$1000 & PUBLICATION in Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry.
$500 & PUBLICATION in our Flash Category.

Nonfiction Judge: Kate Zambreno

Fiction Judge: Laura van den Berg

Poetry Judge: Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Flash Judge: Jennifer S. Cheng


Kate Zambreno is the author most recently of Book of Mutter (Semiotext(e)’s Native Agents). A novel, Drifts, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial, and a series of talks, The Appendix Project, is forthcoming from Semiotext(e), both in 2019. She teaches writing at Columbia  University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Laura van den Berg is the author of the novel Find Me, a Time Out New York and NPR “Best Book of 2015,” and two story collections, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her next novel, The Third Hotel, is forthcoming in 2018. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, and her criticism has recently appeared in The New York Times Book Review and BOMB. Born and raised in Florida, Laura currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University. She also teaches in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. She is the author of the collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series, 2017), winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters, and featured as a Best of 2017 book at The Los Angeles Times, NBC News, BOMB, Literary Hub, and Entropy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, The Boston Review, The Academy of American Poets, Buzzfeed, Epiphany, PBS Newshour and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she is raising her son with the help of a loyal dog. She can be found at vanessaangelicavillarreal.com.

Jennifer S. Cheng’s work includes poetry, lyric essay, and image-text forms. Her debut book, HOUSE A (2016), was selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize, and her forthcoming hybrid collection, MOON: Letters, Maps, Poems (May 2018), was selected by Bhanu Kapil for the Tarpaulin Sky Book Award. She is also the author of Invocation: an Essay (2011), an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press, and has received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, the U.S. Fulbright program, Bread Loaf, Kundiman, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco. www.jenniferscheng.com


  • Fiction and Nonfiction: Submit up to 7,000 words.
  • Poetry: Submit a packet of up to 3 poems.
  • Flash: Submit a packet of up to 3 flash pieces. This can be in any genre, as long as the author considers it “flash.” We encourage experimental, hybrid, and lyrical submissions in this category. Image + text work is also welcomed. Surprise us.
  • Do not include your contact information in your document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so please make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • We accept only previously unpublished work for publication.
  • Winners in Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry genre receive $1000 and publication in BWR 45.2, our Spring/Summer 2019 issue. One runner-up in each genre receives $100 and acknowledgment in that issue. We may consider any submission for general publication.
  • The winner in Flash receives $500 and publication in BWR 45.2, our Spring/Summer 2019 issue. One runner-up receives $100 and online publication. We may consider any submission for general publication.
  • The contest is open April 1 – September 8th. Winners will be announced in October.


  • Students, faculty, staff, and administrators currently affiliated with the University of Alabama are ineligible for consideration or publication.
  • Intimate friends, relatives, colleagues, and former or current students of the judges are ineligible to submit in that category.
  • Previous winners should wait three years after their winning entry is published before entering again.
  • Black Warrior Review adheres to the CLMP Contest Code of Ethics.  You can find the CLMP Code of Ethics and our Contest Procedures here.


  • Submit your work through Submittable at bwr.submittable.com/submit. We do not accept mailed or emailed submissions.
  • Upload your submission as a .docx or .pdf.
  • Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry: there is a $20 entry fee for each submission ($30 for international submissions). All entrants receive a one-year subscription to BWR as a thank-you for your interest and support.
  • Flash: there is an $8 entry fee.
  • Please email us at blackwarriorreview@gmail.com with any questions.