Category Archives: Uncategorized

31st Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Call for entries: Best short story and best essay will be awarded $3,000 each and publication in the 31st annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest from Winning Writers.

Along with the two First Prize winners, ten Honorable Mentions will also be published and receive $300 each.

This contest is co-sponsored by Duotrope. Winning Writers has been listed on Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 Websites for Writers in 2022.

Both published and unpublished work is accepted. Entry fee: $22. Length limit: 6,000 words. Our judge is Mina Manchester.

Winning Writers guarantee: We review every story and essay for eligibility and formatting before the judge’s reading period begins. We personally contact entrants if any corrections need to be made. A full refund is given in cases where an issue cannot be resolved.

The contest deadline is April 30, 2023. Find out more and submit your work at http://www.winningwriters.com/sunspotblog23.

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Open call for flash fiction, nonfiction, poetry, artwork, and graphic novels

Ends on November 30, 2022

Sunspot Lit accepts all types of prose including essays, memoir, travel, teleplays, film and stage scripts. This open call accepts:

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. 

Submit here.

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:

Winner

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

Runners-up

“Morgan” by Ron Pullins, novel

“The Last Storm” by Jeanne Wilkinson, video still

Finalists

“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.

Inception Contest Closing Soon

Authors and Artists Eligible

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come.

Meaning, thoughtfulness, emotions, or tone draw audiences into the moment. A poem handles this differently than a flash piece, which handles an opening differently than a novel. The first photo, painting or frame presented in a gallery, series, or graphic novel strives for the same intent. Openings contain a spark that promises to burn. 

For Sunspot Lit’s current Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Graphic novel and comic book entries should be the first page (unlimited number of panels on that page) with a maximum of 250 words (cut the number of panels in order to meet the word count, if needed). 

Visual art entries should be the first in a series, the first in a gallery lineup, the first in a themed collection, etc. Entries are limited to one image.

Open: July 1, 2022

Close: September 30, 2022

Entry fee: $8.50

Prize: $250 cash plus publication for the winner.

Publication will be 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 the annual fall 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 or Duotrope, but only one piece per submission. Submission files that contain multiple pieces will be disqualified without review. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

Open Call for novelette-length fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or graphic novel

Ends on October 15, 2022

Sunspot Lit is open for single works of fiction or nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 17,501 to 29,000 words.

Graphic novels should run 25 to 50 pages. 

single poem between 16 and 20 pages is also accepted. 

Story, essay, and poetry collections are not accepted in this category.

Submit here and join the journal changing the world through words and art.

Open Call for Novella Length Fiction, NF, Graphic Novels, Poetry

Ends on October 1, 2022

Single works of fiction or nonfiction, including scripts and screenplays, from 29,001 to 49,000 words can be submitted to Sunspot Lit. Graphic novels should run between 51 and 100 pages. 

single poem between 21 and 25 pages is also accepted. 

Story, essay, and poetry collections are not accepted.

Submissions that do not meet these guidelines will be declined without review.

Submit your work here before the deadline.

Inception: $250 for Prose, Poetry, Art, or Graphic Novel

Authors and Artists Eligible

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come.

Meaning, thoughtfulness, emotions, or tone draw audiences into the moment. A poem handles this differently than a flash piece, which handles an opening differently than a novel. The first photo, painting or frame presented in a gallery, series, or graphic novel strives for the same intent. Openings contain a spark that promises to burn. 

For Sunspot Lit’s current Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Graphic novel and comic book entries should be the first page (unlimited number of panels on that page) with a maximum of 250 words (cut the number of panels in order to meet the word count, if needed). 

Visual art entries should be the first in a series, the first in a gallery lineup, the first in a themed collection, etc. Entries are limited to one image.

Open: July 1, 2022

Close: September 30, 2022

Entry fee: $8.50

Prize: $250 cash plus publication for the winner.

Publication will be 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 the annual fall 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 or Duotrope, but only one piece per submission. Submission files that contain multiple pieces will be disqualified without review. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

Sunspot Lit Editor Featured in Shoutout Atlanta

Ever wondered how lit mags get started or about the people behind them? Check out this feature from Shoutout Atlanta to learn more about Sunspot Lit’s journey.

And thanks to Shoutout Atlanta for all its great work spotlighting real people, artists, and small businesses who make our lives better.

Open call for flash fiction, nonfiction, poetry, artwork, and graphic novels

Ends on August 31, 2022

Sunspot Lit accepts all types of prose including essays, memoir, travel, teleplays, film and stage scripts. This open call accepts:

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. 

Submit here.

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

Ends on August 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.

Inception: $250 for Best Opening

Authors and Artists Eligible

Beginnings have the power to spark passion or curiosity. They might immediately connect a specific place and time with an emotional tone. The best openings offer a feeling, atmosphere, action, or image that is gripping, and hints at more to come.

Meaning, thoughtfulness, emotions, or tone draw audiences into the moment. A poem handles this differently than a flash piece, which handles an opening differently than a novel. The first photo, painting or frame presented in a gallery, series, or graphic novel strives for the same intent. Openings contain a spark that promises to burn. 

For Sunspot Lit’s current Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the excerpt comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry.

Graphic novel and comic book entries should be the first page (unlimited number of panels on that page) with a maximum of 250 words (cut the number of panels in order to meet the word count, if needed). 

Visual art entries should be the first in a series, the first in a gallery lineup, the first in a themed collection, etc. Entries are limited to one image.

Open: July 1, 2022

Close: September 30, 2022

Entry fee: $8.50

Prize: $250 cash plus publication for the winner.

Publication will be 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 the annual fall 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 or Duotrope, but only one piece per submission. Submission files that contain multiple pieces will be disqualified without review. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

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

Ends on August 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.