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 blackwarriorreview@gmail.com

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.

You may submit to both the online and the print journal. 

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 welcome and wanted here.

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 feewaiver.bwr@gmail.com to request a fee waiver. 

We encourage you to read Black Warrior Review before submitting. Sample issues are available for $15; one-year subscriptions for $25.

$5.00

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.

If you need a fee waiver for any reason, please feel more than free to reach out to us at feewaiver.bwr@gmail.com to request one. If you have any questions pertaining to the submission process, you can contact Ernest Ohia at design.bwr@gmail.com.

$5.00

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 5,000 words, or up to 2 flash pieces (1000 words or less for each).

$5.00

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.

$5.00

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 6,000 words, or up to 2 pieces of flash (1000 words or less for each).

$20.00

The entry fee covers one submission of up to 6,000 words. This category is for both domestic and international submissions.

  • Cover letters are welcome.
  • Please do not include identifying information in your submission document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. We ask that you notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere. You can message us through Submittable or reach out to us at blackwarriorreview@gmail.com. Include the title of your submission in the subject line. 
  • We accept only previously unpublished work for publication.
  • The winner will receive a cash prize and publication in BWR 51.2, our 2025 Spring/Summer issue. The first runner-up in each genre receives monetary compensation, acknowledgment in the print issue, and online publication. 
  • The contest is open from May 1st, 2024 to August 1st, 2024. 


Additional Information:

  • We welcome international submissions.
  • Our commitment to diversity is reflected in both the writers we support and the stories we publish.
  • AI-generated work is not accepted.
  • We offer an optional fee waiver for anyone who needs it, which can be requested whenever we are open for submissions by emailing us at feewaiver.bwr@gmail.com


Nonfiction Guest Judge: RAJIV MOHABIR 

Poet, memoirist, and translator, Rajiv Mohabir is the author of four books of poetry including Whale Aria (Four Way Books 2023), Cutlish (Four Way Books 2021) which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recipient of the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur. His poetry and nonfiction have been finalists for the 2022 PEN/America Open Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry and in Nonfiction, the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and both second place and finalist for the Guyana Prize for Literature in 2022 (poetry and memoir respectively). His translations have won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets in 2020. He is an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Colorado Boulder.

$20.00

The entry fee covers one prose submission of up to 6,000 words. This category is for both domestic and international submissions.

  • Cover letters are welcome.
  • Please do not include identifying information in your submission document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. We ask that you notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere. You can message us through Submittable or reach out to us at blackwarriorreview@gmail.com. Include the title of your submission in the subject line. 
  • We accept only previously unpublished work for publication.
  • The winner will receive a cash prize and publication in BWR 51.2, our 2025 Spring/Summer issue. The first runner-up in each genre receives monetary compensation, acknowledgment in the print issue, and online publication. 
  • The contest is open from May 1st, 2024 to August 1st, 2024.

Additional Information:

  • We welcome international submissions.
  • Our commitment to diversity is reflected in both the writers we support and the stories we publish.
  • AI-generated work is not accepted.
  • We offer an optional fee waiver for anyone who needs it, which can be requested whenever we are open for submissions by emailing us at feewaiver.bwr@gmail.com.

Fiction Guest Judge: CHIGOZIE OBIOMA

Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His two novels, The Fishermen (2015) and An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) were shortlisted for The Booker Prize, making him one of only two novelists to be shortlisted for all their works. They have won about a dozen prizes including the FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, an LA Times Book prize, Internationaler Literaturpris, an NAACP Image Award, and have been nominated for many others. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. The Fishermen was adapted into an award-winning stage play by Gbolahan Obisesan that played in the UK and South Africa between 2018-2019. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. His work have been published in The Guardian, VQR, Paris Review, New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the James E. Ryan Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and divides his time between the US and Nigeria. 

$20.00

Submit a packet of up to 5 poems, all in one file (.docx or .PDF preferred). This category is for both domestic and international submissions.

  • Cover letters are welcome.
  • Please do not include identifying information in your submission document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so make sure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, as are simultaneous submissions. We ask that you notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere. You can message us through Submittable or reach out to us at blackwarriorreview@gmail.com. Include the title of your submission in the subject line. 
  • We accept only previously unpublished work for publication.
  • The winner of our Poetry category will receive a cash prize and print publication in BWR 51.2, our 2025 Spring/Summer issue. The first runner-up in each genre (Nonfiction, Poetry, Fiction, and Flash) receives monetary compensation, acknowledgment in the print issue, and online publication. 
  • The contest is open from May 1st to August 1st. A shortlist of ten pieces will be notified in September of 2024, and we’ll announce the winners & runners-up for each category in October.
     

Additional Information:

  • We welcome international submissions.
  • Our commitment to diversity is reflected in both the writers we support and the stories we publish.
  • AI-generated work is not accepted.
  • We offer an optional fee waiver for anyone who needs it, which can be requested whenever we are open for submissions by emailing us at feewaiver.bwr@gmail.com


Poetry Guest Judge: DONIKA KELLY

Donika Kelly is the author of The Renunciations, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf book award in poetry, and Bestiary, the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Kelly’s poetry has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, and longlisted for the National Book Award. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, National Endowment for the Arts fellow, and founding member of the collective Poets at the End of the World, she has also received a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a summer workshop fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center. She earned an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. Donika lives in Iowa City with her wife, the nonfiction writer Melissa Febos, and is an assistant professor in the English Department at the University of Iowa, where she teaches creative writing.

$10.00
  • Submit a packet of up to 2 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.
  • Cover letters are welcome, but please do not include identifying information in your submission document. We will use your Submittable information to contact you, so 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.
  • The winner in Flash receives a cash prize (at least $250) and print publication in BWR 51.2, our Spring/Summer 2025 issue. The first runner-up receives monetary compensation, acknowledgment in the print issue, and online publication (if desired). 
  • The contest is open from May 1st, 2024 to August 1st, 2024. A shortlist of ten pieces will be notified in September of 2024, and we’ll announce the winners & runners-up for each category in October.


Additional Information:

  • We welcome international submissions.
  • Our commitment to diversity is reflected in both the writers we support and the stories we publish.
  • AI-generated work is not accepted.


Flash Guest Judge: INTAN PARAMADITHA

 

Intan Paramaditha is the author of The Wandering, a novel on the politics of travel in a choose-your-own adventure format, and a feminist horror story collection Apple and Knife. Both were translated from Indonesian to English by Stephen J. Epstein and published by Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House UK. Her new novel, Malam Seribu Jahanam (2023), weaving gothic elements, Islamic stories, and Southeast Asian folktales, was published in Indonesia (English translation in progress). She received a Ph.D from New York University and currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Black Warrior Review exists in part because of your continued and generous support. Your donations here are applied directly to our endowment, which supports contributor and artist payments.

Please note that a donation through this portal will not be tax deductible. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to BWR, please visit this link. For submitting work to BWR, please see our other forms. This is not a portal to submit your work to BWR. 

To show our gratitude for your gift at the patron ($50) and guarantor ($100+) levels, you will receive a one-year subscription and recognition in upcoming issues of BWR.

Black Warrior Review