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 on or around the 15th of the month, with a three-week submission window.
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 2,500-4,000 words, though we’ve certainly been known to publish pieces in other, longer formats. Creative approaches are always encouraged.
For our June issue, we’re looking for essays on movies and TV series that cover all the ways things can go wrong, and all the ways we can—or can’t—recover.
For many of us, the idea of plans going awry conjures images of botched crimes, whether those crimes are heavily planned—The Town, Point Break, Set It Off, The Killing—or stumbled into by civilians in over their heads—A Simple Plan, Fargo...actually, half the Coen brothers filmography now that we mention it, from Blood Simple to Hail, Caesar! and everything in between.
Then there are stories of straightforward missions that spiral out of control, from Treasure of the Sierra Madre to Da 5 Bloods.
There are comedies built on top of rapidly collapsing plans, from National Lampoon’s Vacation to Superbad to After Hours.
There are tragic figures either brought down by their own flaws (Macbeth and all his descendants, from Throne of Blood to Scotland, PA), or the whims of fate (Oldboy, Make Way for Tomorrow).
And then there are characters whose lives are upended, leaving them to fight for their safety (The Martian, The Fugitive) or just make it back to equilibrium (Stronger, Eat Pray Love).
Of course, there's also the meta-category of productions gone awry, whether memorialized in documentaries (Apocalypse Now and Hearts of Darkness, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and Lost in La Mancha, Jodorowsky's Dune and Jodorowsky's Dune) or as cautionary tales (Heaven’s Gate, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Superman II).
We've recently updated our guide to pitching and submitting, so please take a few minutes to consult that. 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 May 8, 2021.
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/.