A Note on Our Aesthetic
We believe there is beauty in scars on smooth skin, in the small fissures where things begin to break apart. Sundogs are not the sun itself but phantom stars appearing on the horizon, illusions produced by the play of the sun’s heat with crystals of ice. They shed their light all the same. Many are tinged with color.
We look for this same quality in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We want writing that attempts to salvage something pure from the collision of warmth and cold, that says what it can about the world it finds itself in. We seek a diversity of voices speaking from visceral, lived experience. We like truth we can stare at until our eyes water, words so carefully chosen we want to reread them as soon as we have finished.
The best way to know the preferences of our individual editors is to read the journal. Our genre editors also take over our Twitter from time to time to discuss work we’ve published and why. Check it out at #editortalk.
Sundog Lit is serious about representing the literary scene and supporting diverse and underrepresented voices. We want to hear from women, people of color, queer and trans writers, and every community who pushes our world away from the oppressive status quo. This is our commitment to literature; hold us to that standard.
One submission at a time, please. We happily accept simultaneous submissions, though please withdraw immediately if accepted elsewhere. If part of a packet submission, note the withdrawal in a note on Submittable. We do not consider previously published material nor do we accept email submissions. Please address your submission to the appropriate genre editor, and be mindful of correct pronoun usage in your cover letter.
To submit, click here.
For our blog, we accept short-form work that fits a given topic or theme that asks you to see–and write about–familiar things differently. We want you to play with perspective. A little distortion, in our opinion, is a good thing. Please check Submittable for the current prompt, which we will change up on a quarterly basis.
Current prompt: Writing is a physical as well as mental process. Because even the most inspired authors have to eat, from now through December 31st we’re looking for true stories of 500 words or less about what literally feeds you while you’re writing. Do you grab takeout from the Chinese place around the corner at midnight, or do you wake up at 5am and make scrambled eggs? Does your desk smell like onions or lemongrass? While you write, do your lips taste salty or sweet? Take us out of the story, essay, or poem you’re working on at the moment and into your physical writing space. Tell us what literally feeds you, how you prepare it, and what memories these smells and tastes evoke.
We want muscular prose, authenticity, and a real beating heart. Play with form and show us the humorous absurd. Submit short stories of no more than 3,000 words or up to 3 flash fictions of less than 750 words each in a single document.
We are cool with traditional personal essay, memoir, etc. We LOVE us some experimental, research-driven stuff. Segmented. Lyric. Essays written in a bowl of alphabet soup. Surprise us. Play with form and content. If you hybridize some poetry and nonfiction, send it our way. Submit a single piece of no more than 4,000 words or up to 3 flash essays of less than 1,000 words each in a single document.
We want vivid, vibrant poetry. We like prose poems or straight poetry with prose elements. We like traditional poetry. Submit up to 3 poems in a single document.
For $4, you will receive detailed feedback on your work. This will take the form of 1-3 detailed paragraphs, depending on the genre of your submission, from the editor or assistant editor on your work. The editor will choose what to focus on in their feedback, which will not include line edits or proofreading but will generally focus on what might be working or not working in a piece, as well as suggestions for further development and revision. The feedback will be honest, engaged, and hopefully provide you with valuable insight into Sundog Lit’s aesthetic and editorial process.
Please note: This is not an expedited response option. This is also not meant to open a dialogue or discussion. Further questions directed to the editor or attempts to refute/argue with the editor’s feedback will not be given a response, and it won’t make us like you very much. Bear in mind that this feedback is a service you are paying for, and thus should not be conflated with a request for more work. If an editor wants to see more from you, that will be clearly stated in your submission response.