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Pulse seeks high-quality, unpublished nonfiction, first-person stories, poetry, artwork, photographs and haiku by patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, students and anyone else who wants to share his or her experiences of giving or receiving health care. We would love to pay authors/creative artists handsomely for accepted work; alas, we’re not yet able to. We are grateful for each and every submission and appreciate the effort that creators have put into their works.

Upon accepting a piece, Pulse acquires the right to circulate it and publish it on its web site; Pulse also acquires the right to publish it in a print anthology or for promotional purposes. Thirty days after the piece first appears on the Pulse web site, the author/creator retains the right to publish the piece elsewhere. If this occurs, we ask that Pulse be credited as the first publisher

Before submitting a piece to us, please review the following questions:

  1. Are you a Friend of Pulse? If not, please subscribe!
  2. Is this an original piece of work, created by you? We consider only original works.
  3. Has a version of the piece been published in print, on the Internet, in electronic journals, e-zines, academic web sites or other public web sites? Sorry, we do not consider submissions that have previously been published elsewhere.
  4. Is the piece currently being considered for publication elsewhere? Please do not send us a work that is being considered by other publications. To make this requirement less burdensome for authors, we do our best to respond to all submissions within six to eight weeks.
  5. Does your story or poem arise from your own experience? We want stories and poems that arise from situations you have experienced personally.
  6. Does your piece describe a patient? Pulse--voices from the heart of medicine is committed to protecting a patient's right to privacy. Ideally, you will obtain written permission from any patient you write about; as an alternative, you must change his or her name and omit or alter other identifying characteristics. A reader should not be able to pinpoint a neighbor, friend or family member as the subject of your writing.

Once you have reviewed these questions, please cut and paste the following language into the e-mail you send us with your submission:

I certify that I have read and agree to the Submission Guidelines of Pulse—voices from the heart of medicine. I am submitting an original piece of work created entirely by me, whose rights belong to me. No version of this work has been published elsewhere, nor is it currently being submitted elsewhere. This work does not infringe upon the rights of any person, nor does it violate anyone’s privacy.

Also, please include with your submission a telephone number (cell is preferable) where we can reach you in case urgent editorial questions arise.

Stories: Send your story as a Word attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Stories will need to be edited to approximately 800 words.

Poems: Because we have a manageable backlog of poems awaiting publication in Pulse, we are not presently accepting poetry submissions.

Thank you to all who submitted poetry to us this past autumn. Our poetry editors have made their selections and sent out notifications to everyone who submitted works to us.

In the fall of 2014 we will begin accepting poetry submissions once again. All Pulse subscribers will be notified when the time comes, and we will also post an announcement in this space.

Thank you for your past submissions, for wanting to share your poetry with us and for your interest in Pulse.

Visuals: We will publish a new image on the Pulse home page every other week. Each image will remain on the home page for one week before taking up residence in our Visuals Collection.

We prefer images that arise from--or were somehow impacted by--your own healthcare experiences or those of your patients or loved ones.

Pulse is now accepting photographic or artistic portraits. At the same time we feel an obligation to make sure that those individuals being depicted feel comfortable having their images publicly displayed. If your image is a portrait of a recognizable person, we ask that you obtain permission from that person to publish his or her photograph or artistic likeness. Here is a sample release form ("Permission for Photography or Depiction in a Work of Art") that you can use for this purpose. A copy of a signed and witnessed release form should accompany the submission.

If the person portrayed in the image is deceased, we ask that you obtain and submit a signed release from that person's next of kin. If that will not be possible, please explain in your submission why such a release cannot be obtained.

Please send your image in jpg format as an e-mail attachment. We request a resolution of at least 96 dpi or a minimum of 1024 x 768 pixels.

In your e-mail, please give us a brief (3-4 sentence) description of your visual, in addition to a brief biography of yourself, including a few words on why you create visual images. Also give us a phone number--preferably a cell--where we can reach you should questions arise.

Please send your submission to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We ask that you limit your submissions to one image every six months, i.e., one image between January and June, and one image between July and December.

Haiku: The good news is that we are grateful for the many fine haiku submitted to us this year. The disappointing news is that we are presently closed to haiku submissions, as we have selected enough haiku to last us for several seasons. Thank you for your contributions. Pulse will re-open to haiku submissions in July 2014. Until then, we hope that you enjoy the haiku that will be offered on our home page and in our back pages.


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