Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Selling yourself short. Option #2.


Magazine name: The Sun


Country:  USA

Publishing details: The Sun is a monthly American magazine publishing essays, interviews, short stories, poems, and photography. The overall goal for the publication, as stated by editor and co-founder, Sy Safransky, is to create a feeling of connection between contributors and readers. 

Circulation:  70,000

Types of stories wanted:   They publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry.  They tend to favor personal writing, but they're also looking for thoughtful, well-written essays on political, cultural, and philosophical themes. Please, no journalistic features, academic works, or opinion pieces. Other than that, they’re open to just about anything. Surprise them; they often don't know what they'll like until they read it (according to their website).

Page length and payment:  They rarely run anything longer than 7000 words; there's no minimum word length. They pay from $300 to $1,500 for fiction, from $300 to $2,500 for nonfiction, and $100 to $500 for poetry, the amount being determined by length and quality. They may pay less for very short works. They also give contributors a complimentary one-year subscription to The Sun.

What I like:  They’re willing to read previously published works, though for reprints they pay only half their usual fee. There is no minimum length. The subject matter isn’t as important to them as what you do with it so you don’t have to fuss with a query letter.  Each issue includes a section devoted entirely to writing by readers.


To save your time and theirs, they suggest you take a look at The Sun before submitting. You can read a free sample issue online here. Printed sample issues are $5 each, which includes shipping and handling.


What I don’t like:  They claim it is impossible for them to track each story received and they are unable to tell you the status of your submission.


Submission guidelines: Do not submit work or queries by e-mail or fax. Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (Poems may be single-spaced.) Your work will not be returned without sufficient postage, and they cannot respond unless a return envelope is provided.  They purchase one-time rights. All other rights revert to the author upon publication.  They discourage simultaneous submissions.

Response time:  They try to respond within three to six months, however, their backlog of unread manuscripts is often substantial. Don’t let a longer wait surprise you.

How to submit:  

Send submissions to:


Editorial Department
The Sun
107 N. Roberson St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


More info:          


The Sun is an independent, ad-free magazine that for more than forty years has used words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human. Each monthly issue celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in The Sun’s pages explore the challenges they face and the moments when they rise to meet them.

From it's idealistic, unlikely inception in 1974 to its current incarnation as a nonprofit magazine, The Sun has attempted to marry the personal and political; to honor the genuine and the spiritual; to see what kind of roommates beauty and truth can be; and to show that powerful teaching can be found in the lives of ordinary people.

Writing from The Sun has won the Pushcart Prize and been selected for the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays anthologies.


Q: Can I read The Sun on my iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader?

The Sun’s digital edition is accessible via web browser and as a PDF download. They do not currently offer an iPad, iPhone, or Android edition, but subscribers can still read The Sun using the built-in web browser on those devices. E-reading devices such as the Kindle or Nook are not currently supported, although most e-readers can access PDFs. Consult your device’s user manual.


Tamara said...

I submitted to this paper in 2006 and again in 2010. The first time it took four months for my rejection, and the second time I heard from then in a month.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@Tamara. Any thoughts as to why the stories didn't fit? And did you send them out anywhere else?

Mary Jo said...

I guess I will have to send them $5 because I could not read what they put on the screen.

Jody, I really appreciate what you are putting in your blog. It is more information than I have ever had before.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo. Did you try to up the 'view' on your screen to 125% or 150%? That's the only way I can read things these days.

RE: "I really appreciate" :):):)

Tamara said...

I didn't know why they rejected my submissions, except that one was an essay about the Pledge of Allegiance, which I realize now could be categorized as an opinion piece. I also sent them my story, "The End of the World," which was eventually published in an online literary journal last year. The Sun sent me what looked like a standard rejection letter--"no reflection on your writing--blah, blah, blah".

bettye griffin said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Jody!