Submission Criteria & F.A.Q.s


SLICC Journal of Narrative Medicine accepts only previously unpublished work. Your work must never before have been published in any print or online media accessible to the general public either via subscription, purchase, or free access. Please notify us as soon as your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

For inspiration on narratives in medicine, we invite you to read The Art of Medicine, by Suzanne Koven.



  1. Submit using online form. If your submission is not submittable through the form (e.g. audio, visual, etc) please e-mail submissions to with subject line “SLICC Journal Submission”. If emailing, please type a cover letter directly into the body of the message. Your cover letter should include: Your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, medical school, and city of residence, title(s) of your submitted work(s), type of work (i.e. media), and word count for written pieces. Do not include your name on the attachment / submission to allow to anonymous review of all pieces. Please attach all visual arts submissions as a .jpg file.

  2. All work must be original. Any quotations or references must be properly cited according to American Medical Association (AMA) citation formatting.

  3. Patient privacy: Take care to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality according to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). When possible, obtain permission from patients before submitting their stories and fictionalize or change potentially identifying details of the narrative. Contact us if any questions about confidentiality arise.



Who can submit?

Medical students or alumni from any longitudinal integrated clerkship or curricula (e.g. following pregnant patients longitudinally) may submit one piece per month for publication. Any medical student in an LIC as part of their medical school experience can submit work focused on their experiences. Previous publications and institutional affiliations are not considered in the selection process. Our assistant editors do not have access to any author information and will review work based on its merit.

Themes (NOT Required)

Winter (December 2018 - February 2019): Connections

Spring: Technology

Summer: Communication


What can you submit?

We accept narratives, poetry, essays, and visual artwork [graphic novels, video recordings of stories or brief theatrical pieces (think the Moth), podcasts etc.]. Maximum of 1 submission per student per month. Pieces should not exceed 500 words. Please limit graphic novels/narratives to 3 pages or less. Video and audio recordings should be no longer than 5 minutes. For visual artwork, all pieces should be submitted in .jpg format. All entries must have a resolution of 6 megapixels or greater, and 300 dpi. Pieces may, but are not required to, relate to the monthly theme.

Due to the volume of submissions, we will not be able to provide individualized reasons for not selecting a piece for publication.

What is narrative medicine?

Narrative medicine takes many forms and hails from many traditions. Rita Charon, MD PhD, a general internist and founder of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, explored a definition for narrative medicine in 2001 in her piece entitled Narrative Medicine: A Model for Empathy, Reflection, Profession, and Trust. She writes, "The effective practice of medicine requires narrative competence, that is, the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others. Medicine practiced with narrative competence, called narrative medicine, is proposed as a model for humane and effective medical practice. Adopting methods such as close reading of literature and reflective writing allows narrative medicine to examine and illuminate 4 of medicine's central narrative situations: physician and patient, physician and self, physician and colleagues, and physicians and society. With narrative competence, physicians can reach and join their patients in illness, recognize their own personal journeys through medicine, acknowledge kinship with and duties toward other health care professionals, and inaugurate consequential discourse with the public about health care." We believe that medical students in longitudinal integrated clerkships are particularly well positioned to witness, reflect, and write about these 4 narrative relationships in medicine, both for the betterment and enrichment of themselves, their peers and colleagues, their patients, and society at large.

What are some examples of work you are looking for?

We want to hear about your experiences in your longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) or curricula (e.g. following pregnant patients longitudinally), particularly pertaining to the month’s theme if the prompt inspires you (NOT required). For example, if the theme is death and dying, you may tell  us about an experience you have had caring for patient who was in their end of life, or interacting with their family members. Please share stories about your lives as medical students or graduates working in the hospital and in the outpatient setting, which generally will involve a combination of anecdote and self-reflection or knowledge gained from an experience. Reference prior issues for examples of this style. Poetry, fiction, narratives, ethical discussions, creative nonfiction and all forms of audio and visual art are welcome.

How are pieces selected?

Pieces will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Story & Originality

  • Quality of Writing

  • Meaning & Magic

See How We Operate for more details

Who is on the selection board? Can I be involved?

-Faculty advisor (1) - 1 year minimum position

-Chief Editors (2) - 2 year position held by students

-Rotating Reviewers (4) - 1 year position held by students, alumni, or faculty

-We are currently accepting applications for reviewers. Apply here.

When can I expect to hear back from the SLICC Journal?

We strive to notify you whether your submitted pieces have been selected for publication within 90 days of receiving your work.