Category Archives: Media

The latest media from So Say We All.

A glowing review of INCOMING from Red Bull Rising

INCOMING, our just-published collection of true veteran stories on the theme of coming home, was reviewed by Red Bull Rising.

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Exploring themes of home, homecoming, and finding one’s place in the world, the anthology “Incoming” hits a sweet spot on the terrain of contemporary veteran-voiced literature, and is certain to expand and enrich future conversations between civilian and military populations.

The review gives a glowing account of the book’s composition: its themes, its significance, and the variety of contributors.

There is, in short, something for everyone in this book: the profane, the sublime, and the mundane.

Thank you, everyone at Red Bull Rising, for the thoughtful read and kind, insightful words. Go read the review here, and then pick up your own copy of INCOMING.

This is clear-eyed. This is heart-felt. This is the real deal.

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INCOMING: An excerpt of Benjamin Busch’s “Home Invasion”

Our anthology of true veteran literature, “Incoming: Veteran Writers on Coming Home” was published this week. We hope you love and are as transformed by it as we are. It’s a collection of real stories, written by veterans, in their own voices, on the theme of coming home. This is the book that launched a public radio show! Purchase copies on Amazon, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, tell your Goodreads friends.

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Contributor Benjamin Busch is an actor, writer, photographer, and filmmaker who spends considerable amounts of time looking at rocks in the wilds of his beloved Michigan with his wife and children. We are so proud to publish Ben’s story, “Home Invasion,” in Incoming. Here’s a little snippet:

In the spring of 2001 we were rehearsing for wars we no longer expected to happen. Everything we carried was green and we weren’t thinking of deserts yet. We stayed on our bases and made believe, attacking ourselves and then going home, over and over. We drove to drills from suburbs through the back roads of Virginia, paved colonial routes that wound through the countryside.[…]

[…] By the spring of 2005 I was in Ramadi, Iraq on my second combat tour. The city was made of concrete and metal, all the homes poured or built with hollow blocks. The floors could not rot, but they could be cracked and the city often shook with car bombs or IEDs, smoke rising out of neighborhoods full of children. Some homes had been collapsed by the war, all of the rooms crushed into a thin pile of fragments and rebar. Our enemies fought us from houses and apartments, holding families hostage or driving them out. They brought violence and we responded in kind, keeping the city frightened. Our patrols took sporadic fire and we fought house to house because there was no other choice. We were left to search homes we had searched many times before, the women and children gathered in one room waiting for us to leave, knowing that the men we sought were already gone. They lived in between all of us.

Benjamin Busch served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2003 and again in 2005 where he was wounded in the battle for Ramadi. He is the author of a memoir, Dust to Dust, and has published in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Five Points and Michigan Quarterly Review among others. He has been a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and The Daily Beast. He lives on a farm in Michigan.

Read the rest of Ben’s story, as well as many others like it and many others wildly different from it, in our freshly minted anthology, INCOMING: Veteran Writers on Coming Home.

“What they have to say is often unbearable, sometimes hilarious, always compelling, and cinematic.” – Robin Young, NPR’s Here and Now.

“Miasma” by C.A. Schaefer now published online

Say hello to the new Black Candies website. Black Candies is our journal of literary horror and dark fiction, showcasing writing and art from both local and worldwide contributors.

As we approach the April 30th submission deadline for the women-identifying writers issue of Black Candies: “Gross and Unlikeable,” we are going to make select Black Candies stories available online.

To kick things off, take a look at C.A. Schaefer’s short story, “Miasma,” which was first published in Black Candies: See Through. You can learn more about See Through or purchase a copy in our book store here.

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Accompanying illustration by Carabella Sands

The little children call me The Beak Doctor, and squawk like birds around me. It is only play. But at my feet they throw flowers. They think it will keep them safe.

The beak is really a cone meant to hold clean scents: amber, camphor, myrrh.

Oh, I know how false miasma is. It is not bad air that carries the plague. I could laugh at the thought.

But they do not bring me to laugh. They bring to prod their clothes with my cane, to feel their pulse. They bring me to speak to the dying and the dead, to the children and wives and fathers.

