Category Archives: Uncategorized

Open Call from Sunspot Literary Journal

Submissions for the third quarterly edition open June 1, 2020. Sunspot Lit accepts all prose forms from 1 to 49,000 words, poetry from 1 to 50 pages, and artwork. No restriction on theme or content. Submit here as many times as you like.

Sunspot Summer Edition 2020

Sunspot Lit’s second edition of the year is now available. Thanks to our contributors for sending exceptional artwork, fiction, and essays about the pandemic (among other standout pieces). This quarter’s cover art comes from Hediana Utarti. This sixty-year-old API immigrant came to the US in 1986 to study political science. After graduating, she found more purpose in her continuing role at the San Francisco Asian Women’s Shelter (sfaws.org).

Download your edition for free on the website.

Remember that we’ll select as many pieces as possible for the annual print edition. This year, we’re adding artwork to the print edition to further support our contributors. Keep an eye out as fall approaches for more information on contributors, pub dates, and more.

Closing soon: $100 for 100 Words or 1 Artwork Contest

Sunspot Lit offers $100 cash and publication for one winner, and the chance to be published as a finalist.

For this contest, all forms of prose are accepted: poetry, plays, stories, essays, memoirs, travel pieces, opinions, rants…just keep it to 100 words or less.
Artists are also welcome to submit. Instead of submitting 100 words, utilize a title of up to 10 words for your photo, digital art, painting, or other work. All art entries will be considered for use on the cover of the next edition, so you might end up with the stipend offered for cover artwork. (And yes, if you win and are used on the cover, you’ll be paid twice.)
Submit as many times as you like. One piece per submission. The fee to enter is $5, and goes to support the magazine, stipends for contributors, and other expenses. Contest ends on June 30, 2020.

Artists & Authors Eligible for $100 for 100 Words Contest

Sunspot Lit just updated the guidelines for the 2020 edition of the $100 for 100 Words contest. Previous contests that allowed visual artists to submit received such powerful entries that this contest was adjusted to allow them to enter it, as well. Prize is $100 cash and publication for one winner, and the chance to be published as a finalist. Here are the updated guidelines:

For this contest, all forms of prose are accepted: poetry, plays, stories, essays, memoirs, travel pieces, opinions, rants…just keep it to 100 words or less.
Artists are also welcome to submit. Instead of submitting 100 words, utilize a title of up to 10 words for your photo, digital art, painting, or other work. All art entries will be considered for use on the cover of the next edition, so you might end up with the stipend offered for cover artwork.
Submit as many times as you like. One piece per submission. The fee to enter is $5, and goes to support the magazine, stipends for contributors, and other expenses. Contest ends on June 30, 2020.

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.

New Multi-genre Writing Contest

SunspotSunspot Literary Journal wants your best fiction, nonfiction, or poetry opening. No restrictions on theme, category, or length of the piece from which the beginning is excerpted.

Length for the entry: Up to 250 words for prose. Up to 25 words for poetry. 

First place winner will be published, and finalists will be offered the opportunity to be published. Enter as many times as you like. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Work can have won other awards without being disqualified.

Cash award of $250 for the winner.

Link here to submit today. 

Closing October 31, 2019. 

Miradme Al Menos: Juana Inés on Netflix

Fantastic post about a must-see Netflix original covering the life of a woman who was important in history.

Essentially a Nerd

Frontispiece, Fama y Obras Póstumas del Fenix de México. Madrid, 1689. From Wikimedia Commons.

Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, la Décima Musa, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, looms large in the study of the literature of the Siglo de Oro. Hers is often the first woman’s voice we find, in a litany of men; forcefully Juana Inés reminds us of a woman’s genius, and a woman’s perseverance, against great—and ultimately insurmountable—odds. She is, in short, much more immediately important to me than is Simón Bolívar, libertador and subject of a flagrantly inaccurate adaption—but I have watched María Luisa Bemberg’s Yo, La Peor de Todas, and I’ve read Octavio Paz’s Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: O, Las Trampas de la Fé,1 as one does—and now, finally, an age after it showed up in my queue, I’m watching the new Netflix/Canal Once production…

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Tin House to Close; Sunspot to Open

books-2158737_1920June of 2019 will see the last Tin House literary magazine roll off the presses. After twenty years publishing original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Tin House is saying goodbye.

The move was done in the face of mounting costs associated with print publishing. Rob Spillman, the co-founder and editor, is moving on to other areas. The closing brings an end to a very long stretch of quality contributions to the literary arena.

While some new works will still be published on Tin House’s website, the loss of yet another print publication is difficult for writers. Much of the industry still gives more weight to credits in print publications, so the loss of even one magazine can be bad news.

