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Barrelhouse: The Gray Issue

Deadline: Oct 31

If black is the absence of all color, and white is the presence of it, then what on earth is gray?

The color gray is known as a dull, mundane color, but for this issue of Barrelhouse, we want to see gray in a new light. It might be the smoke from a lone cigarette, or a sandalwood incense. It could be the gleam from a knight’s steel sword, or from a bride’s silver necklace. What happens in the quiet moments of life, when no one is looking? What happens when you break out of the binary of black and white thinking? Liminal spaces, cloudy days, purgatory, limbo — good people doing bad things and bad people who do good. Give us your writing that explores the gray areas, even your dad’s gray hair (but please, leave 50 shades out of it).

Note: This special online issue of Barrelhouse is being produced by students in Mike Ingram’s Fall 2022 Writers at Work class at Temple University. All editorial decisions will be made by the students, including what pieces to include in the issue.

Nuts and Bolts:

We’re open to fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and artwork. Please make sure you indicate the genre on the submission form, so we can make sure your work is sorted to the correct initial reader! 

  • Fiction and nonfiction: up to 3,500 words
  • Poetry: up to 3 poems
  • Comics: Just need to be publishable online, on a single page
  • Art: Use your best judgment. We may use selected art pieces as pairings with published pieces, or would consider a standalone art feature if we found the right work.