Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in submitting to the Bellevue Literary Review.

The BLR seeks high-caliber, unpublished* work, broadly and creatively related to our themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body.

Below are guidelines for general submissions. For information about the BLR Prizes, please click here.

Please note: There is a $5 fee per general submission (fee waived for subscribers). Although the Bellevue Literary Review is published by NYU Langone Medical Center, we function independently and work to cover our production costs. Our staff is largely volunteer, but unfortunately our costs are not.

The BLR remains committed to publishing superb writing on themes of health, healing, illness, body and mind. 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. Please know that the submission fee goes entirely toward the production costs of the journal.

We recognize that subscribing to the journal is a tangible—and very much appreciated—way of supporting the BLR, thus the submission fee will be waived for current subscribers.

Thank you for your support and understanding.


  • Fiction: The Bellevue Literary Review seeks character-driven fiction with original voices and strong settings. We do not publish genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, horror). Our word max is 5,000, though most of our published stories tend to be in the range of 2,000-4,000 words. We have only occasionally published flash fiction. While we are always interested in creative explorations in style, we do lean toward classic short stories.

    Creative Nonfiction: We are looking for essays that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate anecdotes that feel alive, and dazzle us with thoughtful and creative analysis that allows these anecdotes to serve a larger purpose. Please, no academic discourses or works with footnotes. Maximum 5,000 words.

    Poetry submissions should have no more than 3 poems. Please include all poems in one document.

  • We will consider simultaneous submissions, but request that you inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

  • Manuscripts can only be accepted electronically via Submittable.

  • The BLR is closed to submissions in July and August.

  • Published authors will receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears, an additional 1-year subscription to the BLR, as well as a gift subscription for a friend. There is an author discount for purchasing extra copies. Thanks to grant funding, we have been able to pay our authors an honorarium for their work, and will continue to do so when funds are available.

  • 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 acquires first-time North American rights, and the right to reprint in anthologies. 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 the 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.)


If you have any questions or are having trouble submitting, please e-mail us at