The Sun Magazine

Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: The Sun Magazine

ISSN: 0744-96661


Purpose, objective, or mission: Per their website, “The Sun is an independent, ad-free magazine that for more than forty years has used words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human. Each monthly issue celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in The Sun’s pages explore the challenges we face and the moments when we rise to meet them.”2

Target audience: The target audience is the general public; specifically, The Sun targets readers who are intelligent, educated, concerned about community and social issues, and enjoy reading stories, essays, and interviews that they might not find in more mainstream publications.

Publisher: The Sun Publishing Company, Inc.3

Peer reviewed? No.4

Type: Civilian magazine.

Medium: Print and online.

Content: Essays, interviews, fiction, poetry, and black and white photography.5

Frequency of publication: Monthly.6

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: The Sun accepts submissions of essays, interviews, fiction, poetry, and photos. There is no minimum word count, but submissions of longer than 7,000 words are rarely accepted. The Sun favors personal writing, but is also looking for “provocative pieces on political and cultural issues.”7 Interview pieces should focus on “innovative and provocative thinkers,” and The Sun is particularly interested in interviews with women and people of color.8 Submissions may also be made to magazine’s “Readers Write” series, in which readers respond to a given theme each month with a short, nonfiction piece.9 Black and white photos are also accepted. The Sun is not interested in photojournalism, but instead, photos that show “unique perspectives on the world around us — especially human interactions.” 10

Submission and review process: The Sun does accept submissions online via Submittable. As of September 2020, mail-in submissions are suspended due to the coronavirus. Submissions must be typed (single-spaced is acceptable for poetry, double-spaced for all other types) and sent with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The review process typically takes three to six months but may be longer. Queries are suggested prior to submitting interview pieces. Interview pieces can be lightly edited prior to submission and will be further revised upon acceptance.11

Editorial tone: Personal, provocative writing preferred.12

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

The Sun offers an excellent opportunity for LIS authors to reach a more mainstream audience than an industry publication. Since it appeals to people who tend to be educated, socially active, and well-read, The Sun provides an audience who will likely be interested in issues facing libraries and their roles in society and community, including funding challenges, services to minorities, and trends in information literacy. Interestingly, The Sun provides subscriptions for free or at reduced rates to institutions such as prisons and homeless shelters (and often includes submissions from inmates and other “marginalized” members of society)13 Therefore, it would provide a forum for submission of pieces concerning library services to these populations.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: 70,000.14

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The Sun’s publication is read and distributed throughout the United States. At this time, The Sun is only available in English. However, it does appeal to a multicultural, multi-generational audience, often presenting viewpoints from minority and disenfranchised populations.

Reader characteristics: Reader information is unavailable. The magazine’s content would suggest that readers care about human issues and are informed about national and global politics. The Sun is available in many jails, prisons, treatment centers, and homeless shelters, so many readers are in fact currently homeless or incarcerated.15

This publication is not targeted toward any particular profession. It does attract a number of writers and other artists, as well as those who have an appreciation for good writing and photography. Many of the readers who send letters to The Sun or submit to the “Readers Write” section work in the nonprofit sector, or in various “human service” fields such as addiction treatment, counseling, health care, and services to homeless people.

The Sun is a liberal publication, with an audience that likely embraces diversity, is politically active and involved in social activism, and values creativity and artistic expression. It is likely that readers hold education, literacy, and librarianship in high esteem, but may not necessarily be well-versed in issues relating to these areas.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Since The Sun is a civilian publication that does not specialize in library and information science, audience knowledge of LIS subject matter cannot be assumed. It can be assumed that readers are supporters of libraries, and may have knowledge of library services from the patron’s point of view. While it is likely that issues facing libraries may be of interest to this publication’s readership, LIS jargon should be avoided.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers of The Sun share an interest in the arts and in creating a better world for the future. They are concerned about the environment, education, and other issues that will have a long-term impact on our world. They may be politically active, usually at the grass-roots level.

The Sun‘s audience will be interested in and responsive to articles such as those about the roles of libraries as cultural institutions; funding challenges faced by public libraries; educational opportunities offered to children through library programs; services to immigrants and other non-native English speakers; and services to populations such as homeless adults and children and inmates.

Authors who are interested in being published in The Sun will want to ensure that their submissions deal with current issues facing libraries. They will want to focus less on the technical aspects of librarianship, and more on the social and cultural implications. They may want to consider interviews with leaders in the field of library and information science who are implementing innovative programs and ideas, especially those who are working to bring library services to traditionally underserved populations.

Last updated: September 8, 2020


Show 15 footnotes

  1.  The Sun Magazine, WorldCat, accessed March 28, 2018,
  2. “About The Sun,”, accessed December 2, 2016,
  3. About The Sun.”
  4. “Submission Guidelines Writing,”, accessed December 2, 2016,
  5. About The Sun.”
  6. About The Sun.”
  7. Submission Guidelines Writing.”
  8. “Submission Guidelines Interviews,”, accessed December 2, 2016,
  9. “Submission Guidelines Readers Write,” accessed December 2, 2016,
  10. “Submission Guidelines Photography,”, accessed September 8, 2020,
  11. Submission Guidelines Writing.”
  12. Submission Guidelines Writing.”
  13. “FAQ,”, accessed December 2, 2016,
  14. About The Sun.”
  15. FAQ.”
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