Theme Issue on “The Body Politic”


From Sept 1 to Dec 31, we are accepting submissions for a special theme issue on The Body Politic.


We humans inhabit singular bodies. Yet we are communal. It is no mistake that the phrase ‘body politic’ – designating the people of a nation, state, or society – incorporates the word ‘body,’ as if collectively we become one organism.
The personal is political, as Gloria Steinem famously said. Political systems and laws affect us as citizens of a particular nation and community, as well as in our living rooms and our very bodies. And we as individuals affect them.
Each nation has its own collective personality, as a result of its history, political structure, and the story it tells itself about its meaning and identity. So does each hospital, school, prison, summer camp, and house of worship. Each societal entity inhabits its own body politic, which exists in a constant state of flux.
For this special issue of BLR, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that address the interface of any given ‘body politic’ with the personal, and vice-versa.
Deadline: December 31, 2023
TO SUBMIT: Please use the submission links below, and indicate in your cover letter whether you are submitting for the “The Body Politic” issue. All other submission guidelines are the same.


  • We happily consider simultaneous submissions, but please inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts can only be accepted electronically via Submittable.
  • Fiction/nonfiction word max is 5,000 words, (though most of our published prose is in the range of 2,000-4,000 words.) Please submit no more than three poems. Each poem should be on a separate page within a single document.
  • There is a $5 fee per general submission which helps support our production costs. Though we’d prefer not to have to charge a submission fee, we hope you will be understanding of the economic realities of publishing a high-quality literary magazine. Subscribing to the journal is a tangible—and very much appreciated—way of supporting the BLR, thus the submission fee is waived for current subscribers. (If you are not a current subscriber, you can subscribe when you submit your work.)
  •  We strive to provide several reviewers for each manuscript and kindly ask your patience in this necessarily slow process. But if you have not heard from us within five months, feel free to inquire about your manuscript.
  •  BLR pays $75 for poetry and $150 for prose. Published authors will receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears, plus an additional 1-year subscription to BLR. There is an author discount for purchasing extra copies.
  • All submissions must be of previously unpublished work.*  BLR acquires First North American rights, and the right to reprint in anthologies and online. After publication, all other rights revert to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement to BLR is made.

(*For BLR“published work” means published in print in North America, or published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic websites, and other “public” or “official” websites. Works posted on personal blogs or websites will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We ask that authors be honest about web postings. If a work is discovered to have been posted or published elsewhere–and not openly acknowledged by the author in advance–we will remove it from consideration.)