Sunspot Issue 3 Free Download

Once Sunspot Lit opened up to even longer works than before, writers sent in spectacular stories ranging from flash up to novella length. So, just in time for fall, the digital edition has doubled in size over the first two quarters. Thanks to all our creative contributors for making that happen!

Our dedication to opening up the journal to worldwide audiences continues with two special dual-language presentations.

First up is a story called “Other People’s Land.” Originally produced by a Tahitian publisher, here it’s presented in Fench and as an English translation. Both the author Claudine Jacques and translator Patricia Worth were instrumental in pulling together both versions as well as arranging permission from Au vent des îles.

Second is our first nonfiction piece in the form of an interview. Opwonya Innocent was born in a time of great civil unrest in Uganda. Abducted at the age of ten, he was forced to become a child soldier in a rebel force known as the Lord’s Resistance Army. Coauthor Kevin McLaughlin facilitated a conversation between Sunspot and Opwonya. The interview is presented in English and the Luo language of Opwonya’s people.

Visit Sunspot’s website to download the free edition. You can also leave a tip to help keep art alive through the Paypal link of the primary funding source, or through the Submittable tip jar.

Paying Market for Artists, Photographers

art-1867899_1920Sunspot Literary Journal has begun paying for artwork or photos used on its cover.

The cover is selected from the pool of submissions accepted for publication every quarter.

Once a year, the magazine produces a print version. One of the pieces of art published in that year’s editions is selected as that cover. It might be one already used as a digital cover, or it might be a different one.

So, your accepted artwork has two opportunities to be selected for a cover. And yes, if the same piece is selected twice, two payments will be made.

The payment is currently $20. Sunspot will add payments for all contributors, and increase the amount of those payments, as funding grows.

Check out their website, or head over to Submittable to send in a piece of art or a photograph.

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. 

$100 for 100 Words Contest Results

Hundreds of submissions poured into Sunspot Lit for the first $100 for 100 Words contest. Fiction entries ranged from literary to genre pieces (heavy on sci-fi this time, which always sparks the editor’s personal pleasure). Nonfiction prose offered thoughtful commentary on society and relationships, lyric essays, howls that burned down the houses of power, and bright, compact ideas. Poetry was of course well represented.

Many of the entries ran up to the word count limit. A handful made clever use of the title to enhance the work by setting place, time, tone, or other important elements. A surprising amount used less than half the allowed word count, and some of those shot to the top of the list.

The finalists are, in no particular order:

  • Melinda Winograd for “Suitable Match”
  • A.D. Conner for “Whiskey Mermaid”
  • Thomas Boos for “The Bar at the Bottom of the Hill”
  • Lory Saiz for “In the Dark: A Micro Essay on Black Sails’ James Flint and the Gay Villain Trope”
  • Bob Thurber for “The Shovelers”
  • Judith Ralston Ellison for “Zapped by Electricity”
  • Pamela Sumners for “Love Poem”
  • Jesse Sensibar for “Plow in the Sky”
  • Jodee Stanley for “November”
  • Mary-Chris Hines for “As a God”
  • Claudia Reed for “The End of the World?”
  • Julie Goldberg for “We Can Get Another Balloon”

Generating this list from the hundreds of quality entries was like picking a path through a patch of thorns. Many of the pieces that did not make this list still have their hooks deep in flesh and refuse to let go. We hope that the authors of those works will consider submitting through the regular process so we can scoop up new treasures for our readers.

The first-place winner is Pamela Sumners for “Love Poem.” Her piece used the word-count limit to its fullest extent without pushing the boundary unnecessarily.

Pamela is a constitutional and civil rights attorney from Alabama. Her work has been published or recognized by thirty journals and publishers over the last two years. She was included in Halcyon/Black Mountain Press’ 64 Best Poets and had been nominated for 2019’s 50 Best Poets. She was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2018. She now lives in St. Louis with her wife, son, and three rescue dogs.

Her slim ninety-four words start warm, pour on a disturbing heat, then spill blood before looping back into a cool, almost arctic end.

Look for the poem in the next edition of Sunspot. Just take care that you don’t get hurt.

Meet Sunspot Lit’s Poetry Reader

Sunspot Lit’s Poetry Reader Morrow Dowdle is a writer living in Hillsborough, NC and is delighted to be part of a literary journal produced in her very own town.  She is the author of the chapbook Nature v. Nurture (Artagem Graphic Library).  

Her poetry has been featured in River and South ReviewPoetry SouthDandelion ReviewNonBinary ReviewPink Panther MagazinePanoplyAPIARYThe Schuylkill Valley Journal of the ArtsEdison Literary ReviewRiver Poets QuarterlyThe GriffinPhiladelphia Stories, and Prism, among other publications.  

She was a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2018.  She is an active member of the Living Poetry collective in the North Carolina Triangle area.  She also writes graphic novels, including An Unlikely Refugee, which is now part of a permanent exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  

She previously attended Emerson College’s MFA program in creative writing and works as a physician assistant in mental health as her “day job.”  Visit her website here

Get to Know Sunspotter Laine Cunningham

Publisher and Senior Editor Laine Cunningham’s novels received the Hackney Literary Award, the James Jones Literary Society Fellowship, and honors from national and international art councils. Her short stories won the 2016 Hackney Award as well as the 2017 Writer’s Digest contest, and have been published by Reed, Birmingham Arts Journal, and the annual anthology produced by Writer’s Digest. 
Nonfiction credits include a publishing industry insider book called Writing While Female or Black or Gay, and essays in Fiction Southeast and Wraparound South. 
More information about her books can be found on her website. Her ghostwriting and consulting company, the primary funding source for Sunspot Lit, can be found at Writer’s Resource

Inception: $250 for the Best Opening

Sunspot 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 and finalists will be published. 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 $250 for the winner.

Link here for details and to enter. Good luck!