Tag Archives: Black Candies

Jac Jemc reads (and teaches!) in San Diego on 9/9

The Foundry is our literary reading and education series, bringing a host of new voices, both emerging and well acclaimed, to our fair city. Our upcoming reading, on Saturday September 9th, features Amelia Gray, Skyler McCurine, Emma Smith-Stevens, Nicholas Bredie, and today’s spotlight, Jac Jemc.

Jac, in addition to reading, will also teach a master class for us while she is in town. To register for “Fooling Ourselves (Into Writing),” 9/9 from 2-4 PM, click here. Don’t miss it.

So Say We All was lucky enough to publish Jac Jemc in Black Candies: See Through in 2013, So Say We All’s journal of literary horror. You can read her story, “Angles,” here, which is actually an excerpt of her newest novel, The Grip of ItHer writing is gorgeous and terrifying, gets under your skin quickly, and stays there.

Maybe I find a body and it’s hard as diamonds or maybe I find the body and it’s just a pile of soft bones and teeth or maybe it’s a body whose nails have screamed themselves free of absent fingers. What will a rat eat first?

Or maybe there’s no body and I just dream that there’s an answer to the low moaning we hear, and the stains that grow and shrink on our walls and bodies, and the secrets we uncover behind secrets.

Read more of “Angles,” an excerpt from The Grip of It, here.

Her book was just released to an impressive critical response earlier this August. You can read this fantastic review of The Grip of It at Electric Literature:

Jemc is telling us the story of the putrefaction of a relationship. This relationship is not clean-cut and bookended by dramatic flares — it festers, untended, a thriving hotbed for the things that break us down, cell by cell. It doesn’t choke, but lines the airway slowly, turning a once-healthy breath into the ragged pull from a plastic straw. “Bad behavior heralds ruin,” says Julie, when she is utterly convinced that the haunting must be her fault: she is unwilling to accept that malevolence exists for its own sake, but convinced it must be part of a puritanical order of punishment.

Read the full review here.

One of the things we love about Jac is how supportive she is in the literary world. Jac publishes a fascinating list of her literary rejections, which you can read (and obsess over) here.  Lifting the veil on the dark side of publishing makes us all feel a little less alone.

Here she is in conversation with Amber Sparks for The Fanzine.

I don’t usually know my characters before I write a book. I do the old “put-them-in-situations-and-see-how-they-react” test of their mettle. I might even venture to say I know them even less at the end of the book because of what you mention about how I’m sort of always living in that gap of what we think we know about another person but don’t. But that’s probably what makes a character seem more real and human, right? To have them do surprising, unexpected things that surprise both the other characters and the reader.

Read the full conversation here.

We hope you’ll come meet Jac, and take her class, when she’s in town! Jac Jemc reads alongside Amelia Gray, Emma Smith-Stevens, Nicholas Bredie, and Skyler McCurine at The Foundry Reading Series on Saturday, September 9th at 7 PM at The Rose in South Park.

Jac Jemc is the author of The Grip of It (FSG Originals). Her first novel, My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, and her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time (Dzanc Books) was named one of Amazon’s best story collections of 2014. She edits nonfiction for Hobart.

If you like what we do at So Say We All, a literary nonprofit and small press dedicated to helping people tell their stories, please consider becoming a sustaining member.

Black Candies: The Eighties

Announcing our next Black Candies theme! The Eighties.


Black Candies is a journal of literary horror and darkness. In these dark corners, we have infinite room to grow, and to innovate. We’re allowed to push boundaries and set precedents. We revel in the daring. We aim to scare. Scary can be good. Scary can cause change.

This year, our theme is The Eighties. Whether you lived through it, or fetishize it, there’s no denying its continued effect.

Horror and the ‘80s go hand in hand. Movie fans can point to it as the decade where franchises like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hellraiser and Friday the 13th turned monsters into celebrities. It’s a decade that gave birth to the VHS, which allowed us to mainline horror right into our living rooms. The format also enabled a generation of crude, disgusting, and often brilliant filmmakers whose access to the expansive market gave them free reign to coat their screens with blood.

But art wasn’t the only thing that became horrific. Both consumerism and nationalism surged. Hate and bigotry blinded us to an epidemic that ravaged the country, while those in power laughed about it. We were ruled by an idiot entertainer. Any of this sound familiar?

