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.

Resources for Authors & Artists

Sunspot Literary Journal recently added a list of resources for authors and artists to its website. You’ll find websites, podcasts, and YouTube channels with writing tips, and a list of writing workshops. Please send us your favorite resources and workshops for artists so we can serve the entire creative community.

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Sunspot Lit Free Summer Edition Available

Sunspot Lit has a lot to offer for your summer reading list. Check out the image contest winner and runner-up, and read the powerful and unique entries that ranked at the top of the Single Word: C*nt Edition contest.

This quarter, we present a story in the original Italian and in its English translation. Many thanks to author Piero Schiavo-Campo and translator Sarah Jane Webb for working with us to bring this story to light. “The Doll” and “La bambola” approach Vienna’s expressionist period from the viewpoint of an artist to tell a tale of “morbid jealousy and furious rage.”

Opportunity for Young Authors & Artists

Sunspot Literary Journal is now open for a special edition showcasing younger authors and artists. Anyone under eighteen should submit using this form.
Accepting fiction and nonfiction including essays, memoir, and travel; microfiction, flash, short stories, poetry, lyrics, teleplays, film and stage scripts; photography and art.
Maximum length is 3,500 words; individual poems and lyrics should be two pages or less. One piece per submission, please.
Share this post with your local schools!

Sunspot Lit’s C*nt Contest Winners

When Sunspot decided to launch an annual contest focused on a single word that would change every year, they deliberately selected a divisive word. They expected that having “cunt” in the title, even when they replaced the vowel with an asterisk, would create problems publicizing the contest, and that turned out to be correct.
They hoped that the focus on an inflammatory word would generate creative responses from authors and artists worldwide. The role of women in different societies, gender identity and fluidity, and human rights are, in some ways, the defining issues of our times.
The creative community responded with powerful works that blew the staff away. The tone of various pieces ranged from angry to empowered, from jackhammer decibels to whispering calm. In every case, the undercurrent lifted veils and carried all people toward a climactic resolution.
The significant quality of so many entries confounded the final judging process. There simply was no way to choose between the top two entries. The decision, therefore, was to declare two winners. As promised in Sunspot’s guidelines, the cash award was not split; it was doubled.
First place for a poem went to Morrow Dowdle for “To Russia with Love.” First place for artwork went to Valyntina Grenier for “Over His Eye.”
The winning entries will be published for the first time in the next edition of Sunspot Lit. The winners will be featured on the website, as well. They each received a $50 cash prize and the awe of the staff.

$100 for 100 Words Contest Closing Soon

Microfiction, micro essay, micro memoir, short poem, micro script, micro screenplay…if it’s 100 words or less, it might be worth $100. No restrictions on theme or category.
First place winners and finalists in various prose categories will be published in Sunspot Literary Journal. A byline and bio will be included, and select pieces will receive special attention on the website.
Enter as many times as you like. One piece per submission. Pieces must be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Work can have won other awards without being disqualified. Cash award of $100. Closing July 30, 2019.

Sunspot Lit Image Contest Winner

Sunspot Literary Journal reached out to the creative community for an image that represented the journal’s mission: Hearing Every Voice, Writing a New World.
The magazine received a number of spectacular entries. The final judging round turned out to be very difficult. The works varied in tone and approach, and each had so much to offer.
Timothy Boardman submitted the winning image. Timothy describes himself as predominantly a fine arts artist and printmaker with some design sensibilities who’s currently a student at UNCG in North Carolina. Here are his thoughts on the image:
“The center of the image is a gradient based sun, very simple, with a series of sunspots placed on the logo. The encircling white around the sun in this design are representative of the light, [Sunspot Lit’s] light, emanating from these sunspots, and giving voice to all. The slogan, ‘It’s Lit’ is a somewhat humorous, witty use of wordplay to represent your literary focus, while also being very straightforward about who you are as a literary journal. … I also noticed your website uses a lot of oranges, yellows, and whites, so I used them as the dominating color choices for the design.”
Timothy received the cash prize of $40 and Sunspot’s undying adoration. The image will appear in newsletters, on SunspotLit.com, and in the journal’s publications.

Fantastic Books to Help the Environment

You really have to see TREE and RIVER, both from Blotter Books, an imprint of The Blotter literary magazine. Each title contains a poem that has been lavishly illustrated by members of the Orange County artists’ community.

$25 each; available in Chapel Hill / Carrboro at the North Carolina Crafts Gallery, the Botanical Gardens, FRANK Gallery, and indie bookstore Flyleaf Books.

Online orders, contact m_k_smith@yahoo.com.  If you order online, the shipping is free!