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 work has won multiple national awards, including the Hackney Literary Award and the James Jones Literary Society fellowship. 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. 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.

Rigel: $250 for Fiction, NF, Poetry, Art, Graphic Novel

Authors & Artists Eligible

Rigel is the brightest star in the Orion constellation. Sunspot Lit is looking for the single piece of writing, art, or poetry that outshines the rest. Winner receives $250 plus publication. No restrictions on theme or category. See guidelines for details on preparing your submission.

Open: April 1, 2022

Close: June 30, 2022

Entry fee: $6

Prize: $250 cash and publication

Enter through Sunspot’s Submittable form or

Duotrope.

Open Call for Authors and Artists Closes Soon

Sunspot Lit accepts all types of prose including essays, memoir, travel, teleplays, film and stage scripts. For each form, you can submit:
One or two pieces of flash fiction; total length of submission not to exceed 1,000 words

OR

A single work of fiction or nonfiction; no longer than 3,500 words

OR 

Up to three poems; total of three pages

OR

A graphic novel of 1 to 4 pages

OR

Artwork; total of two images
In your cover letter, please indicate length and whether the piece is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. 

Please do not mix submission forms (for example, provide one poem and one flash piece as a single entry). Mixed submissions will be rejected without review. Do feel free to submit in separate categories by using the same form any number of times. 

Send your work through Submittable.

Genre Fiction Feedback

Sunspot Lit’s Angel Leya is now offering feedback on genre fiction, with a particular emphasis on novel excerpts. She specializes in fantasy and paranormal, with experience in light sci-fi, contemporary romance, and YA.

For works up to 5,000 words, you will receive a few paragraphs (about half a single-spaced page) of comments intended to strengthen your work. For works up to 12,500 words, you’ll receive around a full single-spaced page of comments.  

Submissions are capped each month, and the form will shut off once the cap is reached. 

Angel Leya is the coauthor of the USA Today bestselling book, Shifted (Siren Prophecy series), with over 12 additional novels, novellas, and short stories to her name. She’s been published in  several anthologies, including Fiddlehead Press and The Alliance of YA Authors.

She reads avidly (and writes) in the fantasy and paranormal genres, but she also has a soft spot for a good light sci fi or contemporary romance. Angel specializes in giving practical advice, with a bent toward characterization and dialog, as well as word flow, breaks in logic, and hooks.

Using this form, submit one story or excerpt. Submit as many times as you like using a new submission form for each story or excerpt. 

Geminga 2022 Results

Sunspot Lit congratulates the winner of Geminga 2022 as well as the runners-up and finalists.

Winner

“Tax Season” by Tifara Brown, poem

Runners-up

“Kishimoto” by Rain Hou, nonfiction

“Her Wildest Dream” by Martha Nance, digital art

Finalists

“Suffers Patiently” by Jessica Ross, prose

“Get All Your Ducks in a Row” by Pamela Viggiani, mixed media

“On Tuesday at Age 21” by Kelly Q. Anderson, nonfiction

“Some Days I Can Taste” by Atma Frans, poem

“Rest Stop, Mile Marker 173” by Jen Payne, prose

“Broken Heart” by Paul Milligan, sculpture

“Fall Tanka” by Sarah Kersey, poem

“Memory Loss Blessings” by Madi Morelli, nonfiction

“Analogy” by JJ Chen Henderson, poem

“Candy Crush” by Jacqueline Schaalje, poem

Sunspot is dedicated to helping authors and artists gain recognition and receive stipends for their work. Check out our new contest, offering $250 plus publication, here.

Rigel: $250 for Prose, Poetry, Art, Graphic Novel

Authors & Artists Eligible

Rigel is the brightest star in the Orion constellation. Sunspot Lit is looking for the single piece of writing, art, or poetry that outshines the rest. Winner receives $250 plus publication. No restrictions on theme or category. See guidelines for details on preparing your submission.

Open: April 1, 2022

Close: June 30, 2022

Entry fee: $6

Prize: $250 cash and publication

Enter through Sunspot’s Submittable form or

Duotrope.

Open Call for Very Long-form Fiction, CNF, Poetry, Graphic Novel Closing Soon

Fiction and nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 7,501 words up to 17,500 words should be submitted to Sunspot before May 1. Graphic novels should be 18 to 24 pages. A single poem between 11 and 15 pages is also accepted. Submit here.

