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Agora, A Celebration of Creative Expression

Submission Guidelines

  • Written Work:

    The deadline for submitting all written work is Friday of Mid-Term Exams week in early March. Requests for submissions for Agora, A Celebration of Creative Expression will be announced periodically starting in November every year. Written submissions must be in Microsoft Word and should be emailed to agora@bluefieldstate.edu.

  • Artwork, Photography & Sculptures: All artwork must be submitted before the last Friday in March to the Campus Life Office in the Othello-Harris Jefferson Student Center.

Winning entries will be announced and may be exhibited, performed, or recited during the annual event, Agora – A Celebration of Creative Expression which is held in the Othello Harris-Jefferson Student Center on the third Wednesday in April from 4-8:00 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to student winners only and their submissions will be published on the Agora website.

Submissions of poetry, short stories, one-act plays, performance art, songs, photography, and artwork are encouraged from Bluefield State University’s students, alumni, staff, faculty, and administrators, area public school students, and students of area colleges. Previously published work or submissions depicting graphic sex or violence will not be accepted.

Copyrights for winning entries published in Agora are retained by the author, with first publication rights granted to the journal. All rights revert to the author thereafter.

Entry Rules for Written Work

The subject line of your e-mail should state the genre of submission — poetry, short story, play, etc. The body of your e-mail should include your name, your e-mail address, phone number, and the title of your piece. Please attach your submissions to the email. Written submissions should be double-spaced.

Poetry:   You may submit up to three poems at a time, totaling three per year. Please be sure to format them as you want them to appear onscreen.

Short Stories:   You may submit one piece at a time, totaling two per year.

One-Act Plays: You may submit one per year.

Performance Art: You may submit one 15 minute video clip per year.

Songs: We will accept one entry at a time, up to two per year.

Essays: We are interested in all sorts of creative nonfiction. Please submit one essay at a time, up to two per year.

Entry Rules for Artwork, Photography & Sculptures


The maximum size for square is 20 x 20 inches and for rectangular 20 x 24 inches, including the outside edge of the frame.
Sculpture:  maximum of 30 pounds

Awards:   First and Second Place to high school and college students only with certificates of recognition for all others


Affix label to Front and Back of Entry with the following information:

Title (of the artwork)
Your Phone Number

Drop off or mail submissions to:
Bluefield State University
Student Life Office
Attn: Student Life Director
219 Rock Street
Bluefield, WV 24701
Contact Student Life at 304-327-4187 with any questions.

  • Open to all BSU students, faculty, staff, administrators, and area high school and college students. 
  • Students may submit up to two pieces of artwork or photography, as specified below. 
  • All entries must be original in concept, design, and execution. 
  • No reproductions of any kind, such as color copy, giclee, prints, or any other reproduction process, are accepted.
  • All media accepted, including collages, assemblage, and sculpture. 
  • Computer art is acceptable if the artist certifies it is a unique work of art and not a reproduction.
  • All entries, except sculpture, must be suitably framed and wired for hanging.