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 June 12, 2017
The theme for our July issue is SEX. We’re looking for writing on films or television shows that engage with this theme in some way, directly or indirectly. 

Some directions you could take this in: 

Essays on films that feature a sexual awakening plotline (though the essay doesn't need to be explicitly about that theme, necessarily.) Think The GraduateSay AnythingFish Tank, The Last Picture Show, Splendor in the Grass, The Dreamers, It FollowsWetlandsIt Felt Like Love, The Ice Storm, An EducationSecretary

REAL SEXUAL AWAKENINGS: Films that were eye-opening/mind expanding in the story of your own sexual awareness. This will obviously be very idiosyncratic, and could go in very serious or very funny directions. (Have fun, and don't be gross!)

THE SEXIEST FILMS: Write about a film/scene that you think does sex better, or differently, than any other film. Write about what filmmaking choices made it work. Think Moonstruck, Out of Sight, The Handmaiden, Body HeatBrokeback MountainBoundLike Water for ChocolateIn the Mood for LoveThe Piano, Belle de JourIn the Realm of the SensesBreaking the WavesBlue is the Warmest ColorY Tu Mama Tambien, Swimming PoolStage BeautyDangerous LiasonsSex & Lucia.

SEXY AUTEURS: What does eroticism look like in the films of Jane Campion? David Lynch? Ingmar Bergman? Andrea Arnold? Steven Soderbergh? Jill Soloway? John Cassavetes? Wong Kar-Wai? What about the actor as auteur—which actors wield their sex appeal with particular skill? (Be sharp, not skeezy). 

CINEMATIC SEX REVISITED: Is there a film that everyone else thinks is sexy that you think gets it totally wrong? Or a film that everyone else discounted but you think has some unacknowledged erotic power? 

SEXUAL FRUSTRATION/THE DARK SIDE OF SEX:  Think ShameNymphomaniacAntichristMulholland Dr., Lost HighwayBreaking the Waves, The Piano TeacherElection, Taxi Driver, Like Someone in LovePeeping TomThat Obscure Object of DesireStranger By the LakeCruel Intentions, Boogie Nights, Eyes Wide ShutBlack Swan.

SEX COMEDIES: Pieces that engage with a particular sex comedy, or with sex comedy as a genre. Think Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)American PieThe 40-Year-Old VirginSleeping With Other PeopleWhen Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, Some Like it Hot, Chasing AmyZack and Miri Make a Porno, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

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'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 been known to publish pieces in other formats. Creative approaches are encouraged.

In order to be considered for the issue, we’ll need to receive a first draft of your essay by June 12, 2017.

If you haven’t written for us before and want to know more about the submission process, or 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. Please consult our site for more information, and to see which films we've already covered:

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.