There is a bright spot, however. Sunspot Literary Magazine is launching in January of 2019. For the first year, one print edition will be published. The magazine hopes to add additional print editions in subsequent years.

Meanwhile, digital editions are scheduled for every quarter. The founder is also considering adding frequent special editions that focus on a single author or a single category.

The magazine’s mission is to “change the world through words,” and is open to new and established authors and artists. Submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, essays, art, interviews, and reviews of books, movies and galleries are being accepted through Sunspot’s Submittable portal.

This is an excellent opportunity to be heard and to enact the change you want to see.

Author Spotlight: Laine Cunningham

Making unheard voices sing.

Friends of the Orange County Public Library

November 24! Orange County Public Library! Hillsborough Local Author Book Fair! Where one of the awesome authors you’ll be able to meet is Laine Cunningham!

Tell us about your latest work.

For fifteen years, I worked solely on novels. The results, four full manuscripts and one work in progress, won multiple national awards. Despite these achievements, my skills advanced slowly.

Two years ago, I turned to short stories. The format allows me to experiment with a broader range of human experience, voice, techniques, and themes. A number of literary journals and colleges have recognized these efforts.

The stories explore the liminal frontiers of individuals warped by social expectations—the demands that serve the status quo rather than the human heart. The inner dreamscape is displayed even when that territory evokes nightmares. Institutionalized violence, governmental aggression, and other conflicts spur readers to consider their impact on our global society.

Authors I love:

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Wind, Waves, and Wonder: Where Dolphins Walk

Where dolphins walk_CoverToday is the first day you can buy Where Dolphins Walk. This memoir from a commercial airline pilot who has traveled the world brings a level of thoughtfulness and meaning to how we move through the world…not only while traveling, but in our daily lives.

With profound consideration and lively stops in a number of the world’s most beautiful countries, Douglas Andrew Keehn gives readers a global cultural tour. The weight of his experiences happen in South America, where he eventually lived for a time before returning to the US.

Throughout his journeys and the book, Keehn returns time and again to the message conveyed by the subtitle: A Memoir of Bridging National Lifestyles, Positive Change, and the Powers of Silence. 

Destined to become the modern-day A Year in Provence for South America’s many jewels, Where Dolphins Walk connects readers with the global harmony that Keehn so clearly feels is not only possible, but is present for everyone who wishes to engage respectfully with other cultures.

Read this over the holidays, and you’ll know exactly where you want to go for your vacations…and possibly for the rest of your life.

Keen CockpitDouglas Andrew Keehn was an avid saltwater angler and deckhand as a teenager. Born in NYC, he was raised in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. He began flying at age seventeen, and has been a flight officer for a major commercial airline for thirty-three years.

After crossing numerous U.S., Canadian, and Mexican cities, his travels shifted south to Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. He resided in Florianopolis, SC, Brazil for more than six years.

Barbara’s Bits and Pieces

One of my clients and fellow authors sends me this delightful email newsletter now and again. I asked if I could share it here so that others can enjoy the fun and useful tips she provides.

Click on the link to see her October 2018 newsletter as a PDF. Then you can connect with her and receive a free subscription, too!

Barbaras Bits & Pieces October 2018 (5)

Finding Order in the Chaos

I liked this blog post so much, I wanted to share it. Has some nice points that are useful for all artists.

John Wreford Photographer

Finding Order in the Chaos

Landscape Photography

Despite having grown up in the countryside I have never really had much of an affinity for it; as a child I learned the names of trees and grass, I learned to swim in the river a couple of miles along the track, I fished it too or at least I sat and stared at the ripples and bobbing float until my thermos of tea went cold.

Ultimately, I was bored and wanted away the first chance I got, village life rarely offers a teenager much and cannot compete with sordid appeal of the city.

So, it’s odd how now I am finding myself searching for the sanctuary of nature, as a photographer I had never really shot landscapes as such and yet here I am up to my arse in brambles.

WRE_4x530 Three Birches on Vitosha Mountain

It all started a couple of…

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Parisian Indie Bookstore Shakespeare and Company

IMG_20180713_120738On Friday, I took advantage of a fourteen-hour layover in Paris, France. With so much time to spend, I headed into the city for a quick look around.

The indie bookstore Shakespeare and Company was on my list. The shop is on a street known for the vendors who set up book stalls along the Seine River. Their location is near Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.

Shakespeare and Company is an English-language bookstore in the heart of Paris. The building was originally constructed as a monastery. An old tradition held that one monk was assigned the duty of lighting the lamps at nightfall. The bookstore’s founder, George Whitman, cast himself as that monk when he began operating a store that would provide light through literature.