Black Warrior Review reads general fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions from December 1 – March 1 and June 1 – September 1. We are currently only open for graphic art and translation submissions, these categories are free to submit to.  Submissions are accepted through Submittable at There is a $3 submission fee for our general categories. We use these fees to pay contributors.

If Submittable is not accessible to you, please email for further instructions.

Otherwise, email submissions will not be considered. BWR pays a one-year subscription and a nominal lump-sum fee for all works published. Rights revert to author upon publication; please credit Black Warrior Review with first publication if the work is republished elsewhere. We encourage you to read Black Warrior Review before submitting. Sample issues are available for $12; one-year subscriptions for $20.


The average response time for submissions is between 1 and 6 months. If you have not received a response after 6 months, please check on the status of your submission in Submittable. If you encounter any problems, email us at

Please wait one month after receiving a response to submit again.

We do not consider previously published work.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Please tell us if it is a simultaneous submission, and notify us immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.

Please do not mix genres in the same submission. Our online issue is currently an exception to this rule.

Past contributors and contest winners, please wait three years from the date of your publication to resubmit work.

Past contributors and contest winners to the print journal may submit after waiting only one year to the online journal. Past contributors to the online journal should also wait a year before submitting to the print journal. We view these journals as separate creatures, having meaningful conversations late into the night.

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators currently or formerly (within four years) affiliated with the University of Alabama are ineligible for consideration or publication.

We especially strive to magnify voices that are traditionally and systemically silenced. Writers of color, queer and trans writers, disabled writers, immigrant writers, fat writers and femmes: you are welcome and wanted here.


We are looking for whatever it is that you consider a story. Everyone thinks of “story” differently, so show us your difference: your forms and variations, your puzzle pieces and messy images. Your deconstructions of narrative. Your language as only you could write it. We want the weird stuff, the stuff that made you feel strange when you wrote it. We want to feel strange, too. Most of all, surprise us with the story, whatever it happens to be, that we didn’t know we needed to read.

We prefer work under 5,000 words but will read up to 7,000 words; please send one piece at a time. We also accept flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words); please include no more than three flash pieces in a single submission.


We crave nonfiction that challenges what we know about language, syntax, and voice. Teach us new truths and old truths newly told. We want writing that maps a geography of empathy and bad behavior. Work that can demolish walls. Give us your alchemies and innovations, the formed and formless. We love chimeras here, appreciate hybridity and fracture. We value what laughs and blurs, weeps and bubbles over. Reach a hand from the page toward our fingers or throats. We dare you.

We ask that nonfiction works are no longer than 7,000 words. Please query for longer works. We do not usually accept academic articles.


In poetry, risk is a virtue. We seek poems that challenge the definition of the word poem, poems that cast a suspicious eye on authorship and put the I under a microscope. We value slime, roaches, leaks, and seepage. Gimmick is not a dirty word, and while dirty is the best word, we actually want the worst words in the worst order.

We love and hate poetic forms. We love and hate ambivalence. Unbridled joy is a form of resistance, so send us your calls for impeachment, your erasures, your blends of text and image, your hybrids and your monsters.

Please send up to five poems, with a maximum submission length of 10 pages. Poems should be submitted in one document, with the titles separated by commas in the “Submission Title” field. You may abbreviate the titles if they do not fit. Please query for poems longer than ten pages.


Although we usually solicit one featured artist per issue, we do welcome submissions of striking visual narratives (think: graphic novel or memoir in short form). We are looking to publish one or two graphic essays/stories/poems, or pieces of sequential art per issue.  

We publish graphic writing in grayscale. Submit in .jpg, .tiff, or .pdf format.