About Tiny Lights

Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative began in 1995 as a personal essay contest. Fifty adventurous writers paid the $5 entry fee, which barely covered the $245 I offered as prize money. I made 150 copies of the six-page journal and mailed them to everyone I could think of. To my relief and delight, the world responded with money, offers of help and encouragement. I ended up with just enough to cover the remaining costs, and the inspiration to put out another issue six months later. That's been the way of it ever sincea series of small investments that have led to ever-increasing dividends.

Tiny Lights continues grow and generate new marvels. In August 2002, we launched a writer's exchange called Searchlights & Signal Flares. October of 2003 brought Flash in the Pan, a column for those otherwise unclassifiable nuggets of literary gold. Guiding Lights: Notes on Craft & Process arrived in 2007, along with a separate contest category for "Flash" essays of fewer than 1,000 words. 2008 saw the arrival of Paypal and our free monthly e-letter called Sparks: News and Notes.

We hope you will join us on a regular basis, as a subscriber to the hard copy edition, the free monthly email newsletter, and a contributor to the website. Tiny Lights is your place to shine. Help us keep the lights on.

Some Praise for Tiny Lights:

"Subtitled 'A Journal of Personal Essay,' this lean newsletter delivers just what is promised, in a multitude of styles and voices. It's a little like the New Yorker, if you took out all the ads, pretentious reviews, and listings of New York-only happenings and were left with just those occasionally brilliant pieces on something you never thought could be so fascinating."

~Heather Seggel for Bitch Magazine

Find out more about Susan Bono, Editor-in-Chief.

Subscription and Submission Information

Subscriptions to the print edition of Tiny Lights are $10 per 2 issues. Current issues: $5 each. Back issues: $3 each.

Find out more about subscriptions!

Regarding Unsolicited Manuscripts

At present, we are only able to consider material submitted to the annual essay contest. Stay tuned for possible changes to this policy. See Contest page for details.


Editor-in-ChiefSusan Bono
Illustrations Deborah Garber (www.deborahgarber.com)
Kamil Dawson
Valery Larson (www.zhibit.org/valleel)
Technical AssistanceGeorge Bono
Lucius Bono
Precision Mailing of Petaluma
Web MastersMiles Mattison, Designer,theweightofarms.com
Jennifer March, Maintainence, Hazel Stage Web Design
John Murphy, Programmer
Creative Commons License
www.tiny-lights.com by Susan Bono, Editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
We allow only honest, respectful ways of spreading Light. Therfore, all work appearing on this website is protected by the Atribution Non-commercial No Derivative license issued by Creative Commons, a Massachusetts-chartered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable corporation. This license is often call the "free advertising" license because it allows readers to download our offerings and share them with others as long as they mention the author's name, Tiny Lights and link back to us. These works may be excerpted, but cannot be changed in any way or used commercially wothout the author's consent. View Legal Code