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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An Online Magazine For Personal Health Issue Stories

Many of us have gone through serious illnesses or have had a family member or close friend do so. Hearing the stories of others often helps people who suddenly find themselves overwhelmed after a diagnosis. We seek comfort from the tales told by others. 

Awhile back, I submitted a story to an online medical ezine about a year in the life of a close friend who had breast cancer--her reaction to it and mine. You and Me publishes stories regarding illness of many kinds. They don't want a story that covers a lifetime of a chronic illness. Instead they prefer a small part of what the patient or family has been experiencing. You do not have to be a professional writer to submit.

They receive queries on certain health issues more than others--like breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes. To have a story in one of these categories accepted, you'd have to have a different angle. They don't want a medical information article. They are looking for the personal side of health issues. They want to know how an illness afftected you or your loved ones. And it does not need to be a serious illness; it might be something considered trivial--trivial unless you have to experience it yourself. They specify that they do not want all sad or all happy endings. Your story can have either one.

Go to their submission page to get a better feel for what the publisher seeks. Note that they do not want you to submit your finished piece. Instead, they ask for a query letter first in which you will tell them about the article/essay you are proposing to send. To be honest, having to write a query letter is one of my pet peeves but I understand why an editor prefers it. I would much rather write the story and send it on speculation. As writers, we have to bow to the submission guidelines if we want a chance to be published in a particular magazine or anthology or whatever. What they want in a query letter is spelled out toward the bottom of the Submission page. It says: 
   Your first contact with us should be a "query" i.e. an email describing the nature of your work, how
long it is, and any other details you feel are important (such as whether or not you have photos with the text). You may want to include a brief excerpt from the work. 
I suggest that you read several of the stories to get a feel for the type of work the publisher uses. 
My story was published several years ago but is still on the website. Read it here.  A page with hints for contributors would be worth looking at, also. Find it here.

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