Bright Wall/Dark Room is currently accepting submissions for our monthly online magazine. Each issue is built around a particular theme, and we open up the submission process for each new issue 1-2 months in advance of the submission deadline. We are also now accepting general pitches and submissions (off-theme) for consideration.
We’re looking for thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement, as opposed to standard reviews, clickbait, or hot takes. We publish interviews, profiles, formal analysis, cultural criticism, personal essays, and humor pieces. We're looking for writing that is savvy and insightful about filmmaking, but that also grapples in some way with the business of being alive.
We tend to publish critical essays between 1500-3000 words, though we’ve certainly been known to publish pieces in other, longer formats. Creative approaches are always encouraged.
For our September issue, we’re celebrating the life and career of writer, director, performer and all-around legend Elaine May.
Though May has directed only four features, her Hollywood career has been long and varied, and so we’d be happy to see essays on her work as a screenwriter (from 1978’s Heaven Can Wait to her late-career collaborations with Mike Nichols, The Birdcage and Primary Colors) and performer (in such works as Clive Donner’s Luv, and Sandra Seacat’s In the Spirit). We’ll also consider pieces on May’s non-film projects—such as the era-defining Nichols & May comedy albums, and her work as a playwright including Adult Entertainment and Relatively Speaking—in hopes of providing an expansive consideration of her art and artistry.
We’re also looking for pieces that take a broader focus on May’s thematic concerns, from the uneasy partnerships at the heart of each of her directorial efforts, to the way her films did (and did not) respond to the trends of the era, to the way her works speak to specific cultural groups, from what J. Hoberman called the “Jewish new wave” culmination of The Heartbreak Kid to the spot The Birdcage occupies in the history of gay representation in Hollywood.
As always, we’re looking for thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement, as opposed to standard reviews, clickbait, or hot takes. We’re a home for film writing that you won’t find anywhere else on the web—we’re not afraid to go long, to dive deep, to look close, to dig into filmmaking and film theory, but also to get messy and vulnerable and human, to explore nuance and mystery. We’re looking for writing that is savvy and insightful about filmmaking, but that also grapples in some way with the business of being alive.
We tend to publish critical essays between 1800-3000 words, though we’ve certainly been known to publish pieces in other, longer formats. Creative approaches are always encouraged.
We pay $50 per essay upon publication.
In order to be considered for the issue we’ll need to receive a first draft of your essay via Submittable by July 31, 2019.
If you have any questions or concerns prior to submitting, please feel free to email ([email protected]). Please be aware that due to the high volume of submissions and few available publishing slots, we are very rarely able to accept an essay based on idea alone, and so as long as you have no particular concerns, there is no need to submit a traditional pitch. Also, before submitting, please check our archives to make sure we haven't covered the film you hope to write about within the last calendar year (we even have an alphabetized database of every film we've covered under the "Films" tab for extra convenience).
We welcome unsolicited essay submissions of any length, on any film or television related topic. If you'd like to submit a pitch or an essay to our editorial team, this is the place to do it. However, before you submit your piece, we recommend that you read our current issue online, or browse through our archives a bit, to get a sense of the kinds of things we tend to publish.
Please note: due to the number of submissions we receive, we aren't always able to respond to every single pitch or submission. However, if we are interested in your pitch or submission, you will be contacted within one month.