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SPOTLIGHT – Call for Submissions

Step Into the SPOTLIGHT

What is SPOTLIGHT?

SPOTLIGHT is an exciting new annual online publication that seeks to shine a light on adult education learners, their experiences, and their learning through the creative process. 

The editorial team is currently seeking submissions for SPOTLIGHT’s premiere edition, slated for debut in the spring of 2022, from adult learners throughout Virginia. SPOTLIGHT strives to include a variety of original works that reflect the creative expression of Virginia’s diverse population of adult learners.

How do I submit work to SPOTLIGHT?

Complete the online submissions form by March 1, 2022. We welcome your original writing and art (do not copy from someone else). SPOTLIGHT publishes work by adults who are currently participating in a Virginia adult education or literacy program.

Adult educators can complete the submission form for their learners, but should only submit work if they have the original artist’s or writer’s permission to do so.

What type of work can I submit to SPOTLIGHT?

The team welcomes a variety of genres, including both fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose. Writing should be 200-500 words (poetry and graphic stories may be shorter). Writing can be uploaded as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file, or you can copy and paste your writing into the submissions form.

Picture stories, illustrations, and other artistic works are also welcome. Artwork should be uploaded as a pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, or .png.

You can submit:

  • Poetry 
  • Fiction (a story from your imagination)
  • Non-fiction (informative or persuasive writing, or a story from your life)
  • Picture story (share your story through pictures, with or without captions)
  • Artwork (examples: drawing, painting, illustration, digital/graphic art, photograph)
    • We are also accepting art for our SPOTLIGHT logo contest!

SPOTLIGHT: Frequently Asked Questions

SPOTLIGHT is an exciting new annual online publication that seeks to shine a light on adult education learners, their experiences, and their learning through the creative process. 

The editorial team is currently seeking submissions for SPOTLIGHT’s premiere edition, slated for debut in the spring of 2022, from adult learners throughout Virginia.

What type of work can I submit to SPOTLIGHT?

  • Poetry 
    • Examples: bio-poem, haiku, acrostic, concrete poem, free verse that does or does not rhyme
  • Fiction (a story from your imagination)
  • Non-fiction (informative or persuasive writing)
    • Tell a story from your own life, or write a biography of someone who inspires you.
    • Take on a journalist’s point of view an article about your country, or about the change of seasons, or the food you love.
    • Write a letter that you might send to a good friend or to your favorite actor/singer/writer.
    • Write a book or movie review.
    • Compare two positions on a controversial issue, or research and write about a topic that interests you.
    • Share your opinion on an important issue in your community.
  • Picture story (share your story through pictures, with or without captions)
  • Artwork 
    • Examples: drawing, painting, illustration, digital/graphic art, photograph
    • We are also accepting art for our SPOTLIGHT logo contest!

 

What does writing/art have to be about?

You can choose any topic for your writing/art. It can be about your life experiences, your culture, what inspires you, your goals, or anything else you want to share.

Can I write and submit a traditional folktale from my country?

Your writing needs to be your own original work, but you could write about what a folktale from your country means to you or how it represents your culture.

How long should my writing be?

Fiction and nonfiction should be 200 to 500 words long. Poetry and picture stories may be shorter.

I am a literacy student and can’t write…can I tell my story to someone to write it down for me?

Yes, you can tell your story to someone else, and they can write it down. Please include the name of the person who writes your story down in your submission.

Can I submit more than one story?  

Yes, you can submit more than one story; however, depending on the number of submissions received, we may or may not be able to publish more than one of your stories.

Can I submit a story that was previously published in another adult learner publication?

Yes, you can submit a story that was previously published.

Can my submission be anonymous?

Yes, your submission can be anonymous.

Can my teacher help me edit my writing?

Yes, you can receive help editing your writing; however, your writing submission should be your own original work

Can an educator submit a class story/essay (rather than individual work)?

Yes, you can submit a writing that was produced by the class. Be sure you have permission to submit from all of the work’s creators.

When will I know if my work will be included in SPOTLIGHT?

You will receive an email letting you know whether or not your submission will be published. Most emails will be sent out after the submission deadline in March 2022.

What happens to my writing if you do not accept it?

If we are not able to publish your writing, we will provide feedback, and you can resubmit your writing/art next year if you choose to.

How can I see my writing/art after it is published?

SPOTLIGHT will be published online, and we will send all of the authors a link to the publication once it is complete. 

Who will be able to see my work if it is published?

SPOTLIGHT will be published online. Anyone will be able to visit the link and read SPOTLIGHT. It will be shared with adult education and literacy teachers and learners all around Virginia.

How can I help spread the word about SPOTLIGHT?

Share the SPOTLIGHT call for submissions and FAQs with other adult learners and adult educators. 

How soon do I need to send in my writing or art?

Submit your work using the online form by March 1, 2022, to be considered for the first issue of SPOTLIGHT.

What if I need help or have more questions?

You can contact vdesk@vcu.edu with questions.


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