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 May issue, we’ll be looking at two sides of a coin: what it means to keep secrets, and what it means to confess them.
We’re inviting you to choose either “Secrets” or “Confessions” as your topic, with our hope being to balance the issue between the two—think of it as pair of mini-issues woven together. So rather than try to merge the two prompts, focus on one of the following:
Secrets can protect individuals (as in decades of superhero stories), families (as in Get Out or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), communities (as in The Wicker Man or Hot Fuzz), or nations (as in decades of espionage stories). But what does keeping a secret do to a character and their relationships? What’s the line between an outright lie and a lie of omission? Between a little white lie and a betrayal?
Characters can come clean in the open air of a courtroom (as in Witness for the Prosecution or Legally Blonde) or the privacy of a confessional (as in The Godfather Part III or In Bruges). These revelations can impact the individual (as in Dead Man Walking or Memento) or a vast network (as in A Few Good Men or Goodfellas). But how can the individual weigh their needs against the collective? What can be the fallout of the choice to confess? When is it too late to admit the truth? And how might one go about persuading their conspirators to come forward?
These are just a few of the ideas that an essay on either topic could explore, and as always, creative approaches are encouraged!
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.
We pay $50 per essay upon publication.
In order to be considered for the issue we’ll need to receive a complete first draft of your essay via Submittable by March 31, 2020.
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. 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.
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 are no longer accepting pitches via this form; only full-length essay drafts will be considered.