
  • Specifications: 750-1500 words, excluding any poetry quotations. Include a contributor’s bio of up to 30 words.

Featured Poet

  • By invitation only.

Poetry Book Reviews

  • We have a set list of books available that can be requested for review. Once a book has been received by a reviewer, the review should be completed within three months. Reviewers keep the book. We will also consider unsolicited reviews of other books, depending on space.  
  • Specifications: 500-1000 words, excluding quotations — although this is negotiable, depending on the nature of the book under review. Include a contributor’s bio of up to 30 words.


  • We have a set list of books available that can be requested for review. Once a book has been received by a reviewer, the review should be completed within three months. Micro-reviewers keep the book as payment. Micro-reviews are published on the NZPS website. Our micro-reviews can be read here.
  • Specifications: 250-500 words, excluding quotations — although this is negotiable, depending on the nature of the book under review. Include a contributor’s bio of up to 30 words.

Members’ Poems

  • NZPS members may submit poems. We occasionally publish the work of non-members, by invitation only. Poems may be unpublished or previously published.
  • Specifications: Each poem can be up to 40 lines. Send 3-4 poems as either 1 or more attachment(s), or pasted in the text of the email. If previously published, please include the name of the publication in which they appeared. Include a contributor’s bio of up to 30 words, and the renewal date of your NZPS financial membership.

Talk Poem

  • The purpose of the Talk Poem is to introduce readers to new poetry, and to assist readers to improve their understanding of poetry. In essence, it is one poet discussing a poem by another poet, either because it is a favourite of the writer (who will be explaining why), or because it has something to teach the reader about the craft of poetry.
  • Preference given to NZPS members, though non-members’ submissions are carefully considered, and selected, if of a good standard.
  • Specifications: Include the poem and name of poet, title and publisher of the book in which it appears (if applicable). Include a contributor’s bio of up to 30 words.

Letters to the Editor

  • Readers are invited to comment on magazine content, or any other subject of interest to lovers of poets and poetry.
  • Letter writers need not be members of the NZPS.
  • Specifications: Length is negotiable, although the letter may be abridged at the discretion of the Editor. Letters are accepted via email and post.

Regional Reports

  • This is an occasional column reporting on poetry events around the country. Writers may include poems from a reading or workshop they are reporting on, with the poet’s permission. Please be sure to check the accuracy of any poems used, including punctuation, line breaks, and spelling.
  • Reporters need not be members of the NZPS.

Events & Opportunities

  • Please note: As of May 2018, this section is now phased out of the magazine. We suggest you join us on our NZPS Facebook page, where we regularly post news of poetry opportunities, competitions, and journal deadlines. For Regular NZ Poetry Events, please visit this page.
  • Members are still welcome to send in items of interest for posting on Facebook and the website. Non-members can advertise events. Email NZPS for rates. NB: We are not GST registered.

How to submit * updated *

Once you have consulted our Style Sheet, please address your work to a fine line‘s editor Ivy Alvarez at editor@poetrysociety.org.nz

Submissions must include the following:

  • bio (strictly 30 words maximum)
  • renewal date of NZPS financial membership (for Members’ poems)
  • contact details (address and email address; phone number optional)

We prefer to receive your work via email. If emailing, please attach your document as either a Word Document or PDF, and mention any special formatting considerations in your email.

Postal contributions are also accepted through our PO Box:

New Zealand Poetry Society
PO Box 5283
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Authors retain all rights. However, we would appreciate crediting a fine line in any subsequent publication.

For any questions regarding reviewing for a fine line, please email Emma Shi at reviews@poetrysociety.org.nz

If you would like to review poetry books for a fine line, please email Emma with a sample of your work. For micro-reviews, please email Emma with your place of study as well as a sample.

2020 Deadlines and Themes

Autumn edition: deadline 10 January
Theme: Birds

Winter edition: deadline 30 April
Theme: Fruit

Spring edition: deadline 10 July
Theme: Shoes

Summer edition: deadline 10 October
Theme: TBA

Financial members of NZPS receive first notice of poetry themes upon receipt of the latest edition of a fine line. Join or renew, so you don’t miss out.

Payment to writers

Select contributions receive a small payment (NZ book token).

Poems $20 book token per poet

Featured Poet $40 book token for four poems

Articles $40 book token for articles

Reviews $20 to $40 book token for reviews

There is no payment for regional reports or Letters to the Editor.

Archive of a fine line

Kindly note that a fine line only becomes available in the archive three to four months after the current edition is distributed to NZPS’s financial members.

To receive your copy at the same time as distribution, please consider joining or renewing your membership.

Click here to view our archive of Featured Poets.


Autumn 2020 ♦  Winter 2020 ♦  Spring 2020 ♦  Summer 2020


Autumn 2019 ♦  Winter 2019 ♦  Spring 2019 ♦  Summer 2019


Autumn 2018  ♦ Winter 2018  ♦  Spring 2018 ♦  Summer 2018


February 2017  ♦  May 2017  ♦  August 2017  ♦  December 2017


April 2016 ♦  June 2016  ♦  September 2016  ♦  November 2016


April 2015  ♦  July 2015


January 2014  ♦  March 2014  ♦  May 2014  ♦  July 2014  ♦  December 2014


January 2013  ♦  March 2013 ♦  May 2013 ♦  July 2013 ♦  September 2013 ♦  November 2013


January 2012 ♦  March 2012 ♦  May 2012 ♦  July 2012 ♦  September 2012 ♦  November 2012


March 2011  ♦  May 2011 ♦  July 2011 ♦  September 2011 ♦  November 2011


January 2010  ♦  March 2010  ♦  May 2010 ♦  July 2010 ♦   September 2010 ♦  November 2010


January 2009  ♦  March 2009 ♦  May 2009 ♦  July 2009 ♦  September 2009 ♦  November 2009


January 2008  ♦  March 2008 ♦  May 2008 ♦  July 2008 ♦  September 2008 ♦  November 2008


January 2007   ♦  March 2007  ♦  May 2007  ♦  July 2007  ♦  September 2007  ♦  November 2007


February 2006  ♦  April 2006  ♦  June 2006  ♦  August 2006  ♦  November 2006


February 2005  ♦  March 2005   ♦  April 2005  ♦  May 2005  ♦  June 2005  ♦  July 2005  ♦  August 2005  ♦  September 2005  ♦  October 2005  ♦   November 2005


February 2004 ♦  March 2004 ♦  April 2004 ♦  May 2004 ♦  June 2004 ♦  July 2004  ♦  September 2004 ♦  October 2004 ♦  November 2004


July 2003 ♦  August 2003 ♦  September 2003 ♦  October 2003 ♦  November 2003