Monthly Archives: October 2022

The Goldilocks Zone: $200 for Authors & Artists

Authors & Artists Eligible

The Goldilocks Zone appears wherever conditions make a planet habitable. Sunspot Lit is looking for the single short story, novel or novella excerpt, artwork, graphic novel, or poem that combines excellence in craft with reader or audience appeal, and thus falls into the Goldilocks Zone. Literary and genre works accepted.

Fiction and nonfiction submissions are eligible to receive feedback for an additional fee. This is entirely optional, and selecting feedback or entering the contest without feedback will have no bearing on the judging rounds. Each submission will receive a brief writeup a few paragraphs in length (about half a single-spaced page) commenting on critical strengths and weaknesses. This option is not available for art or poetry.

First prize is $200 plus publication. Runners-up and finalists are offered publication. No restrictions on theme or category. Maximum of 2,500 words for short stories or nonfiction, 24 lines for poetry, and 8 pages for graphic novels. No size requirements for painting, photography, video stills or sculpture, although each entry is limited to one image.

Open: October 1, 2022

Close: December 19, 2022

Entry fee: $9.50

Prize: $200 cash and 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 two months after contest completion, as well as in the annual 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Works should be unpublished except on a personal blog or website.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, but only one piece per submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

Enter through Sunspot’s Submittable form or Duotrope.


Open call for long-form fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic novels

Ends on November 15, 2022

Single works of fiction or nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, between 3,501 and 7,500 words can be submitted here.

Graphic novels should run 5 to 17 pages. 

single poem of 4 to 10 pages is accepted here.

Collections are not accepted for this open call.

Join Sunspot Lit, one of the few journals accepting long-form works, by submitting here.

Open call for very long-form fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic novels

Ends on November 1, 2022

Single works of fiction or nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 7,501 words up to 17,500 words should be submitted using this form.

Graphic novels should be 18 to 24 pages. 

single poem between 11 and 15 pages is also accepted. 

Collections are not accepted for this call.

Submit to Sunspot Lit here and let your work shine.

Inception 2022 Results

The list of Inception finalists, a contest run by Sunspot Lit for authors and artists, showed an exceptional range of creativity, and made ranking the top three tiers exceptionally difficult. Here are the results:


“Rust” by Ryker Woodward, painting based on video game landscape


“Morgan” by Ron Pullins, novel

“The Last Storm” by Jeanne Wilkinson, video still


“Buddha Blesses LA” by Jon Cohen, story

“The Bob and Wyvetta Love Story” by Kimberly S Stevenson, story

“Carnal Conversations” by Cynthia Close, memoir

“Henricus” by Cristina Bryan, historical novel

“Day at the Park” by Joy Kloman, painting based on vintage photos

The winner receives $250 and will be published in the next digital edition as well as the annual print edition. The runners-up and finalists will also be offered publication. To support great literature and art, consider preordering a print copy of the 2022 edition. Shipping to US locations is included in the price. Preorders for 2023 will become available in January.