Submissions

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Submissions

Schedule

We publish two issues a year, September 1 and March 1. We accept general submissions for poetry, nonfiction, and fiction between two reading periods, and the first 300 submissions to each are free. We also run a collaborative writing contest in August.

    • General Submissions: March 1 – May 1
    • General Submissions: October 1 – December 1
    • Collaboration Contest: July 15 –  August 31

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.

Practical Matters

We are grateful to be a part of a literary community that is taking action against systemic racism. We will also be donating submission fees from our current reading period towards Black-led organizations and anti-racist collectives. In the next year, 25% of our submission fees will be donated, as well. Thank you in advance for helping us work together for change.

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. 


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Genre Specifics

Summer Collaboration Contest
Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely business. Sometimes teamwork is what makes the dreamwork, so this summer we want to see what you’ve created with another writer (or two or three⁠ — there’s actually no limit) for our annual Collaboration Contest. Between July 15 and August 31, submit your wildest, most inventive work of any or mixed genre. Just keep your hybrid masterpiece to 1,000 words or less. Winners will receive a $300 prize and all the glories of publication.

Refractions
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.

Fiction
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. 

Nonfiction
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.

Poetry
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.