blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1
poetry gallery features

A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.


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For current submission guidelines and contact information, always visit the most recent issue of Blackbird at

Blackbird is published twice a year. Our next reading period is from November 1, 2008 to April 15, 2009. This change, from our usual September 15 start date, is to allow us to process manuscripts already in hand. Unsolicited submissions received outside of the reading period will be disregarded.

First, please read what we’ve already published, and then submit your own work.

Poetry: send up to six poems at a time. Single-space, please; set your poem as you want it to appear on the printed page.

Fiction: Double-space, please. We primarily look for short stories, but novel excerpts are acceptable if self-contained.

Nonfiction: Double-space, please. We primarily look for personal essays, but memoir excerpts are acceptable if self-contained. Unsolicited book reviews and criticism are not considered.

Gallery: Plays are accepted. We do not accept unsolicted visual art work at this time.

General Guidelines

  • Send one prose piece or two to six poems at a time, and please mail genres separately.
  • Blackbird does not accept previously published work.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are indicated as such and we are immediately notified upon acceptance elsewhere.
  • Translations are welcome as long as permissions have been obtained from the author.
  • Email submissions are strongly preferred, though Blackbird will accept submissions by regular mail. 

Submitting Via Email

  • Send all email submissions to—this email address is a submission drop box only. Direct all queries, including withdrawn submissions, to
  • Begin the subject line of your email with the submitted genre: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, or Play.
  • In the body of the email, type or paste your cover letter, which should include:
                  your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.
                  the title(s) of submitted work.
  • Send work itself as a single attached file, either .doc (Microsoft Word) or .rtf (rich text format).
  • Attached file title should read last name_first name_genre
    e.g., joyce_james_fiction.doc

Submitting via Regular Mail

  • Mail your manuscripts in a page-size manila envelope, your full name and address on the outside, to “Editor, Poetry” or “Editor, Fiction” or “Editor, Nonfiction” or “Editor, Plays.”
  • Include a cover letter, which should include:
                   name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.
                   the title(s) of submitted work.
  • All manuscripts and correspondence regarding submissions should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for a response.
  • Mail submissions to:
                VCU Department of English
                P.O. Box 843082       
                Richmond, VA 23284-3082

Expect six months for a decision, longer if you submit just before the summer break. Do not query until at least six months have passed, via email only.

If work is accepted for publication, you must provide an electronic copy as a .doc (Word) or .rtf (rich text format) if you have not already done so. Payment is after publication.

All published work will be archived online.

Direct all queries regarding manuscripts to: