Black Sun Lit is a print and digital literary press that endeavors to introduce, promote, and support both emerging and experienced writers whose work has little representation—or minimal exposure—in a reading world largely governed by commercial publishing.
We understand that today’s principal task for a publisher should be to act as a gatekeeper of carefully curated works and to give readers every instrument to access them. To do so, we have revived the forgotten custom of a publisher guided only by a well-defined canon. Our ambition is to publish works that harken to the complex and transgressive traditions of decadentism, symbolism, modernism, surrealism, or the nouveau roman—among other innovative literary movements—and compile them so that single voices are not floating alone but gathered into a corpus in which a reader can find a commonality of intents.
At Black Sun Lit, we want to free ourselves from the constraints of a book market that has slowly homogenized and trivialized the availability of literary offerings. Therefore, our mission as a publisher is not to entertain or educate. Instead, we strive to publish works directed toward a few discerning readers who seek a style of literature that refuses to justify itself through the concepts of utility or morality.
We propose a renewed aestheticism that values beauty—not communication or identification—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 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. While we surely have an audience in mind, we would like our contributors to be bold and less concerned with their potential public.
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essays, fiction, poetry, art, translation
Black Sun Lit accepts 100 submissions per month via Submittable.
digital vestiges is an online series of fragments and ephemera. Black Sun (generally) reads submissions for digital vestiges year-round, accepts 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. For consideration, please submit—in one file—either 1–5 works of prose (no more than 5,000 words), up to 5 poems (no more than ten pages), or 1 essay (3,500–5,000 words). 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, poetry, essay, works in translation, 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.
We request all writers wait until they’ve heard back from us before sending more work (we aim to reply within 3–6 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.
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Number of Books Published per Year
Titles in Print
8 as of 12/31/2019
Average Print Run
Average Price per Book
Average Price per e-Book