2020 Contest Submissions Free for Black Writers

Jul 28, 2020News

Black Warrior Review stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Black writers, and all efforts to end a culture of white supremacy. We greatly value the work of our Black contributors and are always seeking an even higher volume of work from Black writers. We also recognize that words of solidarity and support are not enough and that action speaks louder than words. In an effort to do our part, we have gathered donations to launch an effort where contest submissions for up to 400 Black writers are now 100% free. This is not a one-off initiative, but rather a sustained effort that will be in effect this year, next year, the year after that—until the collapse of civilization. This is part of a much larger effort/wish of the BWR staff to do away with contest fees, but an undertaking such as this has to start somewhere, and in this pivotal moment this is our focus. We also recognize that this effort alone is not enough, and are continuing to prioritize ways in which we can make our journal an equitable place where all Writers of Color feel welcome and supported.

Contest winners in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction will receive $1,000 each and publication in our Spring issue. The winner in Flash will receive $500 and publication. The Guest Judges are Paul Tran (Poetry), Lucy Corin (Fiction), Mayukh Sen (Nonfiction), and C Pam Zhang (Flash). All submissions will be considered for publication.

To submit, you can visit us here.


Q: I am a Black writer who has already submitted to the BWR contest or general submissions. Can I be reimbursed for my fee and submit to the contest?

A: Yes, of course. If you have already submitted, please email blackwarriorreview@gmail.com, and we will reimburse you through Submittable. If you have submitted to general submissions, we will consider your work for the contest.

Q: What happens if BWR meets its cap of free contest submissions?

A: We’re doing everything we can to make sure that every Black writer who wants a free contest submission can get one, but if we meet our cap and can’t increase it, Black writers can still send us free general submissions. Just email blackwarriorreview@gmail.com with your submission, with genre noted. If more contest donations become available, we will consider it automatically for the contest.

Q: I already sent a free general submission. Will it be considered for the contest?

A: Yes, we will consider all the free general submissions that have so far been sent to us via email for the contest, unless the submitter asks us not to.