Here are some specific resources for where to get published. This is primarily intended for writers of personal essays, short stories and poems dealing with health and health care-related issues. I’ve geared the list towards nurses, but all of the journals included here accept writing from any type of health care provider, as well as from patients and family members.
Remember to do your homework before submitting to any of these journals or blogs: follow their current submission guidelines and read their published content to make sure it is a good fit for your work.
Good general all-around resources for writing and publishing:
- Poets and Writers. Under the tab “Tools for Writers” they have a searchable database of literary journals and magazines.
- Duotrope. They have recently added a nonfiction category to their excellent searchable database of literary journals and magazines, as well as information on small presses open to book manuscript submissions.
Good resource for almost all things related to medical humanities (intersection of medicine/healthcare and creative work):
- NYU School of Medicine’s medical humanities website. Has searchable database linking to published works of literature, art and movies (including within nursing, although it is in serious need of updating), an e-mail listserv, and a blog.
- American Journal of Nursing. I’ve linked to their editorial manager page that has information for potential authors. Check out their Art of Nursing, Viewpoint, and Reflections sections as these are the ones accepting more creative types of writing. (They also pay a $150 honorarium for each published piece!).
- Ars Medica/ Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto Canada. Print/quarterly. A really nicely done publication.
- Bellevue Literary Review/NYC Langone Medical Center. Excellent print publication. Highly selective and they can take up to six months to review a submission, so I don’t recommend them for first-time authors. But I highly recommend the journal for reading good narrative medicine type writing. They also have really cool archived historical photos from Bellevue Hospital, the oldest continuously running hospital in the U.S. (although Hurricane Sandy seriously affected their buildings and operation).
- Creative Nonfiction. This print journal is highly selective, only includes creative/narrative nonfiction, and is not primarily geared towards health-related writing. But the editor, Lee Gutkind, has his heart in medical narratives.
- Hektoen International: Journal of Medical Humanities (online only)
- Narrative Matters/Health Affairs Health Affairs is a very prestigious academic journal on health policy. Narrative Matters is their journal section on personal health policy narratives. Their editors are interested in receiving more submissions from nurses. Current issue includes a great essay “A nurse learns firsthand that you may fend for yourself after a hospital stay” by Beth Ann Swan, dean and professor at Jefferson School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. But you don’t have to be a dean and professor to have your essay accepted for publication. I have at least one former nursing student who is about to have her Narrative Matters essay published in this journal.
- Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine. “An online magazine that uses stories and poems from patients and health care professionals to talk honestly about giving and receiving medical care.” You can sign up to get a weekly short essay (800 word limit) or poem (they currently are closed to poetry submissions as they have too many to review).
- The Examined Life Journal/University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. A relatively new (now biannual) print journal from the medical school linked with the most prestigious writing school in the country. This is where Abraham Verghese honed his writing skills. They have a new annual writing contest/deadline is January 10, 2013.
- The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine/Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine (online only). A very new but beautifully done online narrative medicine journal.
Blogs can be a good place to get started as a writer. Consider submitting to an existing group blog to have your work included as a guest blogger. An excellent one is HealthCetera at the Center for Health Media and Policy at Hunter College. Joy Jacobson, MFA (health care journalist and poet) and James Stubenrauch, MFA (writer and editor) are both Senior Fellows at the Center for Health Media and Policy, Hunter College School of Nursing. They both have worked as editors for the American Journal of Nursing. I ‘spoke’ with them via e-mail this past week and they wanted me to encourage my students (and other nurses) to consider submitting a guest blog post.
So no excuses! Get your words out and get them published.