Category Archives: Press

SSWA in the news.

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.


(image: Speed Literary Magazine)

Jen Stiff’s VAMP Story “Your Wife Has A Beautiful Pelvic Region” in XOJANE

We laughed, we cringed, and some of us had to step outside to get some fresh air, but we LOVED Jen Stiff’s story from August’s VAMP: Red Flags. And we are not alone: Her piece was picked up by XOJANE and, lucky you, you can read it here.

We are proud. So proud. Way to go, Jen!

When the nurse practitioner peered into my cervix with her spelunking headlamp, she exclaimed, “Oh my goodness. That’s the tiniest little cervix I’ve ever seen. But don’t worry. I’ll get that sucker up there.”


Jennifer Stiff, letting us all up in her business, at our August VAMP

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.

bradford - animal control

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 

Gabriela Santiago’s “They Jump Through Fires”

We’re excited to see (and hear!) Gabriela Santiago’s story from Black Candies: Surveillance, “They Jump Through Fires” in the GlitterShip LGBTQ science fiction podcast.

To read more great horror stories by more great writers, pick up a copy of Black Candies! We sell ’em at all of our shows, or right here.

theyjumpthroughfires1[original accompanying artwork by Laura Gwynne]

Black Candies is So Say We All’s print journal of literary horror. Black Candies: Surveillance was released this year and includes eleven pieces of literary horror fiction, as well as original artwork and collage.

And read an interview with editor Ryan Bradford, in which he discusses publishing underrepresented voices and the accessibility of the kind of horror stories published in Black Candies.

Have a listen, and enjoy Gabriela’s story!

So Say We All’s Executive Director on a watchlist (but not THAT watchlist)

We’re bursting with pride to see our Executive Director, Justin Hudnall, on San Diego Magazine’s “5 People To Watch This Month” list for September.

The brief profile also mentions our work with our new literary magazine, The Radvocate. Read more about The Radvocate here.

And since we mentioned watchlists, now’s a good time to remind you about Black Candies: Surveillance, our journal of literary horror. Read it and learn how to do a top-notch job of “watching” Justin this month.

11894604_10154262135656164_2233678066641710335_o(don’t look behind you Justin)


So Say We All featured in San Diego Magazine

So Say We All is featured in this month’s San Diego Magazine story,  “The Age of Podcasting.”

Justin Hudnall’s voice is smooth and calm as he introduces San Diego war veterans telling deeply personal stories of their figurative and literal homecomings in the podcast series Incoming. The stories were recorded on stage and in the studio, but they have the closeness and clarity of two friends engaged in a tough conversation.

An outgrowth of a veterans’ writing workshop by Hudnall’s So Say We All literacy and performing arts collective, the podcasts were repackaged for the modern masses by public broadcaster KPBS.

Check out the whole story, which covers the KPBS Explore project and other local podcasting ventures, and be sure to listen to So Say We All’s Incoming here.



Incoming is a collection of non-fiction stories told by local veterans, in their own words. Created around the theme of coming home, the stories will feature veterans sharing their experiences on transitioning back to civilian life. Each story is performed by the author, and followed by an interview.

“It’s like the antidote to overstimulation. Someone talking directly into your ear? There’s nothing more intimate.”

-Justin Hudnall


VAMP Showcase: Red Flags

Join So Say We All this Thursday, August 27th at 8:30 pm for our August VAMP Showcase, featuring curated stories on the theme of “Red Flags.”

Red flags, red lights, red tape. These things are supposed to warn us but sometimes we don’t pay attention. Join us for an evening of stories about gut instincts, warning lights, and that one time we just.didn’t.listen.

