Happy nearly spring! At Sunlight, we’re delighted to usher in our fifth year as a literary journal. We’re grateful to be here, and we’re grateful you’re here too. Every March, we share news of The Sunlight Press, including our By the Numbers feature (new last year), which you’ll find below.
First up, we’re excited to announce our spring Flash Fiction Contest for stories 1,000 words or less. And this year, two things are new: The cash prize is bigger, and we’re charging a small fee to enter the contest. (This helps fund honorariums for writers and artists, which we’ve offered since launching Sunlight in 2017.) To celebrate our fifth year, we’re offering a $500 cash prize for the winning writer. The contest entry fee is $5 paid to The Sunlight Press via PayPal. (When submitting your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, please include a note telling us you’ve paid the fee. Many thanks!) One other new addition to our contest this year — we will be announcing a longlist and shortlist of flash fiction contest entries.
Submissions to the contest open April 1 and close May 15. Please include “Flash Fiction Contest” in the subject of your email; find more details in our submission guidelines. The winning writer will receive the $500 cash prize, as well as our regular payment for accepted pieces.
We thank author Dan Crawley for stepping up to guest judge our submissions. Dan is the author of the novella Straight Down the Road (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2019) and the short story collection The Wind, It Swirls (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2021). His writing appears (or is forthcoming) in a number of journals and anthologies, including JMWW, Lost Balloon, Tiny Molecules, and Atticus Review. His work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize.
We look forward to reading contest submissions and to announcing the winner on August 5, 2021.
Now for our annual feature By the Numbers. This will give you a behind-the-scenes picture of our first four years: 2017 through 2020. (Our 2021 numbers thus far are not included).
By the Numbers
Total submissions: 2,758
Total acceptances: 600
Percent increase in submissions from 2017 to 2020: 81 percent
Acceptance rate in 2017: 39 percent
Acceptance rate in 2020: 18 percent
Total donations from readers (you’re awesome!): $8,150
Total ongoing expenses (for example artist payments, website upkeep, tax filings, PO Box, etc.): $16,483
Total donated by founders: $11,935
Staff (all volunteers): Nine including us
What we pay for work we accept
$25 for prose pieces (fiction, essays, and book reviews
$25 for a single poem; $10 per additional poem in same submission
$10 for photographs
$100 and up for contest winners
Cost to read our journal: $0
This month we also mark three years as a registered nonprofit journal. We gladly welcome your tax-deductible donations, which are solely used to support honorariums for our published writers and artists. (PayPal doesn’t charge nonprofits a fee for accepting donations made through them.) Thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping us support artists and their work.
We also owe a special thanks to our staff, including new reader and copyeditor Caroline Packard. Read more about Caroline and all our other volunteers on our Staff page. Our work is much easier (and more fun) because of them.
Best wishes for a healthy & happy spring, and beyond.
Rudri Bhatt Patel and Beth Burrell
Founders and editors of The Sunlight Press