(Read the rest here).

And while you’re there, poke around at the Black Candies website and learn more about submitting to the upcoming Gross and Unlikeable issue.

“Fanny in Development,” by Adrian Van Young, from Black Candies

Black Candies: See Through contributor Adrian Van Young‘s piece, “Fanny in Development,” which is an excerpt from his upcoming book “Shadows in Summerland,” is available to read online at Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Lucky you.

Fanny in Development appeared in our See Through edition of Black Candies, published in 2013.

Always maintain perfect posture. Never concede to be shut in a cabinet. Be wary of writers and college professors. Do not speak outside the trance. Wear a dress that shows your neck but wear a skirt that hides your feet. Watch the face but not the eyes. Invest in harps and horns and strings. Do not be afraid to put a little sap in it. Often pray and always sing. Repeat words and phrases. Say: Harmony, Beauty, Comfort for the Ills of Life. Never agree to sit on credit, but always agree to sit for free. Condition your palms not to sweat. Exude grace. Never take more than a glass of red wine.

From “Fanny in Development.” Check out the entire excerpt, buy a copy of Black Candies: See Through and read more stories like this, check out other Black Candies books, and learn about our current women-only call for Black Candies submissions.

 

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Accompanying artwork for Adrian’s story in Black Candies by Andrew McGranahan.

Black Candies: See Through was published by the San Diego-based literary and performing arts non-profit So Say We All in 2013. Black Candies: See Through features original literary horror fiction from Sarah Jean Alexander, Ken Baumann, Aaron Burch, Juliet Escoria, Sarah Rose Etter, Julia Evans, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, Rory Kelly, Cameron Pierce, Anna Prushinskaya, Natanya Ann Pulley, Jim Ruland, C.A. Schaefer, Zack Wentz, Jay Wertzler, and Adrian Van Young. Edited by Ryan Bradford and Jay Wertzler. Illustrations by Adam Vieyra, Carabella Sands, Laura Gwynne, and Andrew McGranahan.

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Black Candies 2016: WOMEN. Gross and Unlikeable.

We are so excited to announce the theme for our next, special women-identifying only edition of Black Candies, our journal of literary horror: GROSS AND UNLIKEABLE.

Here at Black Candies, we’re always striving to create a better platform for women writers, who are often underrepresented in horror, genre, and speculative outlets. For this special issue of Black Candies, guest-edited by Natanya Ann Pulley, we will exclusively feature work from those who identify as women.

In a recent interview, founding editor Ryan Bradford said:

I’ve found that women are often underrepresented in horror, and wanted to create a platform where they could not only have a voice, but be as gross, dark and unlikeable as they want. I still think there’s an attitude, even among the liberal literati, that can’t abide a woman writing ugly stories.

So please, send us your ugly stories. We can’t wait to be grossed out.

Deadline for submissions: April 30th, 2016.

Our submission guidelines and instructions can be found here: https://sosayweallonline.submittable.com/submit/49172

Check out this Entropy review to see how much people love Black Candies.

Read more about Black Candies.
Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance.

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I’m Pogo by Lindsay Hunter

I’m Pogo
By Lindsay Hunter
Illustration by Carabella Sands
(from Black Candies: See Through)

Most clowns paint their smiles with rounded corners to appear friendlier to children. But boys don’t think they’re afraid of anything. Better they learn. Paint your face with blood and bone…

Here is a clown’s home. The door is a drawbridge. Pom-poms for television dials. Rumpled clownsuit quiltfloor. Pointed hat topping the milk jug. Rustcolored handprints, clown had a party, where are the white gloves? In every mirror, the clown. Behind the face of the clown, a clown. Smeared face on the washcloth. Closets of funnyclothes. Sinks of sillyhair. Little boys everywhere.

Clowns and men need an audience. But it’s easy to find an audience. For clowns and men, it’s important to kill. Clowns and men are desperate to say they killed when someone asks How did it go? I killed. Clowns get away with murder…

Fear the clown, it’s okay. He’s painted a face over his face. He’s got a horrible gash where his mouth is supposed to be. But what a friendly gash. Here, he’s giving you a balloon filled with his breath. Clown giveth and clown taketh.

