Writer’s Guidelines

The Blue Review publishes scholarly articles on a broad range of public affairs topics including politics, cities, the environment, the media, education and nonfiction reviews. We strive for lively writing that is informed, confident and speaks to the general public. Successful pieces avoid jargon, footnotes, and citations, but include hyperlinks, clear, accessible vocabulary, and relevance to current events.

Pitch us your idea!

Writers can consider proposing a variety of features, including full-length essays, opinion pieces, and transcribed, edited interviews.  We occasionally post videos of speakers who give talks at the Boise State campus or that feature the work of faculty, students, and staff at Boise State University.

We are the sister publication to the public affairs radio show Big Tent Radio, which airs on Thursday afternoons at 3:30pm on Radio Boise, 89.9fm/93.5fm Caldwell/Boise, and we often post links to recordings of the show.  If you think you would make a good guest, please email bigtentradio@gmail.com for more information.

To have your work considered for publication in The Blue Review we recommend you read several articles on our site to develop an understanding of the kind of work we publish, and then, send us a short email with the following information:

    • your idea in a few sentences;
    • why you are the right person to write it;
    • whether you have any financial or other conflicts of interest we should be aware of; and
    • how it fits our mission of promoting scholarship in the public interest.

We will respond to your request within 5-10 business days.   Editorial decisions about the suitability of proposals and submissions are final.

Features

    • Essays: We do not have a set word limit for essays, but they tend to be range from 500 to 3,000 words in length. Paragraph lengths are fairly short to ensure readability, and feature hyperlinks to relevant supporting information or documentation.
    • Interviews: The Blue Review frequently runs short-format interviews as “5 Questions” pieces—editors pose five questions in writing to a scholar, public intellectual, or thinker about their work. These pieces tend to be conversational and informal in tone and are meant to give a brief, accessible introduction to one’s work or a particular topic.  Editors would also consider proposals to include longer interviews; these will be subject to editing for concision and accessibility.
    • Opinion pieces: Authors may also want to propose opinion pieces. All opinion pieces are subject to editorial discretion and will be clearly labeled as opinion or editorial pieces when published.  They should be well argued and supported with evidence.

We are also open to considering other formats.  If you have an idea that you think will work, but you don’t see it here, please let us know!

Review Process

1. When a piece is submitted, our Managing Editor (ME) forwards to the Editors for review.

2. Editors review the piece for suitability of publication.  Pieces may be rejected for the following reasons:

    • The topic or approach is unrelated to the public affairs mission of the School of Public Service.
    • The piece is not of high enough quality, in terms of readability, grammar, or mechanics, to be published.
    • The piece is not credibly argued or supported using evidence, if it is an essay submission.
    • Though strong arguments are welcome provided they are supported with evidence, publications must be written with aim of contributing to civil discourse on a topic of public interest.  Submissions that use language that is irresponsible, unethical, exclusionary, or inflammatory will be rejected.

3. If the piece is suitable for publication, Editors review and make suggested changes.  They may also seek feedback from content or other experts during the review process.  Editorial changes are generally directed toward improving the accuracy, readability, and credibility of submissions.

4. Editors then share suggested changes with the author and facilitate the revision process.  Editors also request appropriate biographical information and a headshot at this time.

5. Once the author approves the editorial changes, the Editor sends the submission to the Managing Editor (ME).  The ME formats the submission and graphics in draft form, and shares the pre-publication draft with the Editor and author.  Changes from this point on should be approved by the author, the ME, and the Editor.

6. If the author does not approve recommended editorial changes, the author and/or editors may decide to discontinue the publication process.

7. Once the author and editors have approved the pre-submission online draft, the ME publishes.

8. After publication, if errors are identified, either by the author, editors, or readers, changes will be made as quickly as possible.  The ME will record these changes at the end of the published submission.

Republication Guidelines

  • Editors may consider republishing pieces in The Blue Review that have been published in other outlets, provided they are considered suitable for publication, fit with the mission of The Blue Review, and the original publisher has given permission to republish.
  • The Blue Review also permits republication of our content, provided the material reappears unedited from its original format and The Blue Review is credited via hyperlink as the original publisher.  Our material is not to be sold separately.