Open Call for Novelette Length Fiction, CNF, Poetry, Graphic Novel Closing Soon

Sunspot Lit accepts novelette-length fiction and nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 17,501 to 29,000 words. Graphic novels should run 25 to 50 pages. A single poem between 16 and 20 pages is also accepted. Submit here before April 15.

Rigel 2022: $250 for Fiction, NF, Poetry, Art, Graphic Novel

Authors & Artists Eligible

Rigel is the brightest star in the Orion constellation. Sunspot Lit is looking for the single short story, novel, novella, artwork, graphic novel, or poem that outshines all the rest.

Rigel offers $250 plus publication to the winner, and offers publication to select finalists. No restrictions on theme or category. The length for prose is restricted to a maximum of 5,000 words for short stories, or ten pages for poetry and graphic novels. Excerpts should always be from the beginning of a longer work, and should include a synopsis. The synopsis counts toward the entry’s total word/page count. Artwork should consist of a single piece.

Any novels, novellas, or graphic novels selected as the winner or as finalists will be offered publication only for the submitted sample.

Open: April 1, 2022

Close: June 30, 2022

Entry fee: $6

Prize: $250 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 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.

Enter through Sunspot’s Submittable form or

Duotrope.

Call for Novellas Closing Soon

Sunspot Literary Journal accepts novella-length fiction and nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 29,001 to 49,000 words. Graphic novels should run between 51 and 100 pages. A single poem between 21 and 25 pages is also accepted. Check out the Submittable page and send in your work before April 1.

Effort to help Ukrainian writers and their families

From Dzanc Books and Disquiet:

The staff of Dzanc Books and Disquiet have been watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine with horror. Like many, we’re trying to find small ways to help. We’ve secured a donation of $50,000 USD that we’ll be directing to individual Ukrainian writers and their families to help them get to safety. We can also provide support in relocating to the US or Portugal for writers and their families who wish to explore those options. Ukrainian writers and their families wishing to access these funds may contact us directly at ilp.lisbon@gmail.com. (Donors wishing to further support these initiatives may make contributions at this link.) Additionally, all proceeds from sales of Dzanc books for the month of March will be donated 100% to Ukraine humanitarian efforts. The Disquiet International Literary Program annually brings together writers from around the world in Lisbon, Portugal, for a two-week festival of workshops, lectures, readings, and literary cultural exchange. Dzanc Books was created in 2006 to advance great writing and to impact communities in the US and around the world.

Financial Resources for Authors

If you haven’t seen C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers website, you’re missing out. The site and newsletter has a huge number of opportunities ranging from paying markets to contests. Hope vets everything to make sure writers are heading for a good place when they click a link.

Another great source for contests, grants and awards is Winning Writers. Jendi Reiter pulls together trusted resources, and offered this description:

“Founded in 2001, Winning Writers discovers the best contests, markets, and resources for creative writers. Our free monthly e-newsletter includes upcoming deadlines, literary comics, and links to our subscribers’ recent awards and publications.”

For authors working with Kindle, Kindlepreneur posts articles listing the best contests they’ve vetted for their members.

Don’t forget that Geminga, a contest offering $250 plus publication to a winning author, poet, or artist for a $5 entry fee, closes March 31.

Open Call for Long-form Fiction & Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, Poetry Closing Soon

Sunspot Lit accepts fiction and nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, between 3,501 and 7,500 words until May 15. Graphic novels should run 5 to 17 pages. A single poem of 4 to 10 pages is accepted. Submit here.  

New Open Calls for Authors, Poets, and Artists

Sunspot Lit just opened its new calls for all lengths of poetry, prose, and art.

The journal offers an Editor’s Prize of $15 for each digital edition and an Editor’s Prize of $50 for the annual print edition. Artwork selected for a digital or print cover will be paid $20. Visit SunspotLit.com to download digital editions for free.

They welcome prose from flash fiction and poetry to stories and essays, including scripts and screenplays, up to 49,000 words. Genre categories are accepted along with literary works. Poetry can be up to 1,250 lines. Translations welcome. Please note the word count in your cover letter. 

One piece per submission (except flash, poetry, or art). Use the correct form according to the length of your prose and poetry. Works longer than allowed by the form you select will be declined unread.

The Fast Flux options offer a one-week turnaround for short prose and art. Poets and longform prose receive a two-week turnaround, with most responses being sent within one week.  

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

Note that the longest prose and poetry works are open for shorter periods of time. Be sure to check the deadlines for the type of work you’d like to submit to get your pieces considered for the next edition.

All submissions must be sent through the journal’s Submittable page.