Opportunities for Authors

  • March 15, 2019

A Single Word Writing Contest

Contest focused on a single incendiary word offering publication and cash prize. All categories of fiction and nonfiction accepted.

All submissions for this contest will be compiled for a special edition of Sunspot Literary Journal.First place winners and two runners-up from each category will be published in summer of 2019. 

All first-place winners will be considered for a cash award. The best of the best will receive $50. 

Deadline: March 31, 2019.

Entry fee: $5


100 Bucks for 100 Words

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 a special edition. 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 Pieces must be unpublished except on a personal blog or website.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; please withdraw your submission if the work is published elsewhere before the contest ends. Work can have won other awards that do not include publication without being disqualified. Cash award of $100 goes to the best piece. 

Open: March 1, 2019

Deadline: June 30, 2019

Fee: $5


Open call for fiction and nonfiction up to 29,000 words, and for poetry up to 120 pages.

Sunspot Literary Journal speaks truth to power through the power of words and art. The name derives from areas of lower temperatures on the sun's surface. Because of the brilliance surrounding these areas, sunspots are not visible to the naked eye, just like the celebrity rehab stories that drown out unique and creative work. 

Launched in January 2019, the journal is dedicated to hearing every voice. Writing and art that is thoughtful, evocative, and created with exceptional skill fill the pages. The authors and artists supported by the journal might not be social media influencers, but they still have something to say.

Publisher Laine Cunningham has worked in the industry for over twenty years. As an award-winning writer, ghostwriter, and consultant, she taught for the Loft Literary Center and was a regional liaison for the National Writers Union. She is often approached by authors desperate to break free from stereotypes applied by publishers and literary agents.

After following the VIDA Count, which quantifies the dismal state of diversity in the publishing industry, Cunningham produced Writing While Female or Black or Gay. Although the book helps underserved voices succeed, even that wasn’t enough. She launchedSunspot Literary Journal to support authors and artists from every background.

The contests run by the journal will tie into that mission. One will focus on novels while another will push microfiction to its extreme. The inaugural prose contest is indicative of Cunningham’s approach. The theme revolves around a single word that has become weaponized in modern society. The word’s impact is so potent that contest listings refer authors to the website to view the word.

Another critical part of Sunspot’s approach is publication of long-form works. Authors can submit poetry up to 120 pages in length while prose can run up to 29,000 words. Some of the most important poetry ever written is long. Financial considerations also mean that fewer journals are able to publish long-form prose. Sunspot will provide an important avenue for these significant forms.

The journal produces four digital-only quarterly editions per year. These editions are free to the website’s visitors and will be distributed through a monthly newsletter that will launch this summer. The digital editions will include visual art, photography, video stills, and graphic novel frames.

The first year, Sunspot will produce one print volume by blending select pieces from the digital editions with new work. Barring solar flares, the number of print editions will increase in 2020. Special editions will publish contest winners as well as a number of finalists. All contests offer publication, a byline, and cash payments. The prizes will grow as more funding becomes available.

The journal is produced by Sun Dogs Creations out of Hillsborough, NC, USA. Cunningham serves as the senior editor, and several volunteers are helping with administrative tasks. The print edition’s designer is Angel Leya, an author who magically manages to write while chasing her young children around the house.

Website: www.SunspotLit.com

Submittable portal: https://sunspotlit.submittable.com/submit

Digital editions: Free

Print edition: $25 plus shipping, or $25 with US shipping included via the Submittable portal.



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Sunspot Literary Journal

PO Box 122
Hillsborough  NC  27278