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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
“Two aesthetics exist: the passive aesthetic of mirrors and the active aesthetic of prisms. Guided by the former, art turns into a copy of the environment’s objectivity or the individual’s psychic history. Guided by the latter, art is redeemed, makes the world into its instrument, and forges—beyond spatial and temporal prisons—a personal vision.”–ULTRA MANIFESTO 
We want work that familiarizes the strange and mystifies the familiar. We are interested in reading anything that you wouldn’t—or couldn’t—send elsewhere, because you don’t feel like it fully fits anywhere.
We’ll read short (and long) stories of 7,000 words or fewer. Submit one piece at a time. If you are a Black, Indigenous, or incarcerated writer, you may email your submission to email@example.com for no fee. Please include a short cover letter and bio.
BWR seeks to publish poems that are:
1. Experimental in form, creation process, content, and/or reading method 🧪
2. Representative of non-traditional voices and contemporary issues ❤️
3. Impressive in their wholeness, but also in their minutiae 🤩
We’d also love to see more poems that portray nuanced forms of comedy or spirituality, although this is not required.
Submit up to 5 poems with a maximum of 10 pages in one document. In the “Submission Title” field, list all titles separated by commas. Please include a short cover letter and bio (more personal than professional bio preferred).
If you are a Black, Indigenous, or incarcerated writer, you may email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org for no fee.
We at the Nonfiction desk are always hungry for the transgressive, for works that question the boundaries of form, of language, of content. We are on the lookout for essays that make us rethink our perspectives on life, on art, on the very definition of the essay itself as an art form. Do you have work that’s too beautifully unorthodox for anywhere else? Let us take a look at it.
We are very open to submissions from writers of all races, nationalities, cultures, sexual orientations, and classes; that said, we are especially welcoming of works from writers who identify as BIPOC, queer, disabled and/or of non-Western descent.
Please submit works no longer than 7,000 words in a single Word doc via Submittable. If you are a Black, Indigenous, or incarcerated writer, you may skip the Submittable process and email your submission directly to the editor at email@example.com
While we love to read submissions from all over, we do have limited bandwidth; to ensure we can give your work the full attention it deserves, please do not send us more than one work for consideration at a time. Our editor and readers want to offer a home to every brilliant work that comes through our editorial gates, but the space is finite and our most recent reading period led to a 3.5 percent acceptance rate. So, please note that a rejection is not a personal attack on your craft; it is likely a consequence of this game of numbers called submission.
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) — don’t let us overlook you. We are looking to publish one or two graphic prose essays, stories or pieces of sequential art per issue. For this type of submission, we request that you submit in .jpg, .tiff or .pdf format.
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.