The Zebra Pit welcomes submissions of a variety of different types of work centered on life with chronic illness and mental health conditions. While we are primarily a health and wellness website, we would love to begin a section dedicated to spoonie arts and culture. We are seeking the following types of work:
Health and Wellness Submissions
- Journalistic articles or videos on current health subjects relevant to chronic illness. If you are unsure the topic is appropriate, look at our health & wellness and medications sections for the type of articles we’ve published in the past.
- Personal essays pertaining to chronic illness that inform, bring awareness to your condition(s) or build bridges of understanding among spoonies
- Product reviews or recommendation articles in which you discuss your personal experience with a product and explain how it improved your condition, accessibility, or made your life easier somehow
- Tutorials, videos, demonstrations or FAQs about chronic illness and any health topic (e.g., exercising with lupus, relieving a muscle cramp using a small ball, or a video about dental care and EDS.
- Poetry, shorts, play manuscripts or excerpts about mental health, chronic illness, caring for a loved one with chronic illness, be it hopeful and inspiring or tough and poignant
- Artistic work of any kind that attempts to describe some part of the chronic health or mental illness experience. If 3D art, then a photograph or video may be submitted instead.
- Artistic audio, media, photography, found, mixed or upcycled art and video creations.
- Criticism of art, media, writing, television, movies, plays, concerts, (any sort of pop culture or creative work) that seeks to examine the subject matter through the lens of disability rights, access or awareness or critical reviews of work created by or about disabled/chronically ill/mentally ill persons.
- Artistic work by a member of the spoonie community that isn’t about chronic illness, but is submitted with an essay or additional art piece explaining how you relate to art as a disabled person, how art helps you cope with chronic illness, or any other subject that relates to art and disability. Feel free to get creative, but do query first if you feel like you might be going too far out on a limb 🙂
- If you have something you think we’d be interested in that doesn’t fit any of the descriptions above, please query via email before submitting.
In order for submissions to be accepted, the work must be:
- Self-created, owned and previously unpublished on any site, forum or social media outlet. By submitting your work, you’re attesting that you own the rights to said work.
- If a fact-based article, it must be correctly cited in text wherever necessary when presenting facts unless you are a subject matter expert and the information is common knowledge in your field. It doesn’t have to follow AP/Chicago/MLA, but the citations must clearly point to an active website or include enough information for me to easily confirm any book citations.
- No more than 2,000 words. If it’s longer by far and can be broken into a series, let’s talk.
- Includes a bio of no more than 175 words and includes no more than one link.
- Includes a head shot, or if writing anonymously, a symbolically representational picture to place beside your bio, which should be kept very general and can include a pen name if you would like.
Contributions and Payment
At this time, we are looking for both single submissions and “staff” writers willing to commit to writing at least 1 piece per month. To be considered as a contributing writer, you need to be accepted as a guest author first. Unfortunately, the Zebra Pit is not able to offer payment at this time, but we are working on new revenue streams and hope to change this within the next year.
To submit your work, send a brief summary of the piece, your bio and an attachment of your submission to our gmail account; thezebrapit(at)gmail.com (replace the (at) with an @). Alternatively, you can submit your query here, but no attachments can be made. We look forward to hearing from about your ideas and reading your work! We hope you will contribute!
Other Ways to Contribute
If you’re looking for other ways to contribute to the spoonie/medical zebra community, there are a number of non-writing tasks constantly nipping at the editor’s heels. Some of these jobs might be a lot of fun for someone who enjoys research, spending time on social media, can do some basic graphic design or has good administrative skills. It would be good experience for someone who is considering starting their own site, is interested in spoonie topics and becoming more educated about health or looking to put some relevant experience on their resume. The editor is willing to do internships, or sponsor for capstone projects and community service projects, too). If you’re interested, shoot me a message with your interests and experience and how much time you’re willing to commit.