What we’re looking for: We’re looking for stories that are set in, pay homage to, or reference the ‘80s in a major way. No smartphones, no Internet. Analog technology. Drugs. Yuppies. Wealth. Social commentary. It’s pretty open to interpretation, really. Think Stranger Things. Think nostalgia. Think Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

What we’re not looking for: Even though splatter films ruled the era, that’s not what we want. Black Candies attempts to publish the best in literary horror. We want to be scared, shaken and disturbed by your story, but at the same time, we want to fall in love with your prose. We want it to be smart. Gore and blood is fine as long as your story doesn’t obsess over it.

No word limit, but 2,000-6,000 is ideal.

As always, Black Candies makes a concerted effort to make horror less of a white dudes club. We would love to read more submissions from women, POC, LGBTQ, and diverse voices.

[You can buy some of our prior issues on Amazon: Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable and Black Candies: Surveillance.]

Submission deadline: August 31st, 2017

READY? Go to our submissions portal here.

If you like what we do at So Say We All, the literary non-profit and small press that brings you books like Black Candies, please consider becoming a sustaining member for as little as $5 per month.

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable Launch and Reading

Join us as we celebrate the release of our ALL WOMEN anthology of literary horror and dark fiction, as well as original art, Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable.


Gross and unlikeable is reality. Steaming viscera. Menstruation as omen. The sharp blade of a returned violence. The stories in this collection aren’t evoking a theme, but destroying the lie of women tamed, of women just so.

Come hear some of the stories from the collection and feast your eyes upon some deliciously dark artwork. Women. Horror. Gross. Unlikeable. YES.

Readings by:
Kayla Miller
Christina Lydia
Hanna Tawater
Jennifer D. Corley
…and more

Order here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997949902 (we will also have books for sale at the show)
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32868943-black-candies

For more about Black Candies, visit the new Black Candies website.

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable Release Party
Thursday, December 8th at 8 PM
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA
$5 suggested donation

RSVP and invite your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/1138153422920005/


If you like what we do at So Say We All and would like us to keep doing it, please consider giving to our winter fundraising campaign or becoming a supporting member: www.sosayweallonline.com/membership

Jim Ruland reviews Black Candies for CityBeat

We just launched our winter fundraiser. Your generous contribution to our year-end fundraiser will go directly to helping us providing brave new voices the attention they deserve and our culture needs.

We are so happy to see Jim Ruland, who we consider a gifted, insightful, and tough critic and friend, review Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable for San Diego CityBeat this week!

He describes the work as “disturbing,” points out that some stories “make the grotesque more palatable with a dash of humor,” and some are “epically gorgeous.”

Gross and Unlikeable is our women-only collection of dark fiction and art. Jim writes, quoting guest editor Natanya Ann Pulley:

For this edition, Black Candies turned to guest editor Natanya Ann Pulley who writes in the foreword, “I believe writing stories (like all art) is a political act. Whose story we tell, whose we share, and how we expect them to be handed to us is an engagement with truths… This collection doesn’t just give women a space to tell vile stories, it grapples with notions of story and reality handed to women through things dark and dangerous.”

We are proud to have created a space for women’s voices in horror and dark literature. Read the full review here. And get your own copy of Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable today: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997949902/ And! Join us at the release party, next Thursday, 12/8 at 8 PM at Whistle Stop Bar.

Thank you so much, Jim, and San Diego CityBeat, for the fantastic review, and thank you for reading and continuing to champion literature and the arts in San Diego and all over the place.


If you like what we do at So Say We All and want us to keep on keeping on, please support our winter fundraising campaign, happening now, or consider becoming a supporting member.

Our 2016 Publications for your Cyber Monday Pleasure

While 2016 seems to have taken a collective dump on civilization, we are proud of the books we released this year and the incredible and under-heard voices we published. Though 2016 is almost over, we will not go quietly. Read our books. Hear these voices. And on this Cyber of all Mondays, we invite you to support a non-profit while stuffing some fine literature into the stockings of your loved ones (and yourself).


Please also consider supporting So Say We All during our winter fundraising campaign, or including a donation as a gift to a friend or family member: https://fundrazr.com/b1BZO3?ref=ab_e2F0Fe

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable contributors

Our women-only edition of our annual collection of dark fiction, literary horror, and art, Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable, launches this week, on Black Friday (and you can pre-order it now here).

In a 2015 interview with Black Candies founding editor Ryan Bradford, we asked him about why women’s voices matter in horror:

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.

And lo, a theme was born: gross and unlikeable. Over the past year, guest editor Natanya Ann Pulley has carefully led us in the midwifery of putting together this collection of beautiful and powerful stories and art. Along every step of the way, all contributors have been women. Behold the line-up of incredible writers, artists, editors, and designers that comprise this killer book:


Fiction by:


Art by:


Editorial staff:


We can’t wait for you to get your eager little hands on this book. Black Friday. Here.

