Friday, September 24, 2010

fwd: call for submissions, hospital

Anthology editor Julie Devaney and Tightrope Books editor Shirarose Wilensky are seeking submissions for an anthology of stories about our relationships to hospitals, medicine, and healthcare to be published
in spring 2012 by Tightrope Books.

This book will be composed of true stories and reflections from patients, healthcare providers, and loved ones where they meet at the nexus of the hospital, the clinic, or any other site of healthcare provision. Our focus is real-life experiences of these places and their impact on our perceptions of ourselves, our health, our bodies, and the lives of those we love and care for. We’re looking for tales of birth, death, and all the messy vulnerability of health and illness in between. Stories can be serious and sad, or light and funny, or all these things at once. The key is that these pieces of writing be visceral—experiences that affected you at your core and resonated with you for days, months, or years after you lived through them.


Form is flexible: stories, poems, scripts from performance pieces, and narrative essays are welcome. Length is also flexible—anywhere from short poems to longer pieces up to 2,000 words. Submissions may be purely literary, with no particular analysis but a strong personal perspective. They may also contain analysis of the politics of healthcare and/or disability as long as philosophical points and political opinions fit naturally into the flow of your narrative, rather than purely academic points.

All pieces must be from personal experience—written in first person. Can be events that happened to you personally or events that you have witnessed but must be written from your perspective (i.e., You can
tell the story of what happened to your sister, but not from your sister’s perspective, only from your standpoint as a witness—and what the experience meant for you). You may also choose to include more
than one experience. Submissions do not have to be about actually being in hospital, they can also be about your ongoing relationship to any healthcare site as a patient, family member, provider, researcher, or any combination thereof. They may also reflect on the ubiquity of the hospital in our collective imagination. For example, while an essay about someone’s choice to die at home is not situated within a clinical context, it reveals strong perspectives on hospitals and our last days. Or, for someone with Alzheimer’s the threat of being permanently hospitalized may shape the experience of diagnosis from the beginning, long before institutionalization becomes necessary.

We’re looking for Canadian writers, but it’s not necessary for the stories to be geographically situated in Canada. We welcome submissions from individuals with marginalized and oppressed identities and are also interested in stories of being racialized, experiences of disablement, sexism, transphobia and homophobia.
Writers may be unpublished or established, and previously published pieces are welcome.

Abstracts of 100–300 words are due Dec 1, 2010 and should be submitted via email to

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