Tourniquet, tourniquet…

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At the Good Luck Lounge there is a trough in the men’s room. Sometimes a fat clown brushes up against a man when he is going for his turn. Being fat and friendly, he can’t help it. If the man turns, he sees a clown. He laughs or he doesn’t. The clown makes a joke about the balloon animal behind his zipper, or he doesn’t. The clown stuffs the man into his clown car, or he doesn’t.

Fear the clown. Clown has a wife as fat as he. Clown’s wife has meat breath and a gold crown. Clown’s wife looks and finds, so stops looking and finding. Clown’s wife has kissed that red mouth and tasted friendly lipstick. Pretends not to notice the smell. Can’t wipe the smear away. Clown’s wife focuses on the blue eyes painted around the blue eyes. At the block party, Clown’s wife watches Clown torment a balloon for the children. A neighbor whispers Your husband’s a fag, Dearie.

Paint your face with blood and bone…

Clowns don’t love children. Clowns thrive on children. Put on a costume. Paint another face on your face. Decide you’re someone. Then try not to crave. You will fail.

Hide and seek… hide and seek…

You know, bland Midwestern blimpos know how to tie tourniquet knots just like every other boy scout. You know, weakchinned salivating sissies can be as empty as a trench. You know, tremblefleshed wifebound line cooks jailed for sodomy learn quick how not to be jailed the next time. The word is pederast. If I paint lips on, is it a real kiss? The word is clown.

Clown of 33 flavors: salt, blood, dirt, lime, river, breath, shoelace, no breath. So many flavors I wasn’t. Think about that. Like shotgun. Or blade. Or moonlight. Or failure. My last words were Kiss my ass. That’s funny. I stand by it.

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Lindsay Hunter‘s story, “I’m Pogo” appeared in Black Candies: See Through, which was published by the San Diego-based literary and performing arts non-profit So Say We All in 2013. You can purchase the book here. Black Candies: See Through features original literary horror fiction from Sarah Jean Alexander, Ken Baumann, Aaron Burch, Juliet Escoria, Sarah Rose Etter, Julia Evans, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, Rory Kelly, Cameron Pierce, Anna Prushinskaya, Natanya Ann Pulley, Jim Ruland, C.A. Schaefer, Zack Wentz, Jay Wertzler, and Adrian Van Young. Edited by Ryan Bradford and Jay Wertzler. Illustrations by Adam Vieyra, Carabella Sands, Laura Gwynne, and Andrew McGranahan. Read more about Black Candies here.

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And stay tuned, because we will announce the theme for our next issue of Black Candies this Halloween. Here’s the teasingiest of teasers:

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Spooky Black Candies Excerpt: “Reckoning” by Wade Pavlick

Wade Pavlick’s story, “Reckoning,” in Black Candies: Surveillance is a fascinating tale of obsession, a little Hitchcock-ian. Black Candies is So Say We All’s journal of literary horror. Here’s an excerpt of Wade’s story to spook you out, just in time for Halloween:

reckoningpavlickAccompanying artwork by Adam Vieyra.

He decided to go back and watch some real footage, action shots of his wife and kids, gardening and playing in the yard. He even watched himself: coming home from work, mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool. When he glanced at the clock, he was surprised by the time. He needed to go to bed.He reached to turn the monitor off and saw the image of his car pulling into the driveway the night before. He paused, his finger poised over the power button. He watched as he climbed out of the car with a bag of groceries.

There in the bushes, behind him, was a face.

Instead of shutting down, his hand went to the controls and rewound the video to watch it again. It was faint but he could definitely see someone hiding in the bushes. The digitized blur of the image made it difficult for him to get any detail–man or woman or even the age of the person–but he was absolutely convinced that he had found his nemesis.

Want to read more? Wade’s story, along with other fine works of literary horror are in our Surveillance issue of Black Candies. You can pick up a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Candies-Surveillance-Journal-Literary/dp/0988368668

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And stay tuned. This Halloween we will have some shivery-exciting news about our next issue of Black Candies.