San Diego: come to our release party on December 8th.

If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider becoming a supporting member. For as little as $5 per month you can support the work we do in finding the voices we don’t often hear from and helping them tell their stories, and tell them well.

Lindsay Hunter on Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable

We gave a copy of Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable to Lindsay Hunter, the author of the devastating novel Ugly Girls, as well as the short story collections Daddy’s and Don’t Kiss Me. Here’s what she had to say about our book:

Gross and Unlikeable made me feel the way I felt as a kid reading scary stories with a flashlight in the dark. These tales hit at something primitive and true, something beyond fear. Then and now, I felt almost giddy as I read, the way one might when the footsteps are getting closer and the only thing left to do is scream.

-Lindsay Hunter
author of Ugly Girls.


Black Candies is our annual print collection of short stories. Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable is a special women-only issue, featuring stories and art by all-women contributors. It hits the shelves on Black Friday, 11/25/16. That’s right: this week.

Pre-order your copy here.

Mark us as “Want To Read” on Goodreads here.

Come to our San Diego Release Party and Reading on Thursday, December 8th!

If you like the work we do at So Say We All, please consider becoming a supporting member for as little as $5 per month. Details here.

Adrian Van Young on Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable

New Orleans author Adrian Van Young, author of the novel Shadows in Summerland, and the short story collection The Man Who Noticed Everything, recently read at the very first installment of our literary reading series, The Foundry, in April. We loved having him in town and showing him off for you all, and now he is busy showing us off. Check out what Adrian has to say about Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable, publishing next week, on Black Friday, November 25th.

Gross and Unlikeable is our collection of short fiction and art exclusively by women contributors. We are proud of and madly in love with this work, and hope you will be too.

“The writers in this anthology breathe life into characters and conflagrations that are frightening and fearful, cagey and forthright, familiar and unknowable, repulsive and endearing, vulnerable and indomitable, befuddling and unmistakable, gross and unlikeable, yes, i.e. human. Together, they churn up a vital miasma of horror’s sub-genres to create something heedless, fresh and lasting. Reading this book is like being drawn and quartered by a stampede of half-decayed, red-eyed horses.”

–Adrian Van Young, author of Shadows in Summerland


We have never been drawn and quartered by a stampede of any horses, much less half-decayed, red-eyed ones, but we now know what Adrian thinks it feels like. We can’t wait to show you the way our authors take horror’s sub-genres and stand them on end in this beautiful volume. PRE ORDER IT NOW!

Coming Black Friday. We hope you’ve adjusted your Christmas lists accordingly because it’s time to get some gross and unlikeable stories by women out into the world.

Mark it as “WANT TO READ” on Goodreads and impress your friends with your incredible taste.

And come to our San Diego release party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1138153422920005/

If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider becoming a supporting member for as little as $5 per month.

Charlie Jane Anders on Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable

We asked the amazing Charlie Jane Anders, author of All The Birds in the Sky (Tor Books) what she thought of our forthcoming all-women anthology of horror and dark fiction, Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable, now available for pre-sale here. Coming Black Friday, 11/25.


“Deeply inappropriate, unbelievably disturbing, these are some brave and real stories of love, sex, family and other horrors.”

—Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky

Thank you Charlie Jane Anders! We can’t wait for all of you to get your hands on your copy, too. Coming at you November 25th. Pre-order now.

charliejaneandersCharlie Jane Anders
is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, out now. She’s the organizer of the Writers With Drinks reading series, and she was a founding editor of io9, a website about science fiction, science and futurism. Her stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Tor.com, Lightspeed, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, and several anthologies. Her novelette “Six Months, Three Days” won a Hugo award.

If you like what we do at So Say We All and want us to keep doing more of it, please consider becoming a supporting member.

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable is now available for PRE-SALE

YES we have a Gross and Unlikeable pre-sale!

Black Friday is coming. In just under two weeks, Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable, our women-only edition of our annual print anthology of literary horror and dark fiction, will hit the shelves and your hearts. Now is the time to listen to marginalized voices.

This book features 28 stories and accompanying art. All women contributors: writers, artists, editors, designers. And now you can make sure you get yourself a copy:

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable PRE-SALE.

Women. Horror. Coming November 25th, 2016
Women. Horror. Coming November 25th, 2016

If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider becoming a supporting member for as little as $5 a month.