General Submissions (PRINT): Rules and Guidelines


The editors of BWR read regular Poetry, Prose, and Nonfiction submissions from December 1st through March 1st and June 1st through September 1st. Currently, our annual contest is open for submissions in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Flash (of either & any genre!). Our online edition, Boyfriend Village, is also open for submissions until 11:59pm on May 15th, 2024.

Submissions are only accepted through our online submission manager, which can be found at

For our general submissions, the average response time for submissions is between 1-6 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, if you never heard back about a submission, or if you have any submissions-related inquiry in general, feel free to email us at or

We ask that writers wait one month after receiving a response to submit again.

We do not consider previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, if noted, and please notify us immediately if the work is accepted somewhere else. Please do not mix genres in the same submission (this doesn’t apply to our monthly themed contests or to BFV submissions).

We encourage you to read Black Warrior Review before submitting—Sample issues are available for $15; one-year subscriptions for $25—or if that isn’t feasible, to check out an issue of our online edition, Boyfriend Village. The reading period for the eighth edition of Boyfriend Village opened on April 1st, 2024, and will close on May 15th, 2024. This year’s issue, More Than One Boyfriend, is being helmed by our first collaborative team of Online Editors: Darby Power & Jaric Sarmiento. You can find out more about their vision for this year’s issue here.

Past contributors, please wait three years from the date of your publication to resubmit work. Contest submissions are included in this policy.

We offer fee waivers for writers whom the submission fee would present financial hardship, and we offer free submissions for incarcerated writers. Email to request a fee waiver. 




Our 2024 Fiction Editor, Chinaecherem Obor, is looking for stories that are very aware of the worlds outside of here. Here could mean the physical space of a country or this physical plane of existence. We just want to get out of these small, contained spaces for a bit. There are many excuses to become insulated, but stories should never be a space for the insular.

So we want stories of the spirits and the magic, the international and the extraterrestrial; really we just want writers to think about other worlds and other lives and other realities and other belief systems that would be considered atypical of the traditional Western literary imagination.

We welcome stories from all sources, from writers of all races, all cultures and nationalities, all sexual orientations and gender identities, and themes that navigate these complexities.

Send a single piece of fiction up to 6000 words, or up to 2 pieces of flash, each equal to or less than 1000 words.




Our 2024 Poetry Editor, Erika Walsh, seeks to publish poems that make us sit back and think, Wait, what even is a poem? We want poems that make the strange feel natural, and the natural feel strange. Poems that showcase underrepresented voices and contemporary issues; that dismantle conventional ways of understanding the world. We want your pop culture-obsessed poems and your folktale-inspired poems and your so-silly-it’s-serious poems. We want your poems that revel in kitsch and in play and in wonder; that recognize the subversive power of joy.

Submit up to 3 poems with a maximum of 10 pages in one document.

Please include a short cover letter and a 3rd-person bio.




In today’s economy, writing creative nonfiction is risky, frisky business. At the BWR nonfiction desk this year, our 2024 Nonfiction Editor, Isabelle Joy Stephen, is seeking experimental work with high stakes, on and off the page. Out: neat/tidy braids; linear thinking; making concessions; colonial structures and forms. In: hot takes &flyaways; literary messiness; RAGE; the erotics of doom. Rip a page out of your diary. Screenshot your texts. Reconstruct receipts. Tell the truth—just tell it slant 😉

A note: we are very open to submissions of all kinds, from writers of all races, nationalities, cultures, sexual orientations, and classes; that said, we are especially welcoming of work with themes of BIPOC, queer, disabled, non-Western, and/or class struggle & liberation.

Submit 1 work of “creative nonfiction” up to [6000 words]; [or, up to 3 flash pieces < 1000 words].


Graphic Prose


While our standard practice involves soliciting a single artist to be featured in each issue, our 2024 Design Editor, Ernest Ohia, encourages submissions of innovative works that blend the visual power of graphic art with the narrative depth of prose. Feel free to submit one or two graphic prose essays for our upcoming issue, and we’ll review them for potential inclusion. When submitting for this category, please kindly use .jpg, .tiff, or .pdf formats. We publish all graphic writing in grayscale.




Black Warrior Review is a paying market. Currently, we offer royalty payments to regular-submission print contributors between $50 and $250, depending on the amount of overall contributors and the budget allocated to us by our presiding office at the University of Alabama, the Office of Student Media. These numbers are subject to change per issue and differ for contributors to Boyfriend Village (our online edition), as well as chapbook and featured-art contributors. We always pay our contributors. As mentioned at the top of the page, we also offer an optional fee waiver for anyone who needs it, which can be requested whenever we are open for submissions by emailing us at

Publication rights notice: All rights reserved. Rights revert to author upon publication.