The University of New Mexico Best Student Essays

To Submit

Best Student Essays accepts electronic submissions only.

This includes written essays, photo essays and cover art submissions. Students must submit electronic copies of their work online at Submittable. Read on for details and instructions. Outdated submission and nomination forms are not accepted.


(1) Carefully read the complete Submission Guidelines. 

(2) Have a UNM faculty member or instructor nominate your work by filling out the electronic Faculty Nomination Form (available on the right sidebar of this

(3) Go to to create a free account and submit your electronic submission.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all of his/her documents are submitted on time.


All submissions, excluding submissions for cover art consideration only, must be accompanied by a faculty nomination. Submissions without faculty nominations will not be considered for publication. Nomination forms are available on the right side of this page under "documents," which you can click on to download the form. (If you have problems with the forms, please email us at Each student is limited to two submissions per category (documents, photo essays, and cover submissions). Essays longer than 10-12 pages may be edited to accommodate space limitations. Upload your electronic submission to the Submittable site.

Faculty Nomination

Faculty nomination forms must be emailed directly from the faculty member to by the publication deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all of his/her documents are submitted on time.

All submissions, excluding those for cover art consideration only, require a faculty nomination, which consists of several sentences or more from any UNM professor or instructor regarding why the nominated piece is worthy of publication. Any UNM professor, lecturer, or graduate student instructor may serve as a faculty nominator. Students must provide their faculty nominators with the correct title of the essay(s) they submit.

Submission Categories

Nonfiction Submissions 

BSE publishes all genres of nonfiction, including essays, research, criticism, memoirs, foreign language with English translation, journalism, articles, and more. Students may submit nonfiction from current and past classes as well as their personal writing or work written at institutions other than UNM. Submissions may be no longer than twelve double-spaced pages. All foreign language submissions must include a complete English translation. The foreign language text plus the translation may not exceed twelve double-spaced pages.

All documents must be in .doc, .docs, .pdf or .rft format.

Photography and Art Submissions 

BSE welcomes photo essays. (Go here to learn about what a photo essay is.) Single photographs are considered for the magazine cover. Photographs must be a minimum of 300ppi with no more than 3000 pixels in the longest dimension. Photo essays must receive a faculty nomination. Submissions strictly for cover consideration, however, do not require a faculty nomination. BSE also welcomes two-dimensional art (paintings, drawings, digital art, prints, and more) and photographs of three-dimensional art (sculptures, models, jewelry, installation pieces, and more) for cover consideration. Visual submissions must be a minimum of 300ppi. A completed submission consists of the complete photo essay (accompanied by a faculty nomination form) or cover art image files and an electronic copy of an artist statement. Artist statements should be no longer than 300 words.

All image files must be in JPEG format. All text documents must be in .doc, .docx, .pdf or .rtf format.

Photo essays submitted for publication within the magazine must be accompanied by a faculty nomination form. Photography and artwork submitted strictly for cover art consideration do not need a faculty nomination. All photography and art submissions must be accompanied by an artist statement.

Hard copies of photography or artwork submissions are not required but may be requested for judging purposes if necessary.

Submitting on Submittable 

To submit, go to You will be asked to create a free account in order to upload your submission and submission form. After creating your account, you can upload your work and our staff will be notified of your submission. Submittable requires that you fill out the "Cover Letter" field. For your cover letter, please simply write a 1-3 sentence summary of your essay. Please fill out the form on submittable completely and with accurate information.

Updated September 28, 2016

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