Blue River

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Blue River is a non-profit literary journal produced by Creighton University’s MFA program. We seek to build a new tradition: to foster and celebrate contemporary graduate-level creative writers by publishing their fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. In that spirit, we provide our own MFA students with experience in literary editing and production as a preparation for work in the publishing industry.

Blue River looks for the best writing by students in graduate creative writing programs or within one year of graduation. We accept online submissions year-round, but to be considered for the first issue, submit by August 22, 2016*. We do not accept paper or email submissions. 

The submission fee is $15 per entry and it makes the writer eligible for the Blue River Editors’ Award. Submission categories are fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. One winner in each category will be featured in each issue and will receive $500 (USD). Writers whose pieces are accepted but not awarded the prize will receive two free copies of their issue and discounts on additional copies. All decisions for the 2016 issue will be announced by September 2016. 

Prose submissions must be double-spaced, and not more than 8000 words. Poetry submissions may include 3-5 poems or a maximum of 10 pages. Submissions, if accepted, must not be published anywhere else before being published in Blue River. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, as long as you withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere.

Submissions are read blind, so remove all information identifying the author from your manuscript. In the cover letter box on the Submittable submission form, indicate the graduate program in which you are currently enrolled (or your graduation date). 

We'd love to tell you what we think of your work! If you'd like our feedback, please let us know in your cover letter. If you don't ask for feedback, we'll assume you'd rather not have it.

Current Creighton University students and faculty are ineligible to submit, as well as writers not currently or recently enrolled in a graduate creative writing program.


*Good news from the team at Blue River: we have extended the Blue River Editors’ Prize deadline until August 22, 2016. The submissions we have read so far are exhilarating, and we want more. Graduate students, continue sending us your very best work! The $500 awards in poetry, fiction and nonfiction are still up for grabs, with winners to be announced in September. Submission fee remains $15. Submit and be a part of a new literary journal that’s dedicated to you, the grad student writer. More announcements are on the way, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter.