There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Bluestem is an online journal, published thrice yearly. 

Please submit no more than 5 poems at one time, or one short story, or one creative non-fiction essay. Fiction / prose should be no longer than 5000 words. Please include a brief bio with your submission. If you are submitting more than one poem, please include all pieces in one file (you may withdraw single poems by sending a message through Submittable or emailing us at

No previously published work is accepted. Simultaneous submissions are fine. If your work is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw your work via the submission manager.

Please submit no more than once per reading period. If you have been published by Bluestem within the past three years, please wait until that period has passed before submitting again. Bluestem does not accept work from current students or faculty of Eastern Illinois University. 

For more insight into what kind of work we are looking for, please read our updated interview at Duotrope.

Please note that Bluestem is currently a non-paying market. We are working to change this, but in the meantime, we hope that not charging any submission fees mitigates against this somewhat.