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. Wait until you hear from us to send more work. We happily accept simultaneous submissions, though we ask that you withdraw immediately if accepted elsewhere. If part of a packet submission, note the withdrawal in a note on Submittable; otherwise, simply withdraw the entire submission. We do not consider previously published material. Please address your submission to the appropriate genre editor, and be mindful of correct pronoun usage in your cover letter.
Most writing that manages to live, breathe, and have a voice begins as something fragile. We want to know how you nurse delicate ideas into something muscular, with strength to love instead of hate, to open minds rather than allow them to seal themselves shut. Our blog is a forum for writers to come together and talk about craft as well as the meaning of art in a world where politics threaten to drown out the quiet voices of poets, fiction writers, and essayists, which have never mattered more. Send us something between 200 and 1,000 words about what keeps you writing, be it today’s political climate, a tortured childhood, or a threadbare pair of underwear. What it is, your truth matters.
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.
General Art & Photography
We’re looking for beautiful, fascinating, devastating cover art for our upcoming issues. Send your photos, illustrations, pencil drawings, wood carvings, etc. Submit up to 3 pieces at a time.
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.