Submission Guidelines


Prose – Submit 1-3 pieces of fiction or creative nonfiction totaling no more than 3000 words.

Poetry – Submit up to 3 poems.

We want good, highly imaginative writing about contemporary life as you see it. We’re not interested in genre writing (romance, detective, horror, sci-fi) unless it somehow rises above the conventions associated with those types of writing. If your writing is clichéd, inspired by TV, emphasizes end rhyme above all else, has flat characters, exhibits a general insensitivity to the beauties and subtleties of language, it will not find a place in this journal.

No pornography. No racism. No sexism. If you’ve got to use profanity, remember a little goes a long, long way.

We do not accept previously published work. However, we do accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.  Our response time is about three months.


  • Undergraduate Students: Only previously unpublished work of current undergraduate writers will be considered. In order to verify your status as an undergraduate, we ask that with your submission you send along the email of a faculty member from your department. Until we gain confirmation of undergraduate status from this reference, we will not be able to publish your work.
  • Note to Widener Students: At this time, work from Widener students will not be accepted. Widener students are invited to submit their work to Widener Ink, the university’s print journal.
  • Frequency of Submission: If your work has been published in The Blue Route, we ask that you please wait at least one issue before submitting again.

Terms: We pay twenty-five dollars upon publication. We acquire First North American Serial Rights, a one time, non-exclusive use of Electronic Rights, with all rights reverting to the author upon publication. We will archive your work online. If your piece is later published elsewhere, we expect that you will mention The Blue Route as the original publisher.

Formatting: We ask that you put no identifying marks on your submission. Instead, in your submission email, we would like the following information provided:

Name (First and Last)

Title of Submission(s)

Name and Email of Faculty Contact for Enrollment Verification

A Brief Biography (No more than 100 words and written in the third person.)

For submissions: Please write “Poetry–Your Name” or “Fiction–Your Name” or “Nonfiction–Your Name” in the heading of the email. Send your work in an attachment in .doc or .docx format.  Submissions that do not follow these simple directions may be deleted.  Send all poetry or prose submissions to

25 thoughts on “Submission Guidelines

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  5. Jonathan Hammond

    I have also submitted a poem. This is a great opportunity to understand what other people of a similar age go through.

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  8. Gail

    Well, I hope it’s not cliched. I don’t know why, but these guidelines are kind of off-putting… probably because this is my first time submitting my work. Well, I’ll submit it anyway, and to 1,000,000+ other places too, and hopefully someone will love it!

  9. Alexis J Taylor

    What about a combined submission, do you want only prose or only poetry, or can I submit a mixture of the two?

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  16. Paige Caine

    You mention you have a response time of about three months; is there a place submitters can query should a significant amount of time pass without hearing back?

    I only ask because I submitted some poetry in January and still haven’t heard back. I am a new writer, but I tried my very best to religiously follow the submission guidelines and can’t find a reason my work would have been deleted without consideration, so I’m just wondering if writers have options should I believe my work has been “lost” somehow in the complicated process of running a literary magazine (especially throughout the pandemic).

    1. Paige Caine

      I just wanted to comment that, within 3 days of my posting this, the editors personally reached out to me via email regarding my submission. Despite the pandemic, The Blue Route is still an excellently run literary magazine and I will certainly be submitting again!

  17. Alicia Harmon

    Hi! If we want to submit a prose piece and a poetry piece, should we send them in two separate email submissions, or are we only allowed to submit in one category?

    1. widenerjmesch Post author

      Hi Alicia,
      You can submit in more than one category. You can combine them in one email, too. Thanks!

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