Scope by Jonas Nilsson Lee
Scope by Jonas Nilsson Lee

For Blue Lyra Review submissions:

We accept poetry, nonfiction, translations book reviews and artistic images from Jan. 01 through September 29. Fiction is by invitation only; however, we have open reading periods for flash fiction & short stories during the months of March & October. Please submit your work through Submittable

We close annually for submissions between October 01 and December 31. Deadlines for each issue:

Spring – Feb 01 (published end of March; through 2015 this was published end of Feb.)

Summer – May 01 (published live end of June)

Winter – Sept 01 (published live end of October)

What are we looking for?

Good question. First, we publish poetry (short, longish, free, narrative, lyric or prose), creative nonfiction, translations, art, fiction, and book reviews.  Second, what we are looking for is simple: something that burns us, moves us, and makes us want to reread it.  However, we are not looking for horror or erotica or western or something that will be offensive (use your judgment!). Every editor says it but this should be your goal: leave us desiring more. Send us your very best!

We only consider unpublished work. Unpublished work is one that has not appeared in any form of print or digital media, including personal or public blogs.

We accept simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw if accepted elsewhere.

All work can be sent through Submittable. (see below for more specifics) — PLEASE keep bio to 150 words or less!

Follow us on Facebook! And sign up for our newsletter on the right-hand side of our site!


Book of Color by Elrik Stavelin
Book of Color by Elrik Stavelin



We are looking for translations that read as if they were originally written in English, rather than as “translations.” We especially prize translations that “honor” the music of the original text. In addition, translators should choose poems of high literary merit. We consider previously unpublished translations of poetry from any language. Submissions should include 3-6 poems, and should include both the original and the translation. Biographies of both the author and translator should be included in a cover letter, as well as a short paragraph on the process of translating these particular poems and/or why this particular author was chosen. PLEASE keep bio to 150 words or less!

Translators are expected to have acquired copyright permission to publish (online and in print) the original poems,  if they are not in the public domain, BEFORE submitting.



We’re looking for work that doesn’t shy away from how hard life can be but which also explores courage, resilience, and life’s beauty. Please show up on the page with a unique voice and a personal stake in a discernible conflict. We want to see work that weaves into the fabric of the essay a shift in perspective, a struggle towards greater understanding, a meaningful resolution, or at least some good questions. No safe, saccharin stories or unearned happy endings, please.

We’re open to all topics, including humorous pieces, but have a special interest in nature- or Jewish-oriented work.  We take creative nonfiction, personal essays, or memoirs of 500 to 4,000 words, maximum. (Long essays must be tightly focused on its story and theme.) Our most compelling essays are nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web, Best American Essays, Best American Nature and Science Writing, and similar honors.




Emily Dickinson wrote, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Whether narrative or lyrical or experimental or prose poetry, we are simply looking for something that moves us. However, we are more drawn to shorter, tight poems, poems with nature imagery, and poems that shy away from vague, abstract words and concepts (ie show not tell). Please attach 3-5 poems at a time in a single file with a .doc, .docx, or .pdf extension, and put your name and poem titles in subject line. Don’t send just one poem unless it’s a long poem (more than three pages). We want to get a sense of your style as a writer, and one poem is not enough to do this. Our most compelling poems are nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web, and similar honors. 

Please be aware that we have a rotating guest editor which means one editor thinks differently than another so feel free to resubmit in a different reading period. Also, we are several issues AHEAD for poetry.

Make sure your submission has your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) on the attached (brief) cover letter ONLY. Please do NOT have any identifying information on any page of your submission except the cover page! PLEASE keep bio to 150 words or less! We also really (really!) appreciate those folks who type the titles of their poems, separated by commas, in the Title box. 



Currently open by invitation only, except during our reading periods of March & October. That said, we look for strong “poetic” imagery and are particularly interested in flash right now. But the most important thing is that it needs to be based more on truth than experimentation for experimentation’s sake. It can be light or it can be serious, but it must reflect life, with some fundamental human idea. Fiction should be organic and natural, and accept its premise (whatever it may be) without a wink or a nod. We’re currently looking for works that thrum on all cylinders and that are confident in a unique way. We’re interested in solid stories with weight, regardless of length. Our most compelling stories are nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web, Best American Fiction, and similar honors. 



Book Reviews:

We are now accepting full length book reviews of other people’s books through Submittable. If you have a review of a published book (within the last year) or forthcoming, send us the review. We do not reprint review and we do not accept reviews of one’s own book! You cannot be both the writer of the book and the reviewer. If you want to write a review on a book, send an email to bluelyrareview at gmail dot com and we can get the book to you for FREE. Look online for the format on our site to get an idea of the preferred format.  We want you to quote the writer. We want to feel the words and we want you to make us want to go out and buy the book. It should be in third person please. Please be honest but not rude or offensive. We love small presses and independent presses. We love poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. Any subject, except we do not want horror, fantasy, science fiction, pornography, or any book that may alienate or offend a group of people. For further questions or queries, you can reach our Reviews Editor at



If you would like to submit artwork, we would love to post it! Please send us a query with a link to your personal website or even better would be to send 3-4 low resolution jpgs of your work.  Send art queries to bluelyrareview<at>gmail<dot>com and put your name and art in subject line (Silverman – art). Make sure your submission has your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) either on the document or in an attached (brief) cover letter. Please do not hesitate to send a link as we can easily link your work to more of your work online! You can also send your submissions to Submittable for art but we prefer your artistic images sent directly to the email account. While we tend to not like collages and mixed media as much, we do love photographs and paintings. We are open to any form, any theme, so long as it is not gruesome, offensive or erotic (use your judgment!). For more on what we like, look at past issues and check out my Pinterests!




Can a submitter send to other journals?

Yes. Simultaneous submissions to other literary journals are okay, but please do not send more than one submission to us until you have received a response to your first submission and no more than two submissions per year unless we personally request it.

Do you reprint or accept previously published work like from blogs?

No. Please send original, unpublished material only. An unpublished poem/essay/story/etc. is one that has not appeared in any form of print or digital media, including personal or public blogs.

How do I check on the status of my submission?

To check on the status of your submission, log into your account through Submittable at any time using the email address and password you entered during your initial submission. You will see your contact information and submission history with each submission’s status (received, accepted, declined). From this page, you can create another submission or update your contact information.

What happens if you accept my work?

If work is accepted, we will contact you by email and provide a publication agreement. We regret that we are unable to pay our writers at this time, but we do our best to promote your work on our site and beyond. We also claim First Electronic Rights and First North American Rights, meaning that publications here at BLR must be the first publication to feature the work online and/or in print.

Is this online only or is there a print version?

We used to run an annual best-of anthology during our first two years. Now, we only print new material in our annual print edition which we showcase at AWP.

What are the author’s rights?

Specifically, we acquire First Electronic Rights and First North American Rights, as well as anthology rights for eighteen (18) months after publication. All other rights revert to the author after publication.

What did you just say? Please summarize this information.

Blue Lyra Review publishes three online issues per year (end of March as of 2016, end of June and end of October), and a print anthology a few weeks before AWP Conference. All material must be previously unpublished.

Blue Lyra Review logo

A literary journal of diverse voices