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For our November issue, we’re looking for stories of people who faced immense challenges and found a way to come out the other side.

This umbrella encompasses any number of addiction narratives (28 Days, Colossal, Crazy Heart, The Spectacular Now, Jesus’ Son), as well as stories of overcoming physical setbacks (Stronger, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), wartime experiences (Jacob’s Ladder, Born on the Fourth of July, The Best Years of Our Lives, Coming Home) and abuse (Mysterious Skin, The Tale).

Stories of recovery can take on supernatural notes (The Dead Zone) or elements of psychological horror (Don’t Look Now). They can be abstract (Hiroshima, Mon Amour) or they can painfully realistic (Ordinary People). They can be gleefully stylized (the Kill Bill duology) or brutally eerie (We Need to Talk About Kevin).

Recoveries can be successful, or valiant in the mere attempt. They can be noble, or they can be attempted for all the wrong reasons. There can be little better narrative material than stories of recovery, and we can’t wait to see all the ways you interpret the theme.

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good-faith engagement with our collaborative editorial process; a refusal to participate in this process may result in rescinded acceptance.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 October 6, 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 editors@brightwalldarkroom. 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: http://brightwalldarkroom.com/submissions/.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.