SunLit Fiction Submission Guidelines
Our free submissions queue is temporarily closed and will reopen this coming Sunday, October 21.
We evaluate submissions for free, but occasionally, high volume leads us to close the queue so we can catch up.
If you are in a hurry, our fee-based submissions queue ($15) is always open. Paid Submissions Queue
SunLit Commitments to Authors:
We produce a weekly podcast of fictional short stories called SunLit Story Time. We also publish the podcast stories on our website.
We pay the author of our weekly podcast story one hundred dollars.
We will respond to your submission with a yes or no within eight calendar days.
Sometimes, we like a story but don’t have room for it on the podcast because we only schedule out for eight weeks. In these situations, we put the story on a waiting list.
We charge no fee for submissions. On occasion, we may close the submission queue for a few days to catch up with volume.
If we decline your submission, we will tell you exactly why.
Feel Great Test: This guideline defines us. We publish stories that make us feel great when we read them. No exceptions. This does not necessarily mean a happy ending. Forrest Gump did not have a thoroughly happy ending, but we feel great every time we watch the movie.
Length: Minimum of 1250 words. Maximum of 2500 words. These are strict limits. We use them to govern minimum to maximum length of our podcasts.
Quality: Your story must be well written and engaging. This is a subjective guideline. We are not asking for literary fiction. Most popular fiction is well written. To get an idea of what we’re talking about, read samples from three successful popular fiction authors.
Editing: We’re not asking for perfection. If Grammarly likes your manuscript, it will pass our test, but if your story is riddled with spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors, we will reject it.
The Don’t List: We cater to a mainstream audience and hope to offend no one. To that end, your story must avoid a few No-Nos:
Profanity: soft words like hell or damn might slip through. No f-bombs or s-bombs or anything close to that.
Violence: excessive bleeding, assaults, explosions, and gunshots. Descriptions of the forgoing or similar events will earn a rejection.
Sex/nudity: Your characters can have explicit sex but not in our story.
Religious message: There are great places for these kinds of stories, but we’re not one of them.
Political message. We’re not trying to influence elections so don’t burden your submission with political rhetoric.
Rights: You must have the rights to assign to us to publish your story. We do not ask for first rights or exclusive rights.
We accept simultaneous submissions. We will accept up to two submissions at one time from an author. If you have more than two stories to submit, wait to hear from us on your first two submissions before submitting more stories.
We can’t wait to read your story!
There are three steps to the process:
Click the button below to submit your story. This will take you to our submission page on Submittable, which is a third party submission management service. (If you are new to Submittable, they will walk you through how to create a free account.) Submittable will maintain your contact information so we can respond to you via email.
Wait to hear our response. We commit to responding within eight days.
If we accept your story for publication, we will send you a rights agreement for you to review and sign. We will also send you an email requesting additional information we need to publish your story (e.g. bio, headshot, URL.) If we decline your story, we will tell you why.
Thank you for submitting to SunLit Fiction.