The BLR seeks high-caliber, unpublished work, broadly and creatively related to our themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. We encourage you to read BLR before you submit.


We are currently open to general submissions, as well as submissions for the 2024 BLR Literary Prizes. Please be sure to review the complete guidelines on those pages, or through the links to Submittable below, before submitting. 

Fiction/nonfiction word max is 5,000 words (though most of our published prose is in the range of 2,000-4,000 words).


Fiction: We seek character-driven fiction with original voices and strong settings. We do not publish genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, horror). We have only occasionally published flash fiction. While we are always interested in creative explorations in style, we do lean toward classic short stories.


Nonfiction: We are looking for essays that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate engaging and creative analysis that allows anecdotes to serve a larger purpose. (Please, no academic discourses or works with footnotes. )


Poetry: We encourage poems that are accessible to a wide audience. Characteristics we look for are vivid writing, strong narrative, and rendering the familiar new. We encourage you to peruse back issues in our archive to get a sense of our ethos. Please submit no more than three poems. Each poem should be on a separate page within a single document.

General Submissions

Contest Submissions