Category Archives: Press

SSWA in the news.

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 is outgoing!

12592301_10154661114071164_408920982876936959_n“What they have to say is often unbearable, sometimes hilarious, always compelling, and cinematic.” – Robin Young, NPR’s Here and Now.

The book that launched the public radio series is officially available! Featuring many of the contributors you’ve heard already, along with several you’ll hear  when Incoming returns to the air this summer, Incoming: Veteran Writers on Returning Home is one of the most important new collections of modern war literature available. Featuring the true, poignant, funny, and brutally honest accounts by American veterans of their experience returning to civilian life, this collection stands as a beautiful piece of literature, an important historical document, and a powerful tool to help bridge the divide between civilians and their military.

Here’s how you can get your hands on it and help the project:

Buy the book!
– On Goodreads: mark the book as to-read, and once you’ve read it, rate it!
– Like the Incoming Facebook page!
– Ask your friends to contribute to our fund to finish the Incoming Radio series!
– If you’re going to AWP LA this week: come visit So Say We All at table 438! We’ll have copies of the book (along with other titles from our catalogue in supply), the officers of the organization will be there to shake your hand, and a full handle of decent rye whiskey is under the table that we’ll be happy to tip back with you.
– If you work in education and you think this important book will serve your classroom, contact us directly at for the special education bulk rate, so we can get this title in your students’ hands as easily as possible.

Thank you all for being supporters of the written and spoken word, and helping So Say We All serve those who have served us all.
– Justin Hudnall, Executive Director

Incoming and VAMP Contributor Tenley Lozano in O-Dark-Thirty

We are so proud to see Incoming and VAMP contributor Tenley Lozano‘s non-fiction work featured in the women-only issue of O-Dark-Thirty, O-Dark-Thirty is a publication of the Washington, D.C.-based Veteran’s Writing Project.


[O-Dark-Thirty cover image by Magdalena Green]

From Tenley’s story:

I am not an average-sized man, but rather a short woman. The sail is luffing at my eye line, bulging out and snapping in the wind. BM1 barks orders to his crew of willing participants. The rain falls on my hands and is so cold that it stings. The metal handrail I’m grasping tightly chills my fingers and as I reach for a handful of sail, I realize that my fingers are already stiffening up. I flex them again and again, trying to restore blood flow. I can barely reach the sail and I realize that I’ll be useless while standing on the foot line. I check the clip on my harness, yanking it against the handrail and hearing the clink of metal against metal, the clip holding.

Taking a deep breath to steady my nerves, I pull with my arms on the handrail and reach for the sail on the forward side of 43 the beam, launching my body upward to lay my midsection over the cold painted metal as my feet lift off of the line and dangle one hundred feet over the deck of the ship. Christie turns to me with a look of horror, her dark curly hair flattened against her face on one side by the wind and rain. She is much taller, her long cross-country runner’s legs placed firmly where they’re supposed to be on the black rope.

Check out the full story, and the entire issue here.  Rock on, Tenley! We love her work and we fully expect to see stories from every slice of the Pacific Crest Trail as she hikes it with her VAMP-famous pup, Elu.

“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.



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:

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

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


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.


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.


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:

black candies front cover

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.


(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.

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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