Category Archives: Press

SSWA in the news.

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!

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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.

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More:

Rad.

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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More:

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

Black Candies Editor Ryan Bradford on Why Horror Matters

Our own Julia Evans recently got to interview Ryan Bradford, editor of Black Candies, our journal of literary horror. He also volunteers as So Say We All’s creative director, as well as a producer, performer, and writing coach for us. Black Candies: Surveillance was recently released (and is currently a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books!) and to celebrate, we are hosting a reading and release party this Saturday night, 6/27, at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan.

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So Say We All: Hi Ryan. Why horror?

Ryan Bradford: Oh man, busting out the big guns first.

Truthfully, I’ve spent so many hours trying to figure this out for myself. I suspect, ultimately, horror fandom is very personal, and there is often an underlying vulnerability to every obsession.

For me, I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my teenage and adult life. Even in benign social situations, I experience physiological effects: sweating, increased heart rate and clenched jaw. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to recognize these symptoms as anxiety, which, as a therapist told me, is a body’s reaction to fear. Or, basically, I was constantly experiencing fight-or-flight symptoms, despite the fact that I wasn’t being threatened. Reading horror or watching horror, on the other hand, provides this little nest where these symptoms feel normal. It feels like I can be myself, where my anxiety doesn’t feel misplaced.

But I’m also kind of a horror snob, or, at least, very particular about it. I think if you look at the majority of horror books or movies, you’ll see an overbearing grotesqueness. I wanted Black Candies to be an antidote to all the gaudy stuff I was reading and watching. It sounds pretentious every time I say it, but I’ve always wanted Black Candies to be intelligent horror—full of subtlety, wit and nuance. I couldn’t find a lot of online or physical print journals that were satisfying those needs, so I decided to make one.

SSWA: Do you remember what sorts of things you were reading/watching when you started Black Candies four years ago?

RB: I think I read Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas, Joey Comeau’s One Bloody Thing After Another, and Nick Antosca’s Midnight Picnic in a row and those books were dark and gross without being indulgent or typical. They also had serious emotional stakes that weren’t used as plot devices—which is rare in horror and dark fiction. Those were huge inspirations to Black Candies.

SSWA: Your themes are always a bit unexpected. What grabbed you about “surveillance”? Why did you want to curate a surveillance-themed issue?

RB: Good horror has always been a tool for addressing social issues of the time. I mean, look at George Romero movies—you can pretty much trace the history of American unrest through the “of the Dead” series.

So, I think like everyone else, I was freaked out when the Snowden bomb dropped, but it was also a moment of instant revelation: “Surveillance. That’s going to be the theme of the next issue.” It’s a fear that we all share right now to some extent, and I wanted to create something that we could all connect to.

SSWA: Do you primarily find authors who identify as horror writers?

RB: Not really. I just want people who can be dark. In fact, I think some of the best stories come from people who aren’t necessarily horror writers, but are given permission to tap into their dark side. It’s exciting when writers scare themselves at what they’re capable of writing.

SSWA: We feature a lot of women writers in Black Candies. Is this intentional?

RB: Yes, it’s intentional. 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.

SSWA: What will non-horror readers think of these stories? or… Is this book accessible for people who traditionally do not think of themselves as horror fans?

RB: As I said above, I think “Surveillance” is a universal anxiety right now. Even if you’re not a horror fan, these stories should strike a nerve in you.

SSWA: And what about serious horror fans?

RB: If you’re a serious horror fan and you don’t like these, well, come at me, bros.

SSWA: There’ll be a live reading from the book this weekend, at the book release party. How does a story transform for you when you hear it read out loud? 

RB: It’s great to see how a story transforms when an author reads their own work. As I mentioned above, some of these authors don’t usually write horror, and when they do, it can be an exhilarating/terrifying experience for them. When you push that further and have them read this ordinarily-taboo piece of writing aloud, it can become a spectacle of emotion. Does that sound sadistic? Maybe.

SSWA: What’s next for Black Candies?

RB: I’ve always wanted to have an online Black Candies, so that may happen in the near future. Also, Black Candies-flavored Doritos.

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Read about how Black Candies: Surveillance is a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books in Portland here!

Join us at Low Gallery, 1878 Main Street, at 7pm on Saturday, June 27th for our Black Candies: Surveillance Reading and Release Party!

Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Black Candies: Surveillance! Recommended at Powell’s Books!

Thanks to the diligent vacation-sleuthing of So Say We All’s cofounder, Jake Arky, we discovered that our recently released Black Candies: Surveillance is a recommended book at Powell’s Books in Portland!

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Good news for you: you can pick up the book locally AND cheer on some of the local contributors as they read their stories out loud, just for you. Come join us on Saturday, 6/27, at 7pm at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan for the official Black Candies: Surveillance Release Party and Reading.

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Check out the event on Facebook here.

Read more about Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Jake’s (super rad) short story, “#DEATHIES” appears in the book. Thanks, Jake, and thank you Powell’s!

 

San Diego Book Awards!

Congratulations to two of So Say We All’s storytellers, Jim Ruland and J. Dylan Yates, for winning not just one but two prizes each in the 2015 San Diego Book Awards!

Jim Ruland won the prize for Best Published Contemporary Fiction for his novel, “Forest of Fortune,” as well as a tie for Best Published Memoir for “Giving the Finger.”

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Jim, a long time, steadfast supporter of the literary arts scene in San Diego and Southern California, was most recently seen on our VAMP stage in January.

J. Dylan Yates won both the esteemed Geisel Award for Best Published Book and the award for Best Published General Fiction for her novel “The Belief in Angels.”

