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.

This year, Indiana Review and Indiana University Press

will be accepting submissions of story collections.


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.


Michael Martone's most recent books are Winesburg, Indiana, Four for a Quarter, Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fiction from the Flyover, Racing in Place: Collages, Fragments, Postcards, Ruins, a collection of essays, and Double-wide, his collected early stories.

Martone's stories and essays have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, Story, North American Review, Epoch, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, Third Coast, Shenandoah, Bomb, and have appeared and been cited in the Pushcart Prize as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Essays anthologies. He has won two Fellowships from the NEA and a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Martone is currently a Professor at the University of Alabama where he has been teaching since 1996. He has been a faculty member of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College since 1988. He has taught at Iowa State University, Harvard University, and Syracuse University.


The call for submissions is Dec. 1, 2015–Feb. 15, 2016, Midnight 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.

Manuscripts should be about 30,000–45,000 words (140–180 manuscript pages) in length.

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 first Blue Light Books winner will have her or his collection debut at the 50th anniversary of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Feb. 8-11, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

The winner will also be flown out to read a selection of their work at the annual 2017 Blue Light Reading in beautiful Bloomington, IN.

No manuscripts with interior art or translations will be considered.

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

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


Interested in submitting your story collection to the 2017 Blue Light Books prize?

Submissions will open in Winter 2016!