Dear Readers,

We have a lot of news today so we’ll get right to it. For writers who submitted work to our spring essay contest, we are continuing to review work and will make announcements later this month. We received close to 150 essays and are excited to share that author Windy Lynn  Harris will judge our finalists. More details coming soon!

In other good news, we more than matched a $1,000 grant from an anonymous donor in March as part of a spring fundraising drive. We raised $1,746 during the one-month drive from March 14 to April 14. We are grateful to everyone for making this possible. Thank you, all! (All donations will go toward paying artists for their published work.)

On the topic of fundraising, we happily learned in April that we’d received an unexpected and wonderful gift of $10,000 from Linda Ragsdale, international speaker and teacher, author and illustrator. We’d like to thank Linda for believing in our artists and in the work we do, in making this extraordinary donation. Please read more about Linda and her work at her website,

Thanks to the generosity of Linda and so many other supporters, we will raise our payment rates as of July 1, 2022. This is the first increase since our founding in January 2017. We will continue to offer contests with cash prizes as well. New/old rates are below:

Essays (including Artist on Craft pieces and book reviews): $40, up from $25

Fiction (flash and longer): $40, up from $25

Poetry: $30 for the first poem and $10 for any other poem accepted in same submission, up from $25 for the first poem accepted and $10 for subsequent poems.

Photography: $15 per image up from $10


In other news, we are closed to poetry submissions this month and will soon close to ALL submissions for the remaining summer. We will reopen to submissions on Sept. 1. If you submit work over the summer, please note you’ve get an automated “we’re closed” email. We plan to catch up on reading submissions during the break. If you’re waiting to hear from us, know we will be in touch as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.

As always we’re grateful to our volunteer staff for their ongoing work: Caroline Packard, Clive Collins, Meg Freer, Elizabeth Spencer, Annie Scholl, Susan Pohlman, Kate Jones, and Amanda Steel. We’re always looking for volunteer readers. If interested, please email us at

Thanks again to everyone supporting our journal.

Happy summer to all,

Rudri Bhatt Patel  and Beth Burrell
Founders and editors of The Sunlight Press