Submissions

(Our full pitch/submission guidelines can be found here.)

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.

 

This November, we've decided to focus on wall-to-wall laughs, but laughter of a very particular type: farce, or what Oscar Wilde once described as “trivial comedy for serious people.” 

“Farce” may sound like a specific subgenre, but think of it as any story about characters tripping over themselves as they try to keep a ludicrous plan in the air. There's the prototypical European farce (La Cage aux Folles; The Importance of Being Earnest), but the term can apply to everything from classic slapstick (the Marx brothers) to  uncomfortably current satire (In the Loop). Farce can be pure escapist mayhem (What’s Up Doc?l It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World) or something far more pointed (The Producers; Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb). It can come from an indie sensibility (Raising Arizona), or a broad crowd-pleasing one (National Lampoon’s Vacation), and it’s proven a reliable foundation for episodic TV (Fawlty Towers; Frasier). Beneath all the wordplay and mayhem, though, farce points out the absurdity of the world around us, and asks: it’s funny, right? The answer is usually yes—but then there’s the harder question that follows: why? And what does our laughter say about our tastes, our perspectives, and our needs?

Writing about comedy can be a tricky task (as E.B. White put it, it’s like dissecting a frog—“the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind”) but we think you’re up to the challenge. The world around us doesn’t seem to be getting any less farcical any time soon, so let’s laugh while we can, and hopefully understand a little more about what that laughter means in the process.

We recently created a brand-new guide to pitching and submitting, so please take a few minutes to consult that if you haven't already. In the meantime, 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 2000 - 4000 words, though we’ve certainly been known to publish pieces in other, longer formats. Creative approaches are always encouraged! 

We pay $100 per essay upon publication. Please be aware that our acceptances are based on the presumption of the writer's good-faith engagement with our collaborative editorial process; a refusal to participate in this process may result in rescinded acceptance.

In order to be considered for the issue we’ll need to receive a complete first draft of your essay via Submittable by October 3, 2020.

Please be advised that we love publishing new and undiscovered voices, but that given the high volume of interest and few available publishing slots, we ask that writers without significant portfolios submit a full first draft rather than sending pitches for consideration. Writers with professional experience in longform writing are more likely to have a piece approved based on a pitch, and can feel free to contact [email protected]. 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). 

For additional information, visit our Submissions page: http://brightwalldarkroom.com/submissions/

We welcome unsolicited essay submissions of any length on any film or television related topic. However, before you submit your piece, we recommend that you visit our "About" page and browse our archives to get a sense of the sort of pieces we publish—longform works of thoughtful analysis on the relationship between movies and the business of being alive.

We pay on a sliding scale based on the scope of a given piece, with a range of $100 - $300 per essay. Please feel free to contact [email protected] to gauge the potential fee for the piece you envision.

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of submissions and few available slots for off-theme essays, we can only respond to submissions that we are interested in publishing. If you have not heard back within 2 weeks, please accept our appreciation for sharing your work but our regrets that we will be unable to publish it.

Please be advised that we love publishing new and undiscovered voices, but that given the high volume of interest and few available publishing slots, we ask that writers without significant portfolios submit a full first draft rather than sending pitches for consideration. Writers with professional experience in longform writing are more likely to have a piece approved based on a pitch, and can feel free to contact [email protected]