Where to Submit Your Work on Chronic Illness & Disability

Getting published, in any genre, is no easy task. Even after you’ve polished your work to perfection, you still have to find the right place to send it—which can be especially challenging for chronically ill, disabled, and neurodiverse writers. Unfortunately, not every literary journal is interested in work that focuses on physical and mental health. The prospect of analyzing hundreds of literary journals to find the ideal place to submit your work can be overwhelming.

That’s why I decided to put together an easy reference guide, both for myself and other underrepresented content creators. Taking the guesswork out of where to submit makes the process less stressful. My hope is that this will empower more disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse folks to get their work published!

The CID Submission Reference Guide

Ailment

Ailment is an online literary magazine dedicated to voicing the creative expressions of those impacted by mental and physical chronic illness. 

Accepted formats: paintings, photographs, drawings, poetry, prose/essays

Payment: N/A

Bellevue Literary Review

The BLR seeks high-caliber, unpublished work, broadly and creatively related to our themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. 

Accepted formats: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry

Payment: two copies of the issue in which their work appears, an additional 1-year subscription to the BLR, as well as a gift subscription for a friend. There is an author discount for purchasing extra copies.

Blanket Sea

This publication showcases work by writers and artists who live with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability. The work doesn’t necessarily need to be about those experiences, but submissions along those lines are welcomed and encouraged. 

Accepted formats: creative nonfiction, fiction, art, and poetry

Payment: N/A

Breath & Shadow

Breath & Shadow is a quarterly journal of disability culture and literature. A project of Ability Maine, Breath & Shadow was the first online literary journal with a focus on disability. It is also unique in being the sole cross-disability literature and culture magazine written and edited entirely by people with disabilities. 

Accepted formats: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, and academic writing. Payment: $20 for poetry, $30 for fiction, and $30 for nonfiction.

Chronically Lit

Chronically Lit is an online literary magazine. Our vision is to examine and expand the representation of chronic illness in contemporary literature, media, and culture.  Its mission is to publish the best creative writing by or about people with chronic illness. 

Accepted formats: essays, interviews, reviews, fiction, poetry, and art
Payment: $10 per accepted publication

Healing Muse

The Healing Muse is the annual journal of literary and visual art published by SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics & Humanities. We welcome submissions particularly but not exclusively focusing on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing.

Accepted formats: fiction, poetry, narratives, essays, memoirs and visual art

Payment: N/A

Hospital Drive

Hospital Drive is the on-line literary and humanities journal of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. The journal publishes original literature and art on themes of health, illness, and healing. Issues will be published 2-3 times a year.

Accepted formats: Poems, short fiction, essays, visual arts, and audio and video art 

Payment: N/A

Kaleidoscope 

Kaleidoscope magazine creatively focuses on the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts. This award-winning publication expresses the experience of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, healthcare professionals, educators and others

Accepted formats: articles, fiction, poetry, book reviews, and visual arts (watercolors, charcoal, etc.)

Payment: varies from $10-$100 upon publication

Monstering

Monstering is a magazine, written by and for disabled women and nonbinary people. “We believe in this: monster stories. Which is to say we believe in monsters, which is to say we believe in their socio-cultural manifestation: women and nonbinary people with disabilities.”

Accepted formats: prose, poetry, and audio/visual

Payment: N/A

The Perch

We think of a “perch” as a vantage point from which to gain perspective. For us, mental health has many aspects—physical, emotional, social, civic, political, cultural, spiritual, and more. With Yale’s The Perch hopes to expand the mental health narrative to include new and unexpected voices, ideas, and creative expressions.

Accepted formats: poetry, prose, visual artwork

Payment: N/A

Rèapparition Journal

The difficulties of withstanding a chronic condition are not easy to understand by many. Many times, the stigmatization of some of these conditions is what hurts just as much as the situation itself. The ability to express one’s emotions through poetry and prose is an invaluable experience— and that’s what Réapparition is here for. 

NOTE: This magazine only accepts content with positive messages. In the founder’s opinion, “the re-emergence of your true, positive, and passionate self comes from an emphasis on positivity— hence the name rèapparition (re-emergence or reappearance in french).”

Accepted formats: poetry, prose,  personal narrative, interviews, essays, and art

Payment: N/A

Rkvry

An online literary journal centering on the theme of “recovery.” The journal interprets recovery broadly: grief, war, exile, divorce, abuse, bigotry, illness, injury, addiction, loss of innocence, and any other topic where recovery presents itself. “Recovery may be early stage, middle stage, late stage, or no stage. Failure and doubt are also part of recovery.” This journal does not define recovery as necessarily requiring success.

Accepted formats: poetry, short stories, essays, and flash fiction

Payment: N/A

Rogue Agent

A body is the most genuine thing we have. We want your skin, your liver, your viscera. We want your joy and your frustration. Rogue Agent wants to share your stories about the poem that is the body. 

Accepted formats: poetry and art

Payment: N/A

Serotonin

Serotonin publishes creative writing on mental illness, neurodivergence and suicide prevention. Trigger warning: themes of trauma, abuse, and self-harm throughout. Read at your own risk.

Accepted formats: poetry and prose

Payment: Authors are paid $5 per piece via PayPal.

SICK

SICK is an independent, thoughtful magazine by chronically ill & disabled people. Its aim is to increase representation of sick & disabled people in publishing and the arts, and to challenge the harmful stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding disability.

Accepted formats: prose (essays, interviews, etc.), poetry, and visual art

Payment: 10p ($0.16 USD) per word for prose and £40 ($51.94 USD) for visual art and poetry

Tiny Tim Literary Review

A triannual online literary review with a goal to normalize chronically ill/disability narratives in addition to humanizing medical professionals through their stories. Dismantling ableism is important while also providing a place for medical narratives.

Accepted formats: fiction, poetry, and nonfiction

Payment: N/A

Wordgathering

A digital, Open Access, quarterly journal of disability poetry, literature, and the arts, with two interconnected purposes. First, we are dedicated to providing an accessible venue for featuring the work of emerging and well-known writers with disabilities (disabled writers). Second, we seek to make available and expand a searchable core of this work for interested readers (with and without disabilities) who are committed to disability poetry, literature, and the arts.

Accepted formats: poetry, short essays, creative nonfiction, book reviews, interviews, fiction, drama, art, photography, short video, comics, and music/audio content

Payment: N/A

Is your favorite journal or magazine missing? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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