Each year, we read and evaluate hundreds of submissions before we decide what we will publish—we are, after all, looking for the best creative work that the undergraduates of CU Boulder can offer. While Walkabout doesn't look for a specific theme in the work that we accept, we do tend to select pieces that showcase an outstanding quality of craft and content. If you'd like to get a better understanding of the work that we admire, you can check out our  Featured    tab to see some of the editors' favorite picks from past editions. You can also use our  Editions   tab to read full-length versions  of the journal from multiple years.

Below are some of the criteria that we may consider when we evaluate work.  Please feel free to read it over and  contact us  with any questions you might have.




What we do like: unique, intelligent writing that shows and doesn’t tell.  Prose that is appropriately paced, with   interesting plot-arcs and well-developed characters. Prose that is not written solely for the author's sake, but also for the purpose of inspiring some response in the reader.

What we don't like: misplaced, fluffy, or overly-embellished writing. Writing that aspires to be complex or abstract, but comes off as disingenuine or pretentious instead. Writing that simply imitates or references other authors without  going beyond their work or establishing something new. Writing that is sentimental, but  doesn't seem to have a purpose and doesn't make the reader feel empathetic. Writing that is not meticulously proofread.

Questions we ask: Is the dialogue natural, and does it progress character development or  move the story along? Does the piece show a clear and intriguing voice  or style? Is the length appropriate for the piece?  Does the writing lean too much on good content while lacking good construction, or vice-versa? How much work would this piece, which is already good, need to become  great? Does the writing stand apart from the other pieces we've received?  Do I care about what has been written?  Am I going to think about it after I'm done reading it? Will I  ever want to read it again? 


Poetry with personal relevance: We welcome openness surrounding individual experiences, issues and thoughts.  

Poetry between half a page and two pages: However feel free to send a collection of shorter poems, or one long poem! 

Poetry free of offensive suggestions or language: Walkabout does not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise exclusionary themes.  Language and themes will be deemed offensive or appropriate by our editors.  

Uniqueness! We hope to see personal expression through vivid or thoughtful language and/or use of literary devices, such as simile, metaphor or creative enjambment.  As per university policy, Walkabout cannot accept any plagiarized submissions.  

Sculpture & Ceramics:  We want to see  originality,  good craftsmanship, a powerful concept, and an aesthetically pleasing end-product.  We also need a good photograph of the piece.

Printmaking:  The best  pieces show good registration (proper alignment), clean paper and borders, interesting concepts, and some level of complexity in the design. We also need a good photograph or scan of the piece.

Photography:  Publication-worthy photographs typically show clear evidence of  mindful  composition, balanced colors, unique concepts, careful lighting, and high-quality resolution.

Painting & Drawing:  Outstanding works in this category are generally identifiable by their  imaginative content, innovative design, good line quality, and some attention to color theory. We also need a good photograph or scan of the piece.

Graphic Design: Pieces of this subset should demonstrate good   editing, originality, and cohesion. Beyond that, all aspects of  the graphic must be true to owner and  properly appropriated. 

Textiles:  These pieces  display  good craftsmanship and movement, are obviously original in their content, and are properly and cleanly assembled.  We also need a good photograph of the piece.