For this week’s market spotlight, we look at The Sun, a nonprofit, ad-free magazine that publishes personal essays, short stories, and poems.
The Sun Magazine: Spotlight Market
Established in 1974, The Sun is a nonprofit, ad-free magazine that publishes personal essays, short stories, and poetry. Writing from The Sun has won the Pushcart Prize and been selected for anthologies like Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays.
The magazine has more than 70,000 subscribers. The editors say, "We've been described in many ways: celebratory, fierce, unflinching, thoughtful, truthful, dark, darkly funny, tender."
They do pay $300-2,000 for personal essays and short stories; $100-250 for poetry.
What They’re Looking For:The Sun says, "Surprise us; we often don't know what we'll like until we read it." Personal essays and short stories should max out at 7,000 words (without a minimum length).
Editor and founder Sy Safransky advises on the submissions page, "I'm looking for a writer who doesn't know where her sentence is leading her; a writer who starts with her obsessions and whose heart is bursting with love; a writer sly enough to give the slip to her secret police, the ones with the power to condemn in the blink of an eye. It's all right that she doesn't know what she's thinking until she writes it, as if the words already exist somewhere and draw her to them. She may not know how she got there, but she knows when she's arrived."
How to Submit: Submissions can be made online via their Submittable page or by mail to The Sun, 107 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill NC 27516. They discourage simultaneous submissions.
This course guides beginning and intermediate writers through elements of how to write a personal essay, helping them identify values expressed in their stories and to bring readers into the experiences described. Writers learn how to avoid the dreaded responses of "so what?" and "I guess you had to be there" by utilizing sensory details, learning to trust their writing intuitions, and developing a skilled internal editor to help with revision.