Submissions Guidelines

Big news! Black Rock & Sage is now open for submissions year round!

Each year’s issue deadline will remain February 14 at midnight Mountain time. For your work to be considered, you must be registered as an ISU student at time of submission. For summer submissions, you may instead be registered for classes the following Fall semester. See additional guidelines below.

We are looking for Idaho State University students’ unique, quality works, both experimental and traditional, that appeal to the eyes, ears, and minds of curious readers from all disciplines. Whatever your interests or emphasis of study, we want to publish your well-polished creative works.

We especially strive to magnify voices that are traditionally and systemically silenced. Writers and artists of color, queer and gender nonconforming writers, disabled writers, immigrant writers, and writers from other underrepresented communities: you are all welcome and wanted here. 

BR&S will consider previously unpublished fiction, poetry, plays, essays, memoirs, art, maps, schematics, musical performances, scores, and more. We are interested in creative genres familiar and unexpected alike. All submissions will be judged anonymously. We accept simultaneous submissions if notified. Do you also want to be considered for the Ford Swetnam Poetry Prize? For more details and guidelines, see information about our contests.

General Submissions

  1. Email your work as an attachment to brs@isu.edu. More specific genre guidelines below.
  2. Do not include your name anywhere in the body of the manuscript to ensure anonymity.
  3. Include your work as an attachment to your submission email.
  4. Include your name, Bengal ID number, student status (undergraduate or graduate), email address, and approximately 50-word bio (written in the third person) in the body of the email.
  5. Include individual piece titles, your name, and Bengal ID number in the subject line of your submission email.

Writers, from all departments at ISU – Students can submit both poetry and prose. Students can submit up to 3 prose pieces. The word count for any prose piece must not be over 5,000 words. Prose should be double-spaced with page numbers, 12-point standard font, 1-inch margins–unless experimental in nature. Students can submit a maximum of 5 poems; Poetry should be single-spaced with only one poem per page. No one poem should be more than 10 pages. Work should be included as attachments only. We accept the following formats: .doc, .docx., .rtf. Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent to submit.

Visual and Graphic Artists, from all departments at ISU – The magazine includes numerous and varied pieces of visual art selected by appropriate Art Department or Mass Communication faculty members. Submit up to 10 visual work pieces as a 300-dpi .png, .tiff, or .jpeg in the cymk color scheme, and an image 4.5″ wide x 6″ tall (1350 x 1800 pixels) to brs@isu.edu. Students may submit their artwork sideways if they wish it to be displayed that way. Please list materials for art submissions. The file name for each image should be the name of the image. We have a limited number of color pages in the magazine. Please let us know if a submission could be considered for grayscale printing.

Musicians, from all departments at ISU – The magazine includes a CD featuring performance pieces selected by Music Department faculty members. Individual performances should be limited to seven minutes. Written scores will be considered for inclusion as visual art in the magazine. For more information, please contact Dr. Jonathan Armstrong in the Music Department (jonathanarmstrong@isu.edu). Click on Additional Information for Musical Performers to find the 2021-2022 music application form.

Performers, from all departments at ISU – For written pieces (screenplays, monologues, short plays, etc.), please follow the guidelines for writers listed above. For costume designs and other still-visual pieces, please follow the guidelines for visual artists listed above. For performances submitted via video, the magazine will list the pieces selected by Theatre and Dance Department faculty members, and our website will link to their videos. Up to five video links may be submitted to brs@isu.edu (each no more than 10 minutes in length). Performances, in any genre, may be of original work or of a piece by another artist/author, but please indicate in submission if this is the case.

Staff submission guidelines: The BR&S editor-in-chief, genre editors, and managing editor may not publish work in the magazine. The assistant editors may submit to the journal but should do so by emailing their work to the faculty advisor. These submissions will be evaluated anonymously by the senior staff and the faculty advisor separate from rush meetings.

If you have any questions please view our frequently asked questions or contact the editors at brs@isu.edu.