Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are so grateful for the work that we have received this year, for the chance to read and to publish many folks in whom we really, truly believe. Over the course of our first few cycles on this project, we’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know so many new people, of hearing so many new voices. It has been wonderful to see so much interest in and support for our project. And so, in recognition of the talent and dedication of the writers who have made this last year possible, we are honored to announce our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize:

Adriana Campoy, Unsent Letter
Gayane Haroutyunyan, Please
Rachel Linn, Pass Slipped Stitch Over to Decrease
Maria Rosa Mills, Shapeshift
Audie Shushan, A Sky This Big
Steve Werkmeister, Going Home

It’s always tough to make final selections. We want to offer our congratulations to these writers, and to offer our sincere thanks and respect to everyone who contributed to our journal this year! Thanks for writing, thanks for reading, thanks for helping us do what we do.


Free submissions are closed. Long live submissions.

Dear readers,

First, we want to thank everyone who has expressed interest in our project, and we want to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who submitted through our first go-round on submittable. The response was impressive and, at times, quite overwhelming–and we couldn’t be happier.

We would like to note that our free submission window is now closed. We now look forward to forging ahead through our inbox–there’s a bottom there, somewhere, we’re sure–reading all that wonderful work, and moving forward with the next editorial steps.

We would like to note that we still do have an open submissions call: our Tip Jar is currently running year-round, and we welcome submissions through that tab. That option does require the increasingly-ubiquitous nominal fee. As far as free submissions go, we anticipate opening up again in late winter / early spring of 2017, with dates dependent on our editorial needs. We will be sure to keep you posted when we know the schedule there.

With that, we’d like to offer one last thanks. We are truly excited about the issue that’s coming together for January 2017, and of course we could not have done that without all your support!

Submissions update: 1 week left!


The last stubborn roses of autumn have finally wilted here in Portland. This is, of course, the traditional harbinger of Sun Star Review’s own (semi) hibernation period. We’ve been a bit quiet this fall, but far from idle. We’ve been so impressed by the quantity and quality of submissions we’ve received, and a common sight around our neighborhood has been our editors hunkered down in a cafe window, so engrossed in our submission queue that they can hardly spare a look up now and then, to catch those last falling petals. We’d like to thank everyone who has submitted, and it truly has been a pleasure to read your work.

However, if you would like to submit for this round but haven’t quite gotten to it yet, there’s still time! Our free submission period runs for one more week, through November 15th, so send us your work ASAP! At that point, we will only be accepting work through our tip jar category.

Once again, we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the upcoming issues. We are frankly blown away by the work we’ve received, and we are tremendously excited for the Winter 2017 issue to take final shape. Keep an eye out; we’re pretty sure you’re gonna love it, too.

Meet the Author: Adriana Campoy


We were so excited to have the opportunity to feature some of Adriana’s beautiful poetry  in our first issue. She’s a multi-talented writer with an MFA from the University of Washington and an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Cambridge. You can also see Adriana’s work in the short film People Are Becoming Clouds, which she cowrote the screenplay for.

What is your favorite place to write in/at?

Usually at home, alone at my desk, where I can get up and pace and read aloud without bothering anyone. Sometimes the kitchen table, where there is lots of light and there are snacks close by. 😉 Occasionally it’s nice to go to a cafe when I’m revising.

We loved the variety of subjects in your poems and the sense of the poems reaching outwards to see through different perspectives. Can you tell us about what inspires your poetry?

It’s usually an image that grabs my attention–a painting or sculpture, a movement in a dance, something I spot while on a walk or cycling home. Occasionally it’s stories that people tell me–“El Mamey” was inspired by something one of my aunts told me during a visit to Mexico City. In the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about slowing down moments in time and describing them in detail and letting the images speak that way. I find it to be a really good exercise even if I don’t get a poem out of it.

Can you tell us a bit about your use of form? How do you decide what form a poem should take?

I usually just let it unfold in a way that feels natural to the image or to the shape of the sentence that’s unwinding–I wish I had a better answer than that!

If you could spend one day as any plant, animal, or non-human organism, what would you be?

I think I would be kelp swaying with the waves somewhere in the San Juan Islands.

Events of epochal significance

We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received from folks interested in being part of Sun Star Review–sometimes, quite literally. As our journal has grown, and the project has matured past its humble beginnings, we have come to realize the value of infrastructure. To that end, we have decided to finally make it official: we are now accepting submissions primarily through submittable. That’s right, we have a brand new submittable page. Go on, take it for a spin while it still has that new-page shine!

From this moment hence, we ask that all submissions run through submittable, and that our email be reserved for the kinds of business, correspondence, spam, spear-phishing, and other standard uses to which it’s better suited.

With all that in mind, now would be a good time to submit to Issue #3, set for Winter 2017 release. And of course please keep an eye out for Issue #2, which should be ready to launch by the end of September (gulp).

Submissions are Open. Sunset, Sunrise.

Please note that we have updated our submissions page to reflect the fact that we are now reading for Issue #3. Submissions remain open, but we have decided to close consideration for #2. All further work received will be considered for #3.

Our present plan is to publish on a roughly academic schedule through this year–fall release for #2 around September, and then a winter release for #3 around January. Submissions will very likely remain open throughout, and we will notify everyone when we transition to a new issue. We also have some special projects in the works (very exciting!) that may require some schedule shifts–we will of course let you know when we know!

Vermillion Reading: a story in too many pictures

We at Sun Star Review are absurdly lucky people. We are lucky to have received so many great submissions to our humble startup journal. We are lucky for the chance to publish all the wonderful writers whose work appeared in our inaugural. And we are tremendously lucky to have so many friends and supporters in the Seattle writerly community. On Tuesday, August 2, we were reminded of just how special that community is for our belated inaugural reading at Vermillion in Capital Hill. The turnout was incredible, and a full house was treated to the work of Sun Star contributors Justine Chan, Mark Petterson, Maria Rosa Mills, Rachel Linn, and Adriana Campoy (who, speaking of luck, just happened to be swinging through Seattle for a couple days after returning from her usual study at an obscure school called Cambridge or some such thing). And superstar Seattle poet Alison Stagner reminded us that she is a superstar. The evening wrapped up with a set from The Bailey Range, and we would be grossly negligent if we failed to offer special thanks to Josh Potter (writer, drummer, and general good dude), who put in so much work to bring this reading together!

[Pictured from top, left to right: pregame; Miranda opens ceremonies; more Miranda as MC; Justine Chan; Mark Petterson; a vagrant; Maria Rosa Mills; Rachel Linn; more Rachel Linn; sparkle shoes for some reason; superstar Alison Stagner; Adriana Campoy; The Bailey Range; more The Bailey Range (Josh Potter on drums!)]