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Dylan most recently took the stage in our LGBTQ showcase, Outspoken, in February.

Congratulations to our fine winners. We are so proud of you!

 

Press release: Incoming by SSWA & KPBS

— For Immediate Release — 

— Stories can be previewed at kpbs.org/incoming  —

New KPBS Explore Program Gives Voice to Local Vets

 Radio series to air on 89.5FM
SAN DIEGO–KPBS, in collaboration with local nonprofit arts organization, So Say We All, will present a new series featuring local veterans on KPBS Radio. As part of the KPBS Explore project, Incoming is a collection of non-fiction stories told by local veterans, in their own words. Beginning May 15, four half hour programs will air Fridays at 12:30 p.m.

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 with So Say We All Executive Director and Incoming Host Justin Hudnall. In addition, shorter features will be heard on KPBS Radio during afternoon and morning drive time.

The stories are the result of So Say We All’s Veteran’s Writing Workshop, a six-week creative writing course for active-duty and military veterans.

“These veteran artists range from individuals who have only begun to explore creative writing to men and women well into their literary careers,” said Hudnall. “They are from all branches of service who are writing about a multitude of experiences. The one thing they all have in common is their extreme talent and an incredible willingness to present themselves in an intimately candid and vulnerable light, without any political or personal interest beyond having their truth heard.”

Through special series like Incoming, KPBS is able to provide civilian, military, and veteran audiences with a vitally important service. The series is part of a broader station initiative to provide well-researched news and high-quality content related to the military. KPBS currently hosts the blog, Home Post: The Military Life, and covers the military within the newsroom.

“We are very excited to work with Justin and the crew at So Say We All on this important project. Veterans have powerful stories that we want to share with our community and we are happy to play a small role in bringing them forth,” said KPBS Director of Programming John Decker.

The series is the first KPBS Explore program to be featured on radio, complementing the station’s robust local news content and programs. “Incoming is just the kind of project Explore is designed to curate: independent voices, ideas and perspectives of San Diego,” Decker continued.  “We look forward to featuring more local voices and stories through the project.”

In addition to the radio broadcasts, KPBS will host the stories on kpbs.org/incoming along with transcripts, photos, and other elements. The stories will also reside on sosayweallonline.com.

About So Say We All

So Say We All is a literary and performing arts non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals to tell their stories, and tell them better, through three core priorities: publishing, performance, and education.

About KPBS

KPBS serves the San Diego community with news and entertainment programming that respects our audience with inspiring, intelligent and enlightening content.  KPBS delivers this content via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media and will adapt and remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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KPBS Contact: Claudine Casillas – (619) 594-4266 – ccasillas@kpbs.org

KPBS

5200 Campanile Drive

San Diego, CA 92182

www.kpbs.org

Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

For one day only, Saturday, May 2nd, you can buy various bundles of Black Candies, our journal of literary dark fiction and horror, for super steal bargain prices, from our little online shop.  Because we love you. And we love our books. And we want you guys to hook up.

Happy Independent Bookstore Day to you.

Black Candies: Surveillance and See Through…$20

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Black Candies: Surveillance is the brand new edition of our literary horror journal, and we are selling it packaged with the prior edition, Black Candies: See Through (2013). A $28 value, but you can have BOTH for $20.

Black Candies: Surveillance, See Through, and Post-Apocalypse…$25 (limited quantities)

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Limited quantities available of our first issue of Black Candies: Post-Apocalypse. This is the remaining stock of our first printing, which will probably translate into super high ebay values later for you. Buy ALL THREE BLACK CANDIES! Together at last! A $43 value for just $25. 

(prices do not include shipping)

Incoming Begins May 15th on KPBS

Together with KPBS radio, So Say We All would like you to meet INCOMING.

You may start hearing our short promos, like this one, on the radio today:

Each Incoming episode will feature a single story told by an American veteran. We’ve worked with many veterans, not only in San Diego, but across the country. So Say We All has always prioritized hearing stories written by and told by the people those stories matter to, so we are thrilled to present this format. You’ll hear their own stories, told in their own words, directly from their own mouths.

Our first episodes will air on Fridays starting May 15th, on KPBS and KPBS.org. Stay tuned for the timing. And if you like what you hear on Incoming, and would like us to make a whole bunch of episodes, please donate.

We can’t wait to share these stories with you.

Black Candies: Surveillance in Boing Boing

The great Cory Doctorow, editor of Boing Boing, would like you to read Black Candies. Boing Boing recently picked up Angus McIntyre’s Black Candies story, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and we couldn’t be more proud. Maybe you should listen to Cory Doctorow when he tells you to buy a book.

We recently announced the publication of Black Candies: Surveillance from SSWA Press.

Black Candies is our literary journal dedicated to evolving and advancing the beloved horror genre. Each edition is themed, with special editorial attention paid to soliciting works from new voices, many of whom have published previously in other realms.

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We’re never alone. Paranoia has replaced privacy. Secrets are the new currency. The strangers who watched from the street now watch from within. For our third issue of Black Candies,  we found 11 smart, terrifying stories that explore the theme of “Surveillance” in explicit, implicit and abstract ways. These stories not only touch on the contradiction of the securities of our modern era, but unearth the deeper terror, paranoia, and anxiety that results.  

Edited by Ryan Bradford, and featuring fiction from: Angus McIntyre, Valerie E. Polichar, Julia Evans, Gabriela Santiago, Melissa Gutierrez, Berit Ellingsen, Jake Arky, Matt Lewis, Chris Curtis, Kevin Sampsell, Ron Gutierrez, and Wade Pavlick.

Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance at Amazon here.

Or here.

Visit Black Candies: Surveillance on Goodreads.