A serial anthology of time-based disturbances

Submissions are open October 3 through December 20, 2022 for this literary media arts opportunity offered by The 3rd Thing.

Troubling the boundaries between cinematic and literary forms, Good Symptom kicks off with live audiences in the spring of 2023 with showcase screenings of select films followed in September by a release of the full suite of short films over the course of 12 monthly online installments. This serial video anthology challenges the page as the domain of literary work and invests fully in the conviction that necessary alternatives arise from artists who live and work outside dominant culture. We invite submissions from queer, Black and Indigenous people, other people of color, and people living with disabilities – people who create as poets, essayists, hybrid writers, filmmakers, media artists, and interdisciplinary artists.

We are looking for literary media arts experiments that push the language of poetry, essay, correspondence, autobiography, manifestos, thought pieces and hybrid literary works off the page and onto the screen: Work that might be lyrical, might be essayistic, might be personal, political, meditative, songlike, spacious, dense, raplike, performative, spoken word…or any combination of these and more. We’re looking for experiments that disregard genre and disturb disciplinary lines between literary and media arts.

We are inspired by what Roland Barthes writes in Camera Lucida, that “The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance.”

To further clarify what we’re looking for, here are a few of our guiding principles from a curatorial perspective:

• Is the work challenging to categorize or difficult to put into
only one genre? Rather than being concerned with what a piece is—video essay, cine-poem, music video, documentary, experimental, fantasy—we’re more interested in what the film is doing to blur boundaries between cinematic and literary forms.

• Are there elements of surprise, such as unlikely but evocative pairings of moving image and sound? We are looking for work that disrupts conventional movie expectations and strays from the familiar, work that invites new and productive synaptic leaps particularly in how language, visuals, voices and other sounds interact.

• How does the work expand the literary? We are looking for pieces that offer new and uncommon approaches to how literature works, and how it might inhabit the frame.

• Does the work convey a distinctive vision? We are looking for work that is original and imaginative in terms of form, aesthetics, and content, rather than work that is conventional or derivative.

Along with film entries, we require responses to several questions about the nature of the film and the creator(s) submitting the work, and certification of our terms and conditions.

The 3rd Thing will present live (in-person) showcase screenings of select Good Symptom films beginning March 11, 2023 at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum, scheduled to coincide with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) 2023 conference that will be hosted in Seattle. The 3rd Thing quickly follows with another live Good Symptom showcase with our partnering film festival, Experiments in Cinema, in Albuquerque, NM, April 18-22, 2023. Additional in-person screenings with partnering festivals and galleries will be announced in the run-up to the online launch of the serial anthology in September of 2023. Each of the 12 monthly Good Symptom installments will include one to three films—work that defies easy categorization and resists our impulse to name–and will be presented along with curatorial essays by the series curators or invited guests– writers/artists who observe, wonder, speculate and imagine the implications of the work. The 3rd Thing may also release the video anthology in cooperation with one or more online journal(s) and/or as a packaged program in museums and other literary, cinema, performance and arts venues. Accepted submissions will be considered for inclusion in live-audience showcase screenings before and subsequent to the official online launch of Good Symptom in September of 2023.

ABOUT The 3rd Thing
The 3rd Thing is an independent press dedicated to publishing necessary alternatives. Every year or so we publish a cohort of projects representing in form, content, and perspective our interdisciplinary, intersectional priorities.

We publish work mainly by artists and writers who identify as members of traditionally marginalized groups, primarily Indigenous people, womxn, queer people and people of color.

Often our books are the result of an artist working in a non-dominant discipline—a playwright writes a book of poems, a theater-maker writes a book of essays, a filmmaker writes a book of theory…. And while our emphasis is on print traditions, our projects may take any number of forms: books, broadsides, performances, installations, colloquia, video anthologies, etc.

ABOUT the Curators
Marilyn “M” Freeman–media artist, writer, queer, and contemplative–is author of The Illuminated Space: A Personal Theory & Contemplative Practice of Media Art (The 3rd Thing, 2020) and creator of Cinema Divina, short films made through and for
contemplative practice.

Rana San is an intermedia artist, curator, and night dreamer pondering language and lineage, intimacy and interdependence. Her film poetry and analog photography meld dreamwork, movement, and word play. She is the Artistic Director at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and co-director of the annual Cadence Video Poetry Festival.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is a writer and arts organizer exploring the liminal spaces of the literary arts. She is the author of 3 chapbooks and is co-founder and co-director of Cadence Video Poetry Festival.


1. Submission Deadline
• Submissions open October 3, 2022, and close December 20, 2022. The 3rd Thing may reopen submissions as the series progresses.

2. No Submission Fee
• The 3rd Thing requires no entry fee; however, along with film entries, we require responses to several questions about the film and the creator(s) submitting the work, and certification of rights and terms.

3. Film Project Stipend
• Each selected work will receive a $50 stipend from The 3rd Thing.

4. Submission Eligibility
• Film Production Date: There is no restriction on when the work was made, though preference may be given to more recent productions.
• Maximum Film Length: We encourage submissions no longer than 10 minutes including closing credits and will consider longer works on a case-by-case basis.
• Language/Subtitles: We accept films from all over the world; however, all works in languages other than English must be submitted with English subtitles, unless an intentional absence is inherent to experiencing the work.
• Solo Works and Collaborations: We’re equally interested in both.
• Single Submission: Only one submission per artist/writer or collaboration team will be accepted. Diptychs, triptychs, short serials or linked films are eligible provided the total runtime does not exceed 10 minutes.
• Premiere Status: We do not require your work to be premiering in Good Symptom, but that’s an exciting possibility–let us know!

5. Film Submission Method
• Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway online screener or via embedded Vimeo link with password. The title and running time must be clearly indicated in the Film project description/specifications.

6. Notification Date
• All submissions will receive notification of acceptance status by January 31, 2023..

7. Programming and Schedule Changes
• While every effort will be made to adhere to published schedules, The 3rd Thing may, for any reason, set and change the launch date of Good Symptom and/or release dates of any installment of the anthology.
• The 3rd Thing is not obligated to exhibit films, even if selected, and shall have sole discretion regarding all programming decisions, including whether to accept films, and may modify or retract such decisions at any time, including after the anthology lineup has been announced.

8. Technical Submission Issues
• Any technical issues with the submitted films are the full responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time in our selection process, your video file doesn’t work, your film may be rejected. Please contact the Good Symptom project team ASAP if there are any technical issues with the submission process.

9. Exhibition and Distribution
• Select Good Symptom films will kick off the anthology with live audience screenings beginning in March 2023, and the full anthology will launch serially online beginning in September of 2023. Each of the monthly installments will be presented along with a curatorial essay by the series curators or by an invited guest/writer/artist.
• In addition to NWFF and Experiments in Cinema live screenings, Good Symptom may also be released in cooperation with one or more online journal(s) and/or as packaged programs in museums, additional festivals, and other literary, cinema, performance and arts venues. The 3rd Thing will make reasonable effort to keep participating filmmakers informed about such partnerships.

Submitting your film to Good Symptom certifies that you have read and understand the rules and regulations as posted here on the FilmFreeway Good Symptom submission call, and that you agree to the Certification, Rights & Terms as posted on The 3rd Thing website at