(We dare you to go look in the bushes)

Gary Gould’s VAMP: Wedding Season Story, SPLIT

To say that volunteer Gary Gould has been our lifeline lately would be an understatement. Not only has he produced several VAMPs this year, but he is also currently producing the partnership showcase with San Diego City College, taking place October 15th at the downtown library, and co-producing this month’s VAMP: 4 AM. We love the way he empowers the storytellers he works with to get to heart of their stories.

And, AND! He wrote and performed this lovely, funny, and poignant story, “Split” in our June VAMP Showcase: “Wedding Season.” Gary’s story was recently picked up and published by SPEED. You can read it here. Were you at the Wedding Season show? It was a phenomenal night, full of vivid stories and we kind of went through the emotional ringer together, didn’t we?

Banana Splits, it read, a support group and ice-cream social for students with divorced parents. That’s me, I thought, that paper is talking about me. Were there other kids who felt like me?  Who wanted to talk about their feelings and eat ice cream? Could Banana Splits be the answer to all of my problems?

Read his story, and then come and see the fruits of the work Gary has been doing with the writing community in San Diego this month. Congratulations on the publishing credit, Gary, and way to make us proud.

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(image: Speed Literary Magazine)

Black Candies Founder + Editor Ryan Bradford Is A Total Winner

Ryan Bradford is the founder and editor of So Say We All’s journal of literary horror, Black Candies, as well as our volunteer Creative Director. He is usually the one doing all the bragging about everyone else’s writing, so it’s nice to be able to turn the tables on him.

Because: Ryan’s story, “Animal Control,” just won the prestigious short fiction contest at Paper Darts, a fantastic art and lit mag. Yeah Ryan! It’s an incredible story, by an incredible writer, in an incredible literary magazine. We’re so proud, and, as always, quite disturbed. Happily disturbed. Way to get under our skin.

From “Animal Control“:

The next time I see Jean she’s on all fours, crawling over my grass and sniffing the ground. The movement forces definition into her leg muscles, which, I realize, are spectacular. I watch from my porch, draped in a robe and sipping coffee. She turns to me and, without standing, says, “You gotta think like them.” She also says, “There was a killing spree last night.” And finally, “Rough night?” I must look extra pathetic because she offers to show me the victims as consolation.

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original accompanying illustration for Animal Control on Paper Darts by John Willinski

If you like Ryan’s writing, you might want to check out the stories he’s curated over the years in any edition of Black Candies. Black Candies: Surveillance is available for purchase here. Each Black Candies contributor he’s worked with knows that he uses that highly-tuned gory-creative touch as an editor, too. Way to represent So Say We All, Ryan.

Read more: Black Candies Editor Ryan Bradford on Why Horror Matters 

Announcing The Radvocate!

So Say We All is pleased to announce that we are now publishing The Radvocate!

The Radvocate is a literary arts magazine committed to sharing the work of new writers, poets and artists. Since 2011, The Radvocate has created zines, live shows and other media to give a platform and a voice to creatives, both local and worldwide. Now, in conjunction with So Say We All, The Radvocate releases its thirteenth issue, but its first as a literary journal.

Through this collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews and art, we are setting a new standard for ourselves. Even though this is issue thirteen, this is a new beginning, in which two forces join together to declare their intentions and plant a flag in this place, this medium, and this moment. Join us. Get rad.

Featuring literary work from: Allison Whittenberg, Brandon Marlon, Kiik A.K., Patrick Mayuyu, Grant Mason, Meg Tuite, Mason Green-Richards, Parker Tettleton, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Clay Norvell, Neil P. McDevitt, Alan Semrow, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Alex Bosworth, Ryan Hicks, Johnnie B. Baker, and an interview with Henry Rollins. Edited by Matt E. Lewis.

Purchase Issue 13 of The Radvocate here.

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Also available for purchase here.

COMING UP! Join us for a release party and reading on Saturday, July 25th at James Coffee Co.

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For more information, back issues, and other content, visit The Radvocate at www.theradvocateisamagazine.com