If you’re interested in submitting work to The Sunlight Press, send a completed piece to thesunlightpress@gmail.com. Please see guidelines below. We are now open to all submissions until Monday, July 1, 2024. We will reopen the Tuesday after Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2024.

Submissions to our 2024 Spring Photography Contest are now closed. We thank all the photographers who sent us their work. We will announce winners and finalists soon. (Criteria for the contest — seeking outdoor scenes that resonated over the two years — are posted below.)

  1. All photographs must be previously unpublished. This means in any publication, including social media, blogs, and personal websites.
  2. Submit up to three photographs all in jpeg format, no more than 5 megabytes, with a 300 dpi resolution. Include your name, location of photos and a brief bio. In the subject line, please write: 2024 Photo Contest. Submissions that don’t comply with these instructions will not be acknowledged or considered in the contest.
  3. No filtered or AI-generated images of any kind will be considered and will result in the banning of any further submissions of any kind from that person.
  4. The contest opened April 19 and closed May 31.
  5. The photographer whose image is chosen winner will receive $300; second place winner will receive $200, and third place, $100.
  6. Photographs that don’t win will be considered for regular (paid) publication.
  7. Questions? Email us at thesunlightpress@gmail.com.

Photographer Patricia Joynes will judge our finalists. Her most recent work at The Sunlight Press appeared in July 2023, and her first work appeared in May 2019.


What work do we consider year round?

The Sunlight Press considers submissions within the following categories:

  • Personal Essays (Nonfiction): 750-1,000 words
  • Fiction: Includes microfiction (under 400 words); flash fiction (under 1,000 words); and short stories (under 2,000 words)
  • Poetry: Up to three poems in one submission (all in one attached document, please). Note: Unusual formatting in poetry often cannot be replicated on our site.
  • Reviews: Review of books (fiction & nonfiction), short story collections, and essay collections (750-1,000 words); preference for newly published books. Reviews of current films (750-1,000 words).
  • Artists on Craft Series: Interviews/Reflections by artists on their process of the art of choice (accompanying photos welcome); under 1,000 words
  • Photography: Up to three photographs in one submission (Note: Only unfiltered images in jpeg format)

How do you submit work?

Email submissions to thesunlightpress@gmail.com with the subject line clearly indicating the genre — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, review, artist on craft, or photography. Submissions should be attached in a Word document (docx., doc.), without names and contact info on the document.

Please submit written material in only one category at a time (in other words, do not submit written work in multiple categories at the same time). The only exception: You may submit a written piece and photography simultaneously. In written pieces, please use only one space after periods.

Do not send new work for consideration until hearing back from us on the status of a current submission. Also if a piece is not accepted, please wait three to six months before submitting new work. Writers whose work has been accepted, please wait three months after its publication to submit new work. Thank you.

We typically do not consider pieces beyond the word lengths above. We also do not publish how-to articles, or work that is religious or political in nature, nor about current social issues.

Final note: We will NOT acknowledge or review work that does not follow the guidelines above. Thanks for your understanding.


What should accompany your submission?

Please include a 3-4 sentence bio and any social media handles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), as well as a current email address and contact information. We review simultaneous submissions; please inform us of this status upon submission.

Does The Sunlight Press pay writers upon publication?

Yes, The Sunlight Press pays for original work only, via PayPal. We occasionally accept previously published work (in print, on a personal blog, or another digital publication) but offer no payment.

Our payment rates will rise on June 1, 2024 as follows:

$50 for essays (including book reviews and Artist on Craft pieces)
$50 for fiction (short stories and flash fiction)
$35 for the first poem accepted, and $10 for each additional accepted in the same submission.
$20 for each photo accepted

When will you hear from us?

Every submission will receive an email acknowledging receipt of the submission from the editors. Writers will be informed of the status of their submission within three to four months of submission. Please query after that time period if you have received no update.

The content of The Sunlight Press is exclusively online. The Sunlight Press claims first publishing rights, which revert to the author upon publication; however, please acknowledge The Sunlight Press if your work appears later online or in print. Many thanks.

Final wordWe strive to publish pieces within six months of acceptance and welcome your query if that time period has passed.

Contest News

We announced the winner and finalists in our 2023 spring Flash Fiction Contest in September. We published the winning story, “Pinch Hitter,” by Michelle Ross, on Sept. 10. The second place finalist was “George Gershwin Invites Arnold Schonberg Over for Table Tennis,” by Laton Carter, and the third place finalist was “Love Says My Husband,” by Jill Witty. The top cash prize for the winner was $750; the prize for the finalists was $100. Entries accepted but not chosen as winner or finalists will be published on our site and will receive our regular payment for published work ($40 for fiction). We thank writer Sabrina Hicks for judging our contest.

In other contest news, Aria Dominguez won our 2022 spring Essay Contest. Her winning essay, “The Art of Negotiating,” appeared in June 2022. Our two finalists were Skye Pratt Epperson and Diana Spechler. Their essays appeared in July 2022. We are grateful to author Windy Lynn Harris for judging our contest.

Find other contest winners on our Contests page.

Still have questions?

Additional information is published at NewsPages.com, and in an older June 2018 Q&A with editors at the “Six Questions For…” editors blog. Read more here. Further questions, email us at thesunlightpress@gmail.com. We welcome all questions and inquiries.

Many thanks for considering us for your work.