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 hum

or 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 further advice and answers to FAQs, please check out The Bright Wall/Dark Room Guide to Pitching & Submitting

Please note: as of April 2021, we have decided to close down our Off-Theme Submissions form. For some explanation on that decision, please consult the Pitching & Submitting Guide.

For our September issue, we’re going back (and forward, and side to side) in time, and though “the time travel movie” has a pretty classical definition (from adaptations of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine to the Back to the Future trilogy to Primer and on and on), we’re also interested in more offbeat approaches to the idea. A few ideas to get you started:

  • How has a movie transported you back to a specific time and place in your own life? Has a movie ever made you believe you could see your own future?
  • How can filmmakers use the tricks of the trade to transport us to a prior decade’s filmmaking, whether formally or conceptually? (Think The Good German, The Love Witch, Grindhouse, etc.)
  • And, of course, there are all the myriad complexities offered by straightforward time travel movies (if a time travel movie is ever straightforward). There are those that explore the emotional angle (About Time, Peggy Sue Got Married) and those that go for the comic jugular (Idiocracy, Hot Tub Time Machine). There are those that take time travel seriously (Looper) and those that very much don’t (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure). There are time loops (Groundhog Day, Palm Springs), and stories of time dilation (Interstellar). We could spend all day listing brilliant time travel movies and all the complex ideas they inspire. We can’t wait to see all the exciting the angles you’ll find on them!

We pay $50 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 August 9, 2022.

Please be advised that given the high volume of interest for what’s typically 8 - 12 publication slots in a month, and to level the playing field between emerging and established voices, we rely primarily on Submittable in finding essays for each issue, and we do ask for full first drafts for consideration (pitches sent to Submittable are often seen too late to be considered). We completely understand that for many writers, working on spec is too much of an expenditure of time and energy for an uncertain result. For that reason, we’re happy to accept e-mailed pitches via [email protected] Please include a rundown of the idea, a projected word count (we usually publish work between 2,000 and 4,000 words), a sense of what makes it a great fit for BW/DR (usually some distinctive form or offbeat focus that would set it apart from outlets more focused on news and reviews), and a few links to pieces published at outlets with editorial oversight. On pitches, we will offer a solid yes or no, and a rejection may represent a range of reasons unrelated to the quality of your work—given our roster of regular contributors and our desire to save a few slots each month for Submittable discoveries, pitching is, for better or worse, a fairly competitive prospect!

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: