At Black Sun Lit, we propose a renewed aestheticism that values beauty—not communication or representation—as the end of literature. Beauty is for us the experience of the limit, an autonomy beyond that of life itself. We search for it in all forms of extreme expression: whether in minimalism or maximalism, ultramodernism or neotraditionalism, in the experimental or in the archaic, in a desire that exceeds the body or in the longing for boredom. Beauty is the encounter between the saint and the hedonist, the prostitute and the Buddha: a truth that, like staring into the face of a medusa, petrifies the gaze into a contemplation of nothingness. At Black Sun Lit we value beauty that can be discerned in the fragmentary and the sacred, the dysfunctional and the erotic, the derelict and the obsessive.

Black Sun Lit (generally) reads submissions year-round, considers only previously unpublished work, and allows simultaneous submissions in the good faith that the writer promptly notifies us if their work has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also welcome, though we ask that these be limited to two prose pieces (up to 5,000 words each, submitted separately), five poems (in one file, clearly indicating the beginning of each poem), or two essays (up to 5,000 words each, submitted separately). We are also open to translations, interviews, and/or works of drama, and enjoy debate on any artistic endeavor as it relates to our mission statement.

Vestiges is Black Sun’s irregularly printed journal of prose, verse, essay, and art. Themes, submission guidelines, and open reading periods vary: Subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr for announcements and related information. Submissions for Vestiges are currently closed.

Prose

We are open to any form. We like writers who bear similarity to and/or are influenced by authors like Samuel Beckett, Georges Bataille, Marguerite Duras, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Yukio Mishima, Clarice Lispector, Osamu Dazai, Hélène Cixous, and Jean Genet. We are not particularly fond of genre fiction, narratives driven by references to popular culture, or suburban realism.

Verse

We are interested in aesthetic infinity. Some examples of the poetic we admire include Ghérasim Luca, Harry Crosby, Stéphane Mallarmé, Gottfried Benn, William Carlos Williams, Henri Michaux, and Jules Laforgue. Work overtly concerned with structure may not be taken seriously.

Essay

We are looking for theoretical essays that cover marginalized writers, philosophers, thinkers, and/or theorists who have never been under serious study. We do not want book reviews, personal essays, or the politically saturated.

Translation

We welcome submissions of translated fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama that both pay respect to Black Sun’s influences and give expression to the press’s aesthetic objectives. Submissions should include the original work and, if required, permission from the author or the author’s original publisher/copyright holder to publish the translation online and/or in print.

 

Please note that for all submissions, we require every writer to submit a brief cover letter, which may include:

– Contact information (mandatory)
– Genesis of the work
– Technical details
– Influences
– Author biography
– Where previous work has appeared
– Forthcoming work to be published

We request all writers wait until they’ve heard back from us before sending more work (we aim to reply within three months). For past contributors, please wait at least one year (online) or one issue (print) from when your work last appeared before submitting to us again (unless otherwise solicited). If withdrawing only a part of a submission, e.g. a poem, we ask that writers add a note to their submission via Submittable—partial withdrawal notifications delivered by email are likely to get lost in our inbox. Lastly, as of May 20, 2016, we are no longer accepting unsolicited book manuscripts, which include chapbooks, novellas, full-length novels, collections of short stories, books of verse, etc.

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Send queries to: editors [at] blacksunlit [dot] com