Our blind submission process featured more brave and wonderful submissions than we’ve ever seen before. Here’s who got caught in the net this month:

Featuring VAMP first-timers:

  • Becca Karpinski, with an inspiring and, at times, difficult story of travel, risk-taking, and mothering
  • Michelle Franke, PEN USA’s Executive Director, regales us with a tale of class, privilege, period wear
  • Jean Guerrero, from the KPBS Fronteras Desk, with a heartbreaking tale about the past, family, and, naturally, about VHS
  • Rachel Peschman, another VAMP first-timer, with a story of two troubled people navigating a troubled love.


And storytellers who have been on our stage once before, or maybe a dozen times before:

  • Anastasia Zadeik, with a stunning story about loss, memory, and family
  • Long-time VAMP performer and producer Ed Farragut will tell a story about a particularly gnarly work environment
  • So Say We All’s co-founder Jake Arky rolls back into town with an unsettling story about someone he was crazy for
  • and Jennifer Stiff, who has graced our stage several times with her incredibly funny yet intimate stories, with a harrowing tale of preventive measures.

Our Red Flags showcase is produced by Whitney Roux and Matt Lewis.

VAMP Showcase: “Red Flags”
Thursday, August 27th
8:30pm – 10:00pm
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation

The Radvocate Featured in Voice of San Diego

The Voice of San Diego’s Culture Report features The Radvocate and So Say We All!

“So Say We All, the local nonprofit that produces storytelling events and projects in the city, is tackling new platforms.”

Check out Alex Zaragoza’s whole piece.

We hope you’ll join us for our launch party and reading, this Saturday, 7/25, at 7:30 pm at James Coffee Co,  2355 India St, San Diego, CA 92101.

Interview with The Radvocate Editor Matt Lewis

So Say We All recently announced the launch of our new literary journal, The Radvocate. We are so proud of the work published in the new issue, which you can purchase here. Or! Come to our release party and reading this Saturday, 7/25, at 7:30pm at James Coffee Company in Little Italy. We’ll have lots of copies to sell to you!

RADVOCATE Cover art - logo

To get you all amped up for the party, our own Julia Evans spent a little time with our dear friend Matt Lewis, the founder and editor of The Radvocate, and a long time volunteer, producer, writer, and coach for So Say We All. See what Matt has to say about publishing, stories, and (of course) a little rollerblading:

So Say We All: Hi Matt! What got you into publishing zines?

Matt Lewis: Around 2006 or so, a well-known rollerblading magazine based in San Diego (called Daily Bread) shut down. It was replaced by something called One Magazine, which I went on to write a few reviews for. But the loss of Daily Bread within the community was too big for just one other media source to fill. A lot of corporations started to print off their own ‘magazines’ which were basically shameless plugging for the products and riders and marketed as a a publication. This irritated me to no end. I knew that there were a ton of people with the talent, in writing, art, and journalism, to make genuinely interesting media, who weren’t getting an chance because they didn’t know the right people. Daily Bread had always seemed to offer a space for weirdness and creativity alongside their content, but the new media that replaced it just seemed to sterile and formal, I guess because they wanted to project an image of professionalism. But around this time, my close friends and I had been talking about creating a parody zine that would lampoon the seriousness of these publications. My friend Geoff came up with the name: The Radvocate.

The parody zine never happened, but years later when I graduated from college, I saw the same exact thing happening with other writers, artists, and poets in my community. There were a few opportunities, but very few of them were for publication of any kind. Then San Diego Writers Ink offered a class on Zine-making, which was hosted by Todd Taylor, Jim Ruland, & Mike Faloon. Although I had been dimly aware of them, in the form of music zines my friends in high school passed around (Cometbus, Automatic, Maximum Rock n’ Roll, etc.) it never occurred to me that this was the avenue I had been looking for. Zines are unique in that they offer a platform to concepts that are typically cut out of mainstream media: in the 1930’s it was Sci-Fi, in the 50’s it was Pop Art, in the 60’s & 70’s it was queer & feminist issues, in the 80’s it was Punk Rock. Even in the present day, the zine community offers media that can inform you about important issues like Veganism, Animal Rights, Transgender issues, and DIY solutions to live a more sustainable and independent life. I was electrified by the fact that these people were communicating the media they wanted to despite indifference from the mainstream. It was all the motivation I needed to create the first, badly-photocopied issue of The Radvocate.

