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Authors & Artists Eligible

The Goldilocks Zone appears wherever conditions make a planet habitable. Sunspot Lit is looking for the single short story, novel or novella excerpt, artwork, graphic novel, or poem that combines excellence in craft with reader or audience appeal, and thus falls into the Goldilocks Zone. Literary and genre works accepted.

Fiction and nonfiction submissions are eligible to receive feedback for an additional fee. This is entirely optional, and selecting feedback or entering the contest without feedback will have no bearing on the judging rounds. Each submission will receive a brief writeup a few paragraphs in length (about half a single-spaced page) commenting on critical strengths and weaknesses. This option is not available for art or poetry. 

First prize is $200 plus publication. Runners-up and finalists are offered publication. No restrictions on theme or category. Maximum of 2,500 words for short stories or nonfiction, 24 lines for poetry, and 8 pages for graphic novels. No size requirements for painting, photography, video stills or sculpture, although each entry is limited to one image.

Open: October 1, 2022

Close: December 19, 2022

Contest entry fee: $9.50

Prize: $200 cash and publication for the winner; publication offered to runners-up and finalists.

Sunspot asks for first rights only; all rights revert to the contributor after publication. Works, along with the creators’ bylines, are published in the next quarterly digital edition an average of two months after contest completion, as well as in the annual print edition.

Works should be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Artists offered publication may display their pieces in galleries, festivals or shows throughout the publication contract period.

Enter as many times as you like, but only one piece per submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.