Black Warrior Review reads general fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions from December 1 – March 1 and June 1 – September 1. We are currently open for submissions. Submissions are accepted through Submittable at bwr.submittable.com/submit. 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 email@example.com for further instructions. Unfortunately, we no longer accept physical submissions, with the exception of those from incarcerated writers, who may send their work for no fee to the address at the bottom of this page.
Otherwise, email and mailed submissions will not be considered. BWR pays a one-year subscription and a 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.
GENERAL RULES & 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 all welcome and wanted here.
BWR is all set up in jeans and a corset. We’re smoking a very long cigarette on an old yellow couch. It’s 2:27 AM. The mailman wanders in, looking for his lost shih-tzu. In the ensuing conversation, the life erotic, the life political, the life bound and unbound is glimpsed. The sharpened edges of systems cut the grasping fingers. This just might be a comedy. Or it might, after all, be a prophecy.
Send us your finest works of fiction. We prefer work under 5,000 words, no more than 7,000, please. One piece at a time, unless it is under 1,000 words, in which case bundle no more than three into a single document. The weather is bad, we’ve got plenty of time for reading.
We are interested in nonfiction that complicates western traditions of truth-telling. Send us writing that foregrounds the history of emotions rather than the history of facts. We want work that fractures reality, that demolishes walls. Writers of color are especially encouraged to submit.
We ask that nonfiction works are no longer than 7,000 words. Please query for longer works. We do not usually accept academic articles.
We’re looking for your portraits of Truth coming out of her well. (That’s just poetry, isn’t it?) That is, we’re looking for little truths, your own kind of portraiture. But also, and perhaps more importantly, we’re looking for half-truths, lies, finger-paintings with heart, finger-paintings soulless.
Send us your loveliest left-aligned, but first send us grit. Send us the stuff that you pick out of your shoe treads.
Send us the formal (ball gowns?), but also send us I woke up like thises (free verse, erasure, the visual?). Write us in logic puzzles, but write us in Steinese (please)!
We like contradictions. (No, we don’t.) And parentheticals. (Look.) We’d like for you to send us 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.
GRAPHIC WRITING, COMICS, & ART
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.
BWR celebrates world literature and translation. Right now, we are looking for work translated into English in all genres—particularly poetry, prose, and drama. While we do appreciate updated translations of classic works and lesser known works by well-known authors, we gravitate more toward work from authors who have not yet been translated into English or found a large English-language audience. For more guidelines, please read our general calls for submission to get an idea RE: the kinds of work we publish.
We only publish translated works that are completed, self-sufficient, and under ten pages. Works that have already been published in its original language are preferred.
In your cover letter, please provide: an account of the text and its author, a short biography of the translator, and any other information that you deem relevant. If possible, please include the work in the source language. It is the translator’s responsibility to secure permissions for publication.
Please wait at least one month before resubmitting.
BOYFRIEND VILLAGE (ONLINE ISSUE)
Black Warrior Review is casting out our hook for work for our third edition of Boyfriend Village: The Double Negative Boyfriend! In our world, psychotherapy is not a science. The portmanteau has become a Finnish delicacy. The right people no longer have adulterous affairs, but everybody is a horse face. The crowd is a genius. The woman is a criminal. The Attorney General is a crazed mob. Apparently the maps have become the territory, but all anyone talks about is whether the piano tuner is cutting corners. Everyone, that is, except you. And we’re listening.
BWR’s next issue of Boyfriend Village is seeking new work before which rather large structures get weak-kneed. We want work that bores discursive holes through the internet, or is manufactured from the dialog beneath the discourse. It should shout in pianissimo and whisper in double forte. We accept fiction, poetry, nonfiction, hybrid, visual and multimedia art, sound collage, video, games, databases. Is your work unclassifiable? Try us. It can be a very large hole. I’d prefer if it was not an internet virus. Whatever it is, it should talk about what isn’t isn’t going on. Because if we don’t know that, we’ll never never get to the heart of things.
Thanks to the generous support of the Whiting Foundation, submissions for this issue will be free.
They open September 15th at 9:00 AM CST and run until October 10.
We pay all contributors to Boyfriend Village.
Get ready and send us your boyfriends.