Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts was founded in 2002 by the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.  The journal is currently published by the VCU Department of English; Cofounder Mary Flinn, former director of New Virginia Review, continues as one of the journal’s senior editors.

Read about Blackbird and its history below or visit recent news about the journal.

Find the most recent issue of Blackbird at

Since the formal startup in 2001 and the first issue in 2002, many have worked to make Blackbird a success. The journal has joined together undergraduate, MA, MFA and PhD students, alumni, and community volunteers; it has evolved, over more than sixteen years, protocols and best practices for manuscript screening, copyflow, media production, and online publishing.

Undergraduate and graduate students may apply to work for Blackbird as interns.  Intern alums, English department alums, and community members with an interest or relevant experience may also apply as volunteers. Journal staff have the opportunity to work with manuscript selection, copyediting, audio capture and editing, photo editing, and page building.


You’ll never hear us say that we’ve run out of copies.
An online journal like Blackbird foregoes the worry of printers, press runs, warehousing, and distribution, not to mention the unmendable errata of print. Anyone with access to the internet and an XP era computer or better, or a moble device, can read, listen to, and watch our contributors’ content (and fifteen years of archived content) on Blackbird for free.
Photo by Emilia Phillips

The journal’s arts advisers include faculty members of the nationally ranked VCU School of the Arts and curators from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

Named by storySouth as “best online publication” for 2007, Blackbird continues its mission to cultivate new readers of literature by providing an open-source journal (in the sense that is free to read) for anyone with access to the web.