a thoughtful magazine by sick & disabled people

*ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS UNTIL MARCH 10th*

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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES


submissions are open from February 22nd - March 10th.  

 
SICK publishes work from folks who are sick/chronically ill/mentally ill/disabled. We are looking for writing & artwork that thinks through the experience of illness and disability in new ways, or explores a topic that is framed by this experience. We do not have themes for our issues. 

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
  • Personal essays, creative and experimental nonfiction, lyric essays (800 - 2,300 words)
  • Poetry (submit a minimum of two and a maximum of five poems)
  • Reported features (1,500 - 2,000 words)
  • Op-eds (900 - 1,500 words)
  • Book & film reviews (800 - 1,300 words)
  • Interviews with writers, artists, creatives, activists (we can help you contact the interviewee if needed)
  • Visual art (submit a minimum of three and a maximum of eight images. We publish three - seven images per artist, please do not submit single images)

Full or partial draft submissions are preferred, but pitches from writers who have relevant examples of their work are equally considered. While contributions are only accepted from chronically ill and disabled people, your work does not have to explicitly be about illness or disability, but informed by it in some way.

If possible, please read a copy of SICK before submitting to familiarise yourself with the kind of work we publish. We have both print and PDF copies available in our shop. You can also read select pieces we have previous published on our excerpts page.

Some things we’re not interested in include cartoons, comics, personal or nature photography, rhyming poems, horror stories, fantasy, ‘letters to self’, listicles, screenplays, and academic writing. SICK does not publish work that includes medical advice, reviews of treatments or diets, ‘wellness’ tips, ‘warrior’ narratives, and stories of ‘overcoming’ disability.

PAYMENT


800 - 1,000 words: $150 / £115
1,100 - 1,500 words: $225 / £175
1,600 - 2,000 words: $300 / £235
2,100 - 2,500 words: $345 / £270
Flat rate of $100 / £80 for poetry & artwork

SICK aims to increase these rates as the magazine continues to grow, and we have proudly done so twice since launching in 2019. Contributors are paid upon completion or acceptance of work. If you are interested in providing funding for our publication, please email hello ( @ ) sickmagazine.org

HOW TO SUBMIT


  • All pitches and submissions should be sent to submit@sickmagazine.org with the word ‘pitch’ or ‘submission’ in the subject line. All submissions will receive a response by April 1st. 

  • Please submit an equal opportunities form here.

  • For written submissions (excluding poetry), include a title, word count, and short bio (5-50 words) in the body of your email. Please attach your submission as a Word doc or PDF. 

  • For poetry, include the number of poems you are submitting alongisde a short bio (5-50 words) in the body of your email. Please attach your submission as a Word doc or PDF and include all poems in one document. Please submit a minimum of two and a maximum of five poems.

  • For pitches, tell us in 2-3 paragraphs what you want to write about and why. Include the main topic(s) you will cover, why it’s important, a suggested title, and 2-3 relevant examples of recent work alongside a short bio (5-50 words). If you do not have any recent relevant work, please submit a full or partial draft instead. Pitches without relevant work samples are unlikely to be commissioned.

  • For visual art, include a short artist statement, bio (5-50 words), and send work as JPEG or PNG attachments and not in the body of the email or as zip files. We publish a minimum of three works per artist; please submit a minimum of three and a maximum of eight images.


FAQ


Do you accept previously published work?
We are happy to consider previously published work on a case-by-case basis with permission from the original publisher. Please clearly state if your submission has been previously published and if so, where, when, and the link if applicable. We also welcome submissions that are excerpts from soon-to-be or recently published books.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes, as long as you clearly state this in your submission and notify us immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Can I send multiple pitches/submissions?
You are welcome to pitch up to three ideas or submit three pieces of written work per submission period. You can also pitch or submit across three different categories. For example: a visual art submission, poetry submission, and an essay submission would be ok. Please include multiple pitches/submissions in the same email.

Can I submit if I am not based in the US or UK?
Anyone located anywhere in the world is welcome to submit! Please note that all contributors will be paid in GBP or USD and via PayPal.

How long should written submissions be?
Refer to the lengths listed in our subsmission guidelines above. SICK generally publishes work that falls in the 1,000-2,500 word range, but will consider work slightly shorter and longer. Please do not submit anything longer than 3,000 words.

How do you chose a cover artist?
Cover artists are typically selected from our visual art submissions. All art submissions are generally considered for cover artwork and inside illustrations. However, if you do not want to submit but would like to express interest in creating cover artwork, please email your portfolio and any relevant sketches.

What kind of features do you publish?
Features we have previously published cover topics such as accessibility in higher education, the intersection of mental and physical health, why outdated diagnostic methods are being used in the NHS, and more. Read an example from issue 2 here.

Can I submit if I have been published in a previous issue?
In an effort to share as many voices and new work as possible, please do not submit if your work was published in issue 5. Contributors from issues 01 - 4 are welcome to submit, but new voices may be prioritised.

What happens if my work is accepted?
You will be notified via email and asked to provide a bio for publication and an invoice once work is completed (if not already); artists will be asked for a finalised artist statement. If you are submitting an essay, feature, or other written work, we will typically work on edits together before publication. Once the issue is published, your work will be shared on our social media platforms and may be used on merch or other materials with your permission. (In the past, these have been posters, bookmarks, prints, and stickers.)

Why has my work not been accepted?
As a chronically ill person working through hundreds of submissions, I am not able to provide individual feedback. We receive far more submissions than we are able to print and have to be very selective.

Should I include a content note in my submission?
No. If your work is accepted, content notes will be considered during editing.

Does mental illness/autism/other count as a chronic illness/disability? Can I still submit if I’ve recovered/am in remission?
Yes! Under the 2010 Equality Act, you are considered disabled ‘if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal activities.’ You do not have to have a diagnosis or explain your disability to me. This also applies if you’ve recovered from an illness – for example, if you no longer have cancer but your work is informed by this experience, you are welcome to submit. If you’re still unsure, please feel free to submit anyway.

Please message @asickmagazine on Instagram or email hello@sickmagazine.org with any questions not answered above. Please reach out if there is anything we can do to make the submission process more accessible for you. We can provide submission templates and examples of pitches on request.