Editorial tastes for the Blue Five Notebook Series are eclectic but always focus on quality and a work’s unique ability to move the reader beyond the confines of any chair. Send only your best work. Because of the level of quality associated with BFR and the limited space – five works published per issue – competition will be keen.
The editors welcome unsolicited submissions of poetry and flash but do not consider previously published works. Please send no work that has appeared previously in print or online. The editors will consider work that has been posted on a personal or public blog, Myspace, Facebook page, or workshop site with the following stipulation: Should the submission be accepted at Blue Fifth Review, the work should be removed from all posts and archives. If, however, publication credit, listing Blue Fifth Review, is added to the posted page of the online site, the work may remain in all posts and archives.
Poetry: open to traditional or experimental forms of any length
Flash Fiction: open to works of prose – up to 1,000 words – emphasizing varying degrees of narrative, form, language, voice, and pacing
Art: the editors generally solicit art for the issues but will consider unsolicited submissions. Attach the work as a .jpg, .jpeg, or .gif file.
Non-fiction: as of 2014, we added reviews, reflections and essays to our pages. Please see more specific guidelines below.
Submissions Guidelines for Poetry and Flash
BFR is presently closed to submissions.
New posting for 2016:
While 2015 is shifting to a close, we – Michelle, Bill, and myself – are looking ahead to changes in 2016. As of next year, Blue Fifth Review will be switching to a quarterly format. Keep in mind that submissions will now require a closer read from editors since we have fewer slots for featuring work.
The basic differences: The regular issues have enlarged from 5 poems and flashes to 15, but instead of 8 regular issues and 4 quarterlies, we will have four larger regular issues. We will continue to have one poetry and one flash special, featuring five writers each. The poetry and flash broadsides (a total of four) will continue, as well as a featured poet and flash writer issues. The final issue of the year will be the blue five collection – collaboration issue. The schedule is listed below:
March – 3 issues: (Blue Five Notebook: 8 poems / 7 flashes / 1-3 reviews/essays/or interviews | Broadside Poetry | Broadside Flash)
June – 3 issues: (Blue Five Notebook: 8 poems / 7 flashes / 1-3 reviews/essays/or interviews | Poetry Special: five poets | Flash Special – five writers)
September – 3 issues: (Blue Five Notebook: 8 poems / 7 flashes / 1-3 reviews/essays/or interviews | Poetry Special: one poet, five pieces | Flash Special – one writer, five pieces)
November – 3 issues: (Blue Five Notebook: 8 poems / 7 flashes / 1-3 reviews/essays/or interviews | Broadside Poetry | Broadside Flash)
December – Final issue of the year – blue five collection – a collaboration issue
Note: By late summer of 2015, I had accepted and placed a number of poems in various 2016 issues. Those acceptances remain, though the issues will be shifting. If I’ve accepted your poetry, I’ll contact you individually by the end of the year to let you know when your work will appear. – SR
Publication dates: March 1, 15, and 30; June 1, 15, and 30; September 1, 15, and 30; November 1, 15, and 30; and December 15.
We will post next year’s reading periods as soon as the new dates are available
Thanks for your continued support as readers and contributors.
best to you,
Two reading periods for all issues and themed quarterlies: November 1 through December 31 (responses begin by early January); May 1 through June 30 (responses begin by early July).
Simultaneous submissions are discouraged.
Because of limited space, competition will be keen.
E-mail submissions only. Submit 3 works – poetry or flash – in text format in the body of the e-mail to
For general submissions, please indicate in the subject line of your submission whether you are submitting Poetry or Flash – SUB Poetry or SUB Flash. For themed quarterly issues, please indicate in the subject line the theme and form of your submission – SUB Q Landscape Poetry or SUB Q Revolution Flash (for example). For non-fiction submissions indicate the kind of piece – SUB Review (for example).
No attachments. If work is accepted, the editors may request an attachment for formatting purposes.
Please include a brief bio – up to 60 words.
Submissions Guidelines for Non-fiction: Reviews / Reflections / Essays
At Blue Five Notebook, we are open to three different kinds of non-fiction contributions:
Reviews (750 – 2000 words)
Reflections (250 – 600 words)
Essays (up to 2500 words)
Content. We publish non-fiction discussions of fiction and poetry, primarily focusing on new poetry and short story collections. We generally do not publish reviews of novels, but we are intrigued by the flash novel which falls within our general frame of interest.
New works. We are interested in promoting new material, so we are looking for reviews and reflections about books published within the last couple years, or books that are forthcoming. Essays may include discussions of historical material and trends over longer periods. A review or reflection will focus on one book, while an essay may include a discussion of many books, or a discussion of the arts more generally – which may include visual arts, poetry, fiction, music, etc.
What we are looking for. In a reflection, we expect a heartfelt and intelligent response to a particular book. A review will take that a step further and provide more literary analysis and deeper discussion. An essay will take on broader issues and may address both recent and older works; an essay may be a discussion of one artist in particular or a look at broader trends or themes, in a comparative approach, including writers, painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians, filmmakers, etc.
Promotion, not self-promotion. Reviews and reflections should not be written as promotional material. Blue Five Notebook supports new works by a wide range of writers and publishers and we understand that the lines are sometimes blurry – writers may publish reviews of their friends and colleagues. But even with blurry lines, there are in fact lines that should not be crossed. It would not be considered appropriate if anyone associated with the publisher of a particular book write a review or reflection of that book. We are part of a wide supportive community, but we do not promote flagrant self-promotion or promotion from within. Reviews and reflections should maintain a standard of excellence and an intelligent approach – even if wholly positive, and even if written by a close associate. Having said that, we also appreciate critical reads, and reviews may well include close analysis that includes intelligent critique. A review that examines a book in its entirety will intrigue us as much as an outright endorsement. In either case, the quality of writing will matter most to the editors.
Your own style. The editors feel quite strongly that a reflection, review, or essay should reflect your own views while also adhering to the editors’ rigorous expectations in terms of presentation of material and style/tone. We aren’t interested in strictly academic writing, but we do like a well-articulated argument, especially when it comes to reviews and essays. We are flexible in terms of style and tone, as long as your approach is intelligent and respectful to the work you are considering. Please be as creative as you like, and send us a non-fiction piece that will intrigue us and our readers.
If you are familiar with Blue Five Notebook, you have a good idea of our wide range of eclectic taste in material. Surprise us and help introduce our readers to new and exciting books that deserve a closer look.
If you are new to our pages, please take time to read our past issues and familiarize yourself with the poetry and fiction we have embraced, and get in touch if you’re interested in becoming a contributor to this series.
Submit. Submissions for non-fiction work fall outside the general reading period for poetry, flash, and art. We work with writers on a case-by-case basis for these submissions. If you are interested in writing a review, reflection, or essay for Blue Five Notebook, please get in touch. Send a brief description of your idea to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all non-fiction submissions are subject to editorial review and discussion, and a submission is not a guarantee for inclusion until it meets with editorial approval.
No payment other than publication. Rights revert to author upon publication, although Blue Fifth Review does reserve the right to anthologize, in printed or electronic format, material originally published here. If work appearing in this journal subsequently appears elsewhere, the editor does request acknowledgment of Blue Fifth Review as the place of first publication.