Submissions for this year’s Blue Light Books Prize are now closed.

The winner of the 2019 prize, selected by Michelle Pretorius, is The World of Dew and Other Stories by Julian Mortimer Smith!



Because Indiana Review's offices are at the end of a long, often dark hallway in a university building, we place a lamp with a blue light bulb outside the door to let folks know we're in. The blue light has come to represent the open and quirky community that Indiana Review cultivates. When we decided to partner with Indiana University Press on a book series, it only felt right to name it Blue Light. We accept full-length poetry and fiction manuscripts in alternating years and host a reading series to celebrate the release of each title. Check out past winners on the IU Press website!


Michelle's debut novel, The Monster's Daughter, published by Melville House, was awarded a 2017 FAW Literary Prize as well as being an American Booksellers Association Debut Voices pick. She earned a B.A. at the University of the Free State in South Africa, and holds a M.F.A. in Fiction Writing, and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Ohio University where she was awarded the John Cady Graduate Fellowship. She is published in multiple genres and received a Pushcart nomination for her short story "Fairchance". More information can be found at



The submission window for the 2020 Blue Light Books Prize is September 1-October 31, 2020, 11:59 PM EST.

A $20 submission fee is required. The first two weeks, you can submit for 1/2 off so prepare your manuscripts now! Payment must be submitted online through the submit 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 30,000-45,000 words, not including table of contents and acknowledgements.

Please note that we are not considering manuscripts with interior art or translations at this time.

Also, IR and IU Press 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.

The prize winner will receive a $1,000 prize from Indiana Review, along with a publishing contract including $1,000 against future royalties from IU Press.

The winning Blue Light Books collection will be published in trade paperback format and 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 2021 Blue Light Reading in beautiful Bloomington, IN.


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


Submissions are now closed.