SSWA: What were some of your more formative zines?

ML: My early influence came from two different publications that were released when I was still in High School. I didn’t even know what a zine was when I saw them, or had even thought about independent publications at all. The first was called Any Given Day, which came from El Cajon and was created by Zeb Huset. He was a photographer for a few different rollerblading magazines, but he wanted a separate space to display his photos and give updates on local skating news (pre-internet, when we got all our information via magazines or word of mouth). The other was called Scum Magazine, which was created by Jan Welch. Scum basically had the same function as AGD, but for the Texas scene instead. Jan went on to move to San Diego and work for Daily Bread, which is how I found those for the first time. This was the first place I saw punk rock aesthetics being used outside of a music context, which went on to influence the early design/attitude of The Radvocate.

SSWA: What about literary journals? What are some of your favorites?

ML: As far as lit journals go, you can’t fuck with Hobart. They’ve done incredible work over the years and continue to do so with their online format. I love how they continually find the freshest talent and introduce the world to a lot of people who go on to write/do amazing things. I also like the format of NOÖ journal, in that they have literary content but they maintain a kind of traditional magazine aesthetic, which feels less stuffy then other traditional lit journals. And you can’t talk about unique without mentioning Carrier Pigeon; I found out about them at AWP this year and can’t believe what they’re doing with their graphic design. It’s revolutionary how they experiment with form and function, creating some really unique publications.

SSWA: What draws you to a story?

ML: There are two things I look for, and they could either be in tandem or separate. One is a visceral reaction. If a story makes me feel a certain way, physically – disgusted, depressed, devastated, terrified, ecstatic, inspired – I love to process why the story did that to me and what kind of truth is lying in it that causes these feelings. The second is a fusion of intellectualism & lyricism within the story. A good example of this would be Ray Bradbury’s writing, where you read something that is not only intelligent, but just spills off the page effortlessly. Of course, not all stories have these things, but when they possess elements of them, it really stands out.

SSWA: What draws you to live readings?

ML: I love the fact that live readings offer an opportunity to connect with a community of people. Real-life meetups are so rare now within any sort of thing, and they can often be notoriously awkward. But at a reading, everyone knows why they’re there and what their going to do: listen to some people whose work they enjoy. It not only becomes a place to hear the author, but to connect with people who have similar interests who live relatively close, without all the weirdness of ice-breaking. Not to mention they can be damn entertaining. When we had Scott McClanahan out for our December reading, he brought an entire noisy bar full of football fans to a dead silence. It was amazing to watch, but even more amazing was to hear from people who attended afterward about how much it inspired them and galvanized their own work. That’s why live readings can be so special. We’re hoping to replicate a moment like that for our Issue #13 Premier Show (7/25, 7pm @ James Coffee Co.) which will feature some contributors that are not only amazing writers, but incredible storytellers.

SSWA: What kind of content does The Radvocate seek out?

ML: Generally speaking, we’re looking for people whose work strives to reflect with raw intimacy the world as it is understood and lived by its inhabitants. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, interviews, photography, and art are accepted.

SSWA: What do you want to contribute to the literary journal landscape today?

ML: I can only hope that we will carve out a unique space where we can introduce some rad people & unique content to the world and not bore anyone to death.

SSWA: What’s next for The Radvocate? When are you reading submissions for the next issue? Any advice for hopeful contributors?

ML: We are currently taking submissions for Issue #14, which I’m hoping will come out in early 2016. We take and read submissions year-round, with the average response time being a month. My advice would be not to worry so much about what category your work fits into; just send in your best and if it’s rad, we’ll feature it.




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.


Also available for purchase here.

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



For more information, back issues, and other content, visit The Radvocate at