Author Archives: Laine Cunningham

About Laine Cunningham

Laine Cunningham is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant who has been quoted on CNN Money, MSNBC.com, FoxNews.com, and other national and international media. Her novels interweave social, cultural, historical, political and spiritual movements that have occurred within different groups and at different times. These elements engage readers in discussions of how similar forces have changed or are changing the contemporary world…and what might lie in our future. When individuals recognize how large issues build over time from multiple small steps, they recognize that everyone can foment change through their choices and their decisions. Her work has won multiple national awards, including the Hackney Literary Award and the James Jones Literary Society fellowship. In past years, the Hackney Award was received by Horton Foote and William Styron, placing her in the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. She has received dozens of fellowships and residency slots from programs like the Jerome Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the New York Mills Cultural Center, Wildacres Center for the Humanities, Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy, the TAKT Kunstprojektraum in Berlin, Germany, Fusion Art in Turin, Italy and The Hambidge Center. Her nonfiction books include "Writing While Female or Black or Gay: Diverse Voices in Publishing," which includes tips on re-engineering the publishing industry with grassroots actions. She is also the author of the travel memoir "Woman Alone: A Six-Month Journey Through the Australian Outback" and a series of Zen and Wisdom books combining unique inspirational text with beautiful photos.

Open Call Closing Feb 29

Sunspot Literary Journal is dedicated to amplifying diverse multinational voices. We offer an Editor’s Prize of $50 for the annual edition. Artwork selected for a cover will be paid $20. Visit SunspotLit.com to download digital editions for free.

All types of prose from flash fiction and poetry to stories and essays, including scripts and screenplays, are welcome. We also accept long-form, novelette, and novella length works. Translations welcome, especially with access to the piece in the author’s original language.

One piece per prose submission, including poetry; two works of visual art per submission.

Use the General form for prose from 501 to 3,500 words. Flash fiction and works longer than 3,500 words must be submitted through one of the other forms. If they are submitted through the General form, they will be declined unread.

Using the Fast Flux (two-week turnaround or less)? Select the correct fee option to avoid delays.

All submissions must be unpublished (except on a personal blog). Simultaneous submissions welcome. Submit as many times as you like.

Closes February 29, 2020 at midnight.

Book Review: Fever Dream / Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

I first had the pleasure of encountering Valyntina Grenier’s work through Sunspot Literary Journal’s Single Word contest. Since then, this talented artist was picked up by Cathexis North West Press.

Fever Dream / Take Heart is a doubled poetry book. Two chapbooks have been produced in a flip-book format. Bound in the  tête-bêche style, Fever Dream and Take Heart provide two forays through this poet’s feverishly delicious style.

Lifting off from nature, Grenier leaps intuitively between images that comment on humanity’s impact on the climate, corrosive politics, and all that is ferociously feminine. 

Leap anywhere into these works and emerge with your senses swollen and your will to enact change fortified with iron.

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Valyntina Grenier is a poet and visual artist living in Tucson, Arizona. She was born in Lancaster, California, and educated at The University of California, Berkeley, and St. Mary’s College, Moraga. Graduating with an MFA in poetry, she is self-taught as a painter, installation and Neon artist. In both language and visual art, she pushes the boundaries of representation and abstraction to create a vantage from which to view violence and prejudice. An LGBTQIA artist and activist, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lana Turner, High Shelf Press, JuxtaProse, Sunspot Lit, Bat City Review and The Impossible Beast: Poems of Queer Eroticism. Find her at valyntinagrenier.com or Insta @valyntinagrenier.

Closing Soon: Open Call from Sunspot Lit

Since launching in January of 2019, Sunspot has amplified multinational voices from around the world. The pSLJFrontublication is accepting fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scripts, screenplays, photography, and art until November 30. Translations and extremely long-form pieces are accepted. Submit here or visit the website here.

Single Word Writing Contest Offers $500

postcard-1197664_1920For the 2020 edition of the Single Word contest, Sunspot is handing the megaphone over to you. Submit the single word you feel is the most important in today’s world.

You’ll have 1,000 words to describe why using any form of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. If you feel the word speaks for itself, your description can simply state that fact.

Since English doesn’t always convey exact shades of meaning, the word you select can be in any language. A definition written in English will be required, and the definition will count toward the total word count of the description. The description must also be in English.

For the first edition of this contest in 2019, the prize was $50. In 2020, the prize is being increased to $500.
In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published.

Enter as many times as you like. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected. Deadline is March 31, 2020.

Sunspot’s Pushcart Prize Nominees

Sunspot Literary Journal is dedicated to helping its contributors in every way possible. We therefore submit pieces published in our editions to various award intended to call out some of the best creative work of the year.
We are incredibly pleased to announce that the following authors have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize:

Nina Wilson / “Feeding on Men”
Max Carp / “The First Epistle to Carmelo DeAndre Jones A.K.A. Notorious”
Kayo Chang Black / “The Nikah”
Ron Pullins / “Dada’s Home”
Tiffany Promise / “Saint Magpie of Loserville”
Patricia Worth, Translator for Claudine Jacques / “Other People’s Land”

If any of their work is selected by the Pushcart committee, it will appear in the 2020 edition of Pushcart’s anthology.
We wish them every success!

Sunspot Preorders Deadline

Priorities.jpgSunspot’s annual edition is being laid out now. The cover image is Kit Alloway’s “Priorities,” seen here. The print and electronic versions should become available at bookstores and online retailers in mid- to late November.

You can preorder copies through a dedicated form on the Submittable page or by contacting us at SunspotLit@gmail.com. Preorders will include shipping costs to US addresses.

For foreign addresses, you can add a tip on the Submittable page. Use the $15 level for a single copy. Contact us through email to order more than one copy for a single foreign address, and we’ll calculate the best postage price.

Preorders close October 31, 2019. Print sales help fund the magazine’s expenses throughout the year. Please share the preorder link or consider ordering extra copies as gifts.

Sunspot Editor’s Prize 2019

Sunspot Literary Journal’s annual edition provides for an Editor’s Prize for one contributor. This year, the selection was contributed by Kerry Muir. “Running on Moontime,” a short play, grabbed us with its depth and humor.

Kerry received $50 and a call-out line in the annual edition. To which she said, “OMG, OMG!!!! Laine, thank you so much, that’s incredible! (Beauty pageant fluttering hands, mascara tears….)”

So, you see why we liked her piece.