MN BIPOC Emerging Writer Award Guidelines

Blue Earth Review is looking for ambitious and exuberant works of flash fiction, essay, memoir, and short poetry that offer insight, complicate existing conversations, and that enrich our understanding of what it means to be human in an increasingly complex world.

The award will be judged by poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator Michael Kleber-Diggs. Learn more about him below.

The current award season is 2024. Submissions are currently: Closed. Submissions are under review.

There is no submission fee. One submission per participant is allowed. Only submissions made through our official Submittable portal are allowed. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Notify us immediately if the piece is accepted elsewhere. Eligible participants must self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color and have a history of producing artistic work. Participants must not have published their first book. Participants must have resided in the state of Minnesota for at least six (6) months prior to submission and have rented, owned, maintained, or occupied an abode in Minnesota during that time (see 183-Day Rule). Furthermore, participants must be United States residents or valid US taxpayers. Split winnings are not allowed. Winners will be paid the full $1000 upon confirmation and processing as allowed by our affiliated institution, Minnesota State University–Mankato. Taxes may apply. Payment will be received on or after publication of the featured magazine. Email us with any questions. Put “MN BIPOC Emerging Writer Award” in the subject line.

Alumni of Minnesota State University–Mankato must wait a minimum of 5 years after graduation to be eligible to submit to Blue Earth Review.

Flash Fiction

Submit one flash fiction piece of no more than 750 words. Accepted file formats are (.doc or .docx).
Winner: $1000 prize and publication
Submission: Closed.

Flash Creative Nonfiction

Submit one flash creative nonfiction pieces of no more than 750 words. Accepted file formats are (.doc or .docx).
Winner: $1000 prize and publication
Submission: Closed.


Submit up to three poems per submission in a single file (.doc or .docx). Max 5 pages.
Winner: $1000 prize and publication
Submission: Closed.

Michael Kleber-Diggs by Ayanna Muata
Guest Judge Michael Kleber-Diggs

Michael Kleber-Diggs is currently writing a memoir about his complicated history with lap swimming called My Weight in Water (forthcoming with Spiegel & Grau). He is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow in Literature, a poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions 2021), won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, the 2022 Balcones Poetry Prize, the 2021 Poetry Center Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award. Michael’s essay, “There Was a Tremendous Softness,” appears in A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, edited by Erin Sharkey (Milkweed Editions, 2023). Another essay, “On the Complex Flavors of Black Joy,” is included in the anthology There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis, edited by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman. His poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies. Michael is married to Karen Kleber-Diggs, a tropical horticulturist and orchid specialist. They are both proud of their daughter, who recently graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance Performance with a Concentration in Composition.

Photo by Ayanna Muata

This award is made possible by a grant provided by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature. 

Blue Earth Review thanks Minnesota Poet Laureate of Dakota ancestry, Gwen Westerman, for seed money to initiate this award.

Return to top