We publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues. And we’re open to just about anything. Surprise us; we often don’t know what we’ll like until we read it.
We pay from $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for fiction, and $100 to $200 for poetry. We also give contributors a complimentary one-year subscription to The Sun. We purchase one-time rights. All other rights revert to the author upon publication.
We discourage simultaneous submissions. We rarely run anything longer than seven thousand words; there’s no minimum length. Don’t bother with a query letter, except for interviews; the subject matter isn’t as important to us as what you do with it.
To save your time and ours, we 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.
We try to respond within three to six months. With more than a thousand submissions a month, however, our backlog of unread manuscripts is often substantial. Don’t let a longer wait surprise you.
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 we cannot respond unless a return envelope is provided. Do not send your only copy. Do not submit work or queries by e-mail or fax. Submissions received this way will not be acknowledged.
The Sun publishes interviews with innovative and provocative thinkers. We like interviews that stretch us intellectually yet remain accessible. We’re always on the lookout for voices not traditionally heard in the mass media.
We publish only question-and-answer-style interviews: no profiles. We typically pay from $1,000 to $2,000 for one-time rights, along with the option to reprint all or part of the work on our website, in our promotional materials, and in one of our anthologies.
Before you conduct an interview, send us a query telling us about the interviewee and what topics you plan to cover. (If you’ve already done the interview, no query is necessary.) Discussions with artists about their work usually don’t appeal to us. We’re particularly interested in interviews with women and people of color.
In-person interviews are best. We can sometimes help defray travel expenses, but only if you clear it with us in advance. If it’s not possible to meet face to face, we’ll consider a telephone interview.
Follow-up questions, which we sometimes request after the interview is complete, can be done by phone or e-mail.
Interviews often fail because the interviewer assumes the reader is familiar with the interviewee’s work or never plays devil's advocate. The finished product should be accessible to an uninformed audience. To help avoid these pitfalls, we may ask you to send us a list of prepared questions beforehand.
After you’ve conducted the interview, you should send us a lightly edited transcript of the entire conversation. Some authors let the interviewee read the transcript and make revisions prior to submitting it. Transcripts should be at least five thousand words and can be as much as fifteen thousand. If we publish the interview, we will cut it to the length that we need and send both you and the interviewee the edited galleys for your approval prior to publication.
If the interview is turned down, you are free to submit it elsewhere. We will pay a kill fee only if one has been agreed upon in advance.
If the interview is accepted, we will ask you for an introduction of approximately one thousand words. The best introductions are creative and engaging and include a description of the interviewee and the setting in which the interview took place. Try not to quote from the interview. You may want to ask some biographical questions to obtain material for the introduction. Some facts to be sure to include are age, place of residence, degrees, and publications. We will also need a photograph of the interviewee — preferably black-and-white, in digital or print format — and complete contact information, including an e-mail address.
Submissions and queries should be typed, double-spaced, and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope for our reply.
We’re interested in photographs of many kinds. We’re not looking for photojournalism, just unique perspectives on the world around us. We do not use artwork or illustrations. We ask that you limit an individual submission to 30 photographs for ease of review, but you are welcome to submit as often as you like.
Upon publication, we pay from $100 to $200 for one-time use of photographs featured inside the magazine; we pay $500 for those we use on our cover. For photo essays we pay $500 to $1,000. We give contributors four copies of the issue in which their work appears and a complimentary one-year subscription, also upon publication. We use from ten to thirty photographs in each monthly issue. When we accept a photograph, we keep the image on file until we find a place for it in the magazine.
We try to respond within three months. With nearly a thousand photographs submitted a month, however, our backlog is often substantial. Don’t let a longer wait surprise you.
Submit By Mail
If you choose to submit traditional black-and-white prints, you may mail us prints of any size, though we find it easiest to review photographs that are between 4 × 5 and 11 × 17. Matte or gloss finish is acceptable; prints made on heavily textured paper, however, do not reproduce well.
All submissions by mail must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope or box for our response and the return of your photographs. Your work will not be returned without sufficient postage. Please include protective packaging to ensure safe shipment.
Websites and promotional sheets with multiple photos per page will not be considered formal submissions. We cannot review color prints or slides.
If you are submitting digital images, you may send low-resolution images (72 dpi) electronically, using our online submission form.