About The Sun

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.

From its idealistic, unlikely inception in 1974 to its current incarnation as a nonprofit magazine with more than 70,000 subscribers, The Sun has attempted to marry the personal and political; to honor the genuine and the spiritual; to see what kind of roommates beauty and truth can be; and to show that powerful teaching can be found in the lives of ordinary people. Each issue includes a section devoted entirely to writing by readers.

Writing from The Sun has won the Pushcart Prize and been selected for the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays anthologies.


Watch Sy Safransky discuss good writing, unconventional wisdom, and the magazine he founded more than 40 years ago.


The Sun Publishing Company, Inc. is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is supported primarily by subscriptions and reader contributions. Donations to The Sun are tax-deductible.

The Sun is one of the last true independent voices in a world of corporate-sponsored magazines.”

Steve Almond

“It’s easy to take The Sun for granted — it’s been around for so long — but there are very few such institutions left: independent, committed to original thought, following the beat of their own drummer. We should cherish and support them. Here’s to the next forty years!”

Michael Pollan


The Sun is to publishing what A Prairie Home Companion is to radio: quietly revolutionary, selectively anachronistic, unfashionably idealistic.”

Pat Mullaney, a Sun reader

“Your magazine has shown me that I am not alone. You show the beauty, the wonder, and the dirty truth of the human spirit.”

Bridget Willey, Sun reader