Indiana Review and Indiana University Press are proud to present the Blue Light Books Prize, awarded on alternating years, to short story and poetry collections of outstanding merit.

We are reading your short story manuscripts now for the 2018 prize. The winner will be announced in April.

If you’re a poet, just hold on! We will accept poetry manuscripts December 1-February 10, 2019.



The name for the collaboration was inspired by a blue light outside of the Indiana Review offices in Ballantine Hall. The IR offices are located at the end of a long hallway, and when the office is open, this blue light is turned on. This light has come to symbolize the journal’s openness and commitment to fostering a sense of community. It is this sense of community that brings Indiana Review and IU Press together and inspires us to showcase exceptional collections of short fiction and poetry from the larger literary community.


Samrat Upadhyay is the author of the short story collections Arresting God in Kathmandu (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), The Royal Ghosts (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), and Mad Country (Soho Press)and the novels The Guru of Love (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), Buddha's Orphans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010), and The City Son (Soho Press 2014). Upadhyay has also co-edited the anthology Secret Places: New Writing from Nepal (University of Hawai'i Press). His honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, an Asian American Literary Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Book Award. He teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University - Bloomington.


The submission window for the 2018 Blue Light Books Prize was Dec. 1, 2017–Feb. 9, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

A $20 submission fee is required. Payment must be submitted online through the "Submissions" button below.

After making your payment, you will be redirected to our submissions manager and may then submit your Prize entry.

Writers are welcome to include an acknowledgments page if portions of the manuscript have been previously published. Please leave names and other identifying information off the submission.

Manuscripts should be 35,000 - 45,000 words, not including table of contents and acknowledgements.

A publication contract with IU Press and a prize of $2,000 against future royalties will be awarded to the winner.

The book will be published in trade paperback format.

The winning Blue Light Books collection will be displayed at the following Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference.

The winner will also be flown out to read a selection of their work at the annual 2019 Blue Light Reading in beautiful Bloomington, IN.

No manuscripts with interior art or translations will be considered.

Further, IR and IUP cannot consider work from anyone currently or recently affiliated with Indiana University or the prize judge. This includes those who have studied or taught at Indiana University in the past four years.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to reading your work!

Please proceed with your submission by clicking on the "Submissions" button below.


Submissions are now closed.

We look forward to reading your work!