Since its formal startup in 2001 and first issue in 2002, Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts has joined together undergraduate, MA, MFA and PhD students, alumni, and community volunteers. Undergraduate and graduate students may apply to work for Blackbird as interns for up to two semesters of credit. In addition, there are opportunities for graduate students to work in leadership and editorial roles at the journal as Graduate Assistants.
Intern alumni, English department alumni, 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.
The journal was founded in 2002 by the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc. It is currently published by the VCU Department of English; cofounder Mary Flinn, former director of New Virginia Review. Inc., continues as one of the journal's senior editors.
Named by storySouth as “best online publication” for 2007, Blackbird continues its mission to cultivate new readers of literature by providing its content in an open-access journal (in the sense that is free to read).
(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 mobile device, can read, listen to, and watch our contributors’ content and more than fifteen years of archived content on Blackbird for free.)