General Submissions: Print Issues
The editors of BWR read regular Poetry, Prose, and Nonfiction submissions from December 1-March 1 and June 1-September 1.
Submissions are only accepted through our online submission manager which may be found at bwr.submittable.com/submit.
General Submissions Rules and Guidelines
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 email@example.com
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.
We encourage you to read Black Warrior Review before submitting. Sample issues are available for $15; one-year subscriptions for $25.
Past contributors, please wait three years from the date of your publication to resubmit work. Contest submissions are included in this policy.
We offer a limited number of fee waivers for writers whom the submission fee would present financial hardship, and we offer free submissions for incarcerated writers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a fee waiver.
For BWR fiction, we are 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 7000 words, or up to 3 pieces of flash each less than 1000 words.
BWR 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, we’re 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].
While our standard practice involves soliciting a single artist to be featured in each issue, we encourage 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.
BWR pays a nominal lump-sum fee for all works published, and contributors receive the issue in which they appear.
Publication rights notice: All rights reserved. Rights revert to author upon publication.
General Submissions: Online Issues
2023 Boyfriend Village: Extraterrestrial Boyfriend
Every person is a planet. What is more alien than a stranger?
Extraterrestrial Boyfriend calls for all things out of this world. By out of this world, we don’t just mean alien stories (although we definitely love alien stories). We want to see our paramours explore love in complicated forms, ineffable existences, extraterrestrial forms of communication and more.
Extraterrestrial Boyfriend invites queerings of the mundane, first-contact narratives,and works that exist outside the bounds of the page. The Extraterrestrial Boyfriend understands that nothing is more alien than the world around them.
Extraterrestrial Boyfriend will encourage writers and artists alike to invoke all things strange, to explore all things unknown, and will invite them to try and unveil the secrets of the universe. This call for submissions will ask contributors to unravel the ways they communicate with others in alien ways. How do you engage with the extraterrestrial? How do you identify as extraterrestrial? In what ways are the mundane also extraterrestrial? What is your most alien encounter?
Extraterrestrial Boyfriend invites interpretations of this theme that we may not have yet considered. We are trusting you, our lovers, to bring us work that will challenge genre divides.
The Extraterrestrial Boyfriend wants to specifically invite paramours that are of queer, trans, disabled, neurodivergent, and other marginalized experiences, and especially work from people of color.
Submissions are open between April 1, 2023, and May 1, 2023. While themed, this is open to interpretation. If you think your boyfriend might belong in our village, please send them along!
Unfamiliar with Boyfriend Village? Click here to learn more.
There is one submission category for all genres. We accept fiction, poetry, nonfiction, hybrid, visual and multimedia art, as well as sound collage, video, games, and more. You may use your cover letter to tell us as much or as little about your work as you like.
Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Send prose pieces no longer than 7,000 words. For flash (pieces under 1,000 words), you may include up to three prose pieces in a submission. For poetry, you may send us up to five poems, with a maximum submission length of 10 pages. For graphic, audio, and visual work, if Submittable accepts the file type, so will we! Color images most welcome.
There is a $3 submission fee. Submission fees are used to pay contributors.