Bright Wall/Dark Room is currently accepting unsolicited submissions for its monthly magazine. Essays, criticism, poetry, reportage, interviews, and short humor pieces will all be evaluated and considered.

We are absolutely not looking for formulaic plot-summary "reviews" of any kind. We are far more interested in content that has you interacting, engaging, or wrestling with a film (or film-related topic) in some personal or unique way. Creativity and thinking outside of the box are highly encouraged.


Ends on May 5, 2017
The theme for our June issue is THE HERO’S JOURNEY. We’re looking for writing on films or television shows that deal with this structure in some way—the Hero’s Journey, or the monomyth, as defined by Joseph Campbell and further popularized by Christopher Vogler. 

Some directions you could take this in: 

TRADITIONAL HERO’S JOURNEYS: Pieces about films/shows that follow the Hero’s Journey structure in a traditional way. We’re looking for unique perspectives on series like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Harry PotterMad Max, Indiana JonesThe Hunger Games, most superhero films, most Pixar films, and other films that hew to the structure, like The Wizard of OzThe SearchersJawsRockyContactBack to the FutureThe Princess Bride. The fact that these films are Hero’s Journeys is well-worn territory, so we’re looking for deeper analysis about what that means. What do these films mean in the culture, and what do they do to the viewer? What’s your unique relationship to one of these films? What new thing do you have to say about it? 

ONE PIECE OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY: A piece that examines one step or aspect of The Hero’s Journey model. For example, an essay on “the mentor” in a series of films, or on the special vs. the ordinary world, or about “the elixir” and what that means in several different stories (and perhaps in our own, real world). 

THE ANTI-HERO’S JOURNEY: Pieces that examine the Hero’s Journey structure as it applies to nontraditional or anti- heroes. Think Dirty HarryTaxi DriverOldboyThe Girl With the Dragon TattooThe Godfather, and the antiheroes of prestige TV (The SopranosMad MenBreaking BadBoJack Horseman). How does the structure work on these stories? Is it still essentially the same, or does it function differently? What kind of a journey is the viewer asked to go on? 

CHALLENGING THE STRUCTURE: Pieces that challenge or re-evaluate The Hero’s Journey as a story structure. Essays on films/shows that subvert The Hero’s Journey, or unique critical looks at films that hew closely to the structure. Also, a look at the place of women and POC in Hero's Journey stories--why are there so few? Tell us about ones you've found. 

ACTORS AND DIRECTORS: Profile-style pieces on actors, directors, or particular performances in films/TV in this genre. 

We’re not looking for reviews or “hot takes.” We’re looking for thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement. We publish interviews, profiles,  formal analysis, cultural criticism, personal essays, humor, and even the occasional poem. But everything we publish looks at film and TV with love, care, and attention. We looking for writing that is savvy and insightful about filmmaking, but that also grapples in some way with business of being alive. We’re trying to look at film more humanly. 

We tend to publish critical essays between 1500-3000 words, though we’ve been known to publish pieces in other formats. Creative approaches are encouraged.

If you haven’t written for us before and want to know more about the submission process, please consult our site for additional information:

If you have a few different ideas and aren’t sure which one to pursue, please feel free to email the editorial team ( prior to the submission deadline with any pitches or questions.
In order to be considered for the issue, we’ll need to receive a first draft of your essay by May 5, 2017.

We welcome unsolicited essay submissions of any length.

However, before you submit your piece, we recommend that you subscribe to the magazine and browse through our archives a bit, to get a sense of the kinds of things we tend to publish.