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 poetry 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.


Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is currently a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.




We are now closed for submissions. We look forward to reading your work! The call for submissions is Dec. 1, 2016–Feb. 15, 2017, 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 no less than 48 pages and no more than 75 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 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 2018 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 short story collection for the Blue Light Books Prize? We will be open again in December.

Submissions are now closed. We look forward to reading your work!