Submission Guidelines


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Starting this year, The Blue Route will be an annual publication. Issues will go live each spring. 

The Blue Route is an online undergraduate literary journal run by students and faculty at Widener University. We publish short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by undergraduate writers from any school other than our own.  There is a great deal of emerging talent in the undergraduate population, and we aim to showcase that talent in our journal. 

Our staff has an extremely thorough process of reviewing submissions. Each staff member reads and scores every submission. We then meet and discuss each piece, believing that this is the best way to give each submission the consideration it deserves.

We encourage submissions from undergraduates who have written pieces in any of the genres we publish. We also welcome readers from all walks of life, who are interested in all these writers have to offer.


  • Undergraduate Students: Only previously unpublished work of current undergraduate writers will be considered.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, please wait at least one issue before submitting again.


We want good, highly imaginative writing about contemporary life as you see it. We’re not interested in romance, detective, horror, sci-fi, and other genres, unless the piece somehow rises above the conventions associated with those types of writing. We’re also not interested in writing that clichéd, overly influenced by TV or film, features flat characters, emphasizes end rhyme above all else, and/or exhibits a general insensitivity to the beauties and subtleties of language.

PROSE: Submit 1-3 pieces of fiction or creative nonfiction totaling no more than 2500 words. Payment: 25 dollars.


POETRY: Submit up to 3 poems. Payment: 25 dollars.


ART: Beginning with Issue 28 of The Blue Route, we would like to feature the work of one talented undergraduate artist. Works of any medium or genre are welcome so long as they can be easily converted into a digital format for printing. We are looking for creative, thoughtful, and visually dynamic art that does not incorporate any hateful or distasteful imagery. Payment: TBD.

Statement on inclusion: While we gladly welcome works from all undergraduate writers (besides Widener), we specifically encourage submissions from underrepresented groups, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent writers, as well as writers with disabilities.

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

To increase your chances of acceptance, be sure to 1) carefully follow submission guidelines and 2) read a few recent issues of The Blue Route to get a sense of the kind of work we publish.

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.


Please write “Poetry–Your Name” or “Fiction–Your Name” or “Creative Nonfiction–Your Name” or “Artwork-Your Name” in the subject line of your email. 

In a similar manner, please make your name as well as the genre of the piece clear in the title of the file(s). Send your work in an attachment in .docx format. Submissions of artwork need to be in IMG format to be considered.

DO NOT put your name anywhere on your submission. Instead, in your submission email, please provide the following information: 

  • Name (First and Last)
  • Pronouns
  • School (full name of college or university you currently attend)
  • 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.)

Send all poetry, prose, or art submissions to

Submissions that do not follow the directions above may be deleted. 


Terms: 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.

NOTE: Any work submitted outside of the submission window will be automatically deleted.


26 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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