Monthly Archives: October 2020

Inception Contest 2020 Results

The judging for the 2020 Inception contest is complete. Sunspot Literary Journal received over 600 entries ranging from a few lines of poetry to novel and novella openings as well as experimental prose and exceptional images.

The winner and finalist were selected by implementing a number of judging rounds. Submissions that advanced through the first round were placed on the longlist. Ones that passed through the second round were added to the shortlist (quarter finalist). The third round resulted in the list of semifinalists.

From this batch, the fourth round chose ten finalists. A winner and runner-up were winnowed from this top tier. The finalists are:

Frances Gufan Nan for “Tell Me the Textures You Were Made to Forget”

Dean Gessie for “[sick]stemic”

Aylah Ireland for Matrilineal Cubes

Janet Garber for The French Lover’s Wife

Andy Carpenter for Blood Creek

Christie Cruise for Pash

Drew Smith for “Out of the Mojave”

Laurie Babcock for “Student Affairs”

The runner-up was Dallas Frederick for the art piece titled Pica Nuttalli—Yellow-Billed Magpie.

The winner is Melisa Casumbal for the opening to a novella called Our Beloved. Casumbal received the cash prize, and the first words of the work will be published in the last digital edition of the year. All finalists and the runner-up are being offered publication in the same digital edition. The works will be included in the 2021 print edition, out in fall of next year.

Order a copy of this year’s print edition here. Shipping to US locations is included, and the drop-down menu has options for shipping outside the US.

Remember to enter the last contest of the year, Culmination: $500 for a Prose, Poetry or Art Ending, here for only $5.


Culmination: $500 for a Prose, Poem, or Art Ending

Authors & Artists Eligible

Endings carry a heavy weight. They must bring all the disparate elements of a poem, work of prose, or art series together while also proving an exit point that will smolder in the reader’s or viewer’s mind.

This year, Sunspot Lit is launching Culmination: $500 for a Prose, Poem, or Art Ending. No restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece from which the beginning is excerpted. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Graphic novel entries should be the last page with a maximum of 250 words; cut the number of panels to meet the word count, if necessary. 

Visual art entries should be the last in a series, gallery lineup, or themed collection. Artists may use up to 250 words to describe the series, lineup or collection.

Titles are not included in the word count.   

Open: October 1, 2020

Close: December 31, 2020

Entry fee: $5

Prize: $500 cash, publication for the winner, publication offered to runners-up and finalists.

Sunspot asks for first rights only; all rights revert to the contributor after publication. Works, along with the creators’ bylines, are published in the next quarterly digital edition an average of one month after contest completion as well as the annual fall print edition. 

Works should be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Artists offered publication may display their pieces in galleries, festivals or shows throughout the publication contract period.  

Enter as many times as you like through Submittable, but only one piece per submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

Visit our Submittable page to enter.