Tag Archives: spiritual

Inception: $250 for Prose, Poetry, or Art Opening

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

Too often in commercially driven industries, this results in sensationalism. But meaning, thoughtfulness, emotions, or shadings of tone…that is, connection…are the impulses that 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 collection strives for the same intent. Openings contain a spark that promises to continue to burn.

For Sunspot Lit’s 2020 Inception contest, send your best opening. There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the beginning comes. Word limit is 250 for prose, 25 words for poetry. Graphic novel entries should be the first page (unlimited number of panels on that page) with a maximum of 250 words…so, 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 photo in a themed collection, etc. Entries are limited to one image with up to 250 words to describe the series, lineup or collection.

For 2020, the entry fee has been reduced due to COVID’s economic impact.

Close: September 31, 2020

Prize: $250 cash, publication for the winner, publication offered to runners-up and finalists.

In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published. 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 one month 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Works should be unpublished except on a personal blog or website.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, 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.

Open Call Ends August 31, 2020

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 up to 49,000 words. Translations welcome, especially with access to the piece in the author’s original language.

One piece per prose submission; two works of visual art per submission.

Use the correct form according to the length of your prose and poetry. Works longer than allowed by the form used will be declined unread.

The Fast Flux options offer a two-week turnaround, with most responses going out within one week.

All submissions must be unpublished (except on a personal blog).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

Submissions must be sent through Sunspot’s Submittable page.

Soulful Book Offering Gifts from the Ocean

Sweet LifeI’ve been following the journey of a particular book called The Sweet Life from creation through to its final version. The book, which offers up gifts that originate deep within the ocean, is fascinating.

It started years ago when a group of women were called to travel to various places around the world. They set up sacred stone circles in many places, and the sites can be visited by readers who want to experience the journey themselves.

The book is now available on Amazon for those who want to hear from the very special beings who protect our planet and all humans on it. Guaranteed to be a deeply moving read, and perfect for book clubs.

Book Trailers That Turn Heads

Today I want to introduce you (again) to an individual who is a fantastic resource for every author who is serious about selling their books.

TFMODustFrontCover (1)Aleksandar Tomov has done several videos for my books. Two are traditional trailer videos that focus on the books. The first novel, The Family Made of Dust, won two national awards and was shortlisted for a third honor.

Dust was rejected by the big publishers because they didn’t believe people would be interested in the journey of a biracial man who searches the Australian Outback for a missing friend. It’s an adventure/family drama/diverse tale that one reader, after finishing the book, said, “Well, I’ll be damned,” and then turned back to the first page to read it again!

The trailer Tomov created for this one is on my YouTube channel here. The videos he pulled together blend Aboriginal traditions, Outback vistas, and a darkening music track to really capture the flavor of The Family Made of Dust. The trailer, like the book, makes you want to travel to Australia and experience the Outback for yourself.

The year after Dust came out, many readers had asked for more information about Aboriginal lives and their cultures. Readers were very interested in how the protagonist had applied his traditions to solve the issues he faced in his life, so I pulled together a collection of Aboriginal folktales that could help modern people around the world.

SSFrontB&WIn Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia, essays describe how traditional people used these stories, and how that wisdom applies today. The book is very popular with fans of The Secret, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim, and readers of Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, and Paul Coelho.

The video Tomov put together for this book is very different. In fact, it doesn’t look much like a book trailer at all. The fact that individuals can share this video simply for the beauty of the images and the message of women’s empowerment means that it has been shared widely.

The video, available here, is longer than a book trailer, too, because the song needs it to be. That hasn’t stopped people from watching, sharing, and sending me messages about it! Trailers can help your Google rankings, too.

ReparationEbook

My next two novels, Beloved and Reparationare dark tales that mix the fantasy elements of Neil Gaiman (American Gods) and China Mieville (The Kraken) with the literary sensibility of Ursula Le Guin (the Earthsea series, The Left Hand of Darkness, and many, many others).

The trailer Tomov provided for Reparation is spectacular. It’s the creepiest one, and really captures the darkness of the story.Check it out here, and then connect with Tomov here! His rates are truly affordable at only 120 euros. At today’s conversion rate, that’s under $140. At that rate, a book trailer could be one of the least expensive promos you’ve ever bought!

Book Giveaway

This week, I’m giving away 10 signed copies of Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia. This has a full-color interior with custom artwork, so even if it’s not the right book for you, it makes a fantastic gift!

Here’s the description:

For readers of The Secret, A Course in Miracles, and Paul Coelho’s works.
Award-winning self-help essays delivered on the print edition’s full-color interior with custom artwork on every page. Makes a great gift!According to Australia’s ancient cultures, all creatures and things emerged from the Dreamtime. The Dreaming is not just a collection of lore or a long-ago time; it is a living energy that flows constantly through the universe. It is then and now, divine and human, spirit and law. Because the energy is as vibrant today as ever, these ancient stories show us how to survive in a harsh world and how to thrive in our souls.

Each Aboriginal story in this collection is enhanced with an essay from award-winning author Laine Cunningham. Our modern perspectives on love and friendship, illness and joy, life and the afterlife can be enriched with this ancient knowledge. Open this book and take your own journey through the eternal Dreamtime. Along the way, you will discover that the ancient connection to god/goddess/the divine still resonates in your soul. You will discover your own truth.

This is Laine Cunningham’s first inspirational self-help book. Seven Sisters harnesses Dreamtime energy to help modern people address their challenges. In this collection of essays, readers discover that love and friendship, parenting, life and the afterlife can be addressed with the unchanging wisdom of the human heart.

This unique book blends Aboriginal folktales with Laine’s essays; the print version has a beautifully designed full-color interior.

In The Dance, readers are inspired to follow their dreams while staying balanced in their lives.

Trickery and Seven Sisters address the special relationships between men and women.

War provides a new perspective on one of the world’s most important issues.

Excerpts from this book have been published in spiritual, literary, and inspirational magazines and newsletters; one combination received an award.

Laine’s understanding of Aboriginal culture began during a six-month solo journey through the Australian Outback. The same visions that drew her into the red desert also told her that she would die there. A miraculous connection to divine energy saved her life and launched her along the path she follows to this day.

Laine has appeared on TV and radio shows to discuss the metaphysical viewpoint on the swine flu, the real secret of prosperity, relationships, love, women’s empowerment, chronic illness and other topics.

Her first novel, Message Stick, follows an Aboriginal man’s journey through the Outback as he rediscovers his lost heritage. The novel won two prestigious national awards. Her second work, He Drinks Poison, follows a female FBI investigator who must access the dark energy of the Hindu goddess Kali in order to stop a serial killer. Her third novel, Reparation, has a Lakota Sioux man racing to stop the leader of a Native American-style peyote cult before he enacts the largest mass murder on American soil.

Look for Laine’s novels and future nonfiction books as her journey, and yours, continues.

Reviews of the book will be greatly appreciated but are not required to participate in this giveaway. US entrants will receive a hard copy. Others will receive an ebook.
To participate, you must be a follower of this blog. If you are, great! If not, click on the link on the righthand side of the screen.
Then share this post on any of your social media accounts.
Finally, comment on this post providing a link to the place where you shared.
If you are inclined to share this on more than one social media site, you will receive as many entries as sharing links!
Winners will be contacted through the social media on which they shared. If you prefer an email, note that in your comment to this post.

Good luck!