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Submission Guidelines

Pulse seeks high-quality, unpublished nonfiction, first-person stories, poetry, artwork, photographs and haiku by patients, caregivers, all health and mental health professionals, students and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 promotionalpurposes. 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 one thousand words.

Poems: Because we have enough poems awaiting publication in Pulse, we regret that we are not presently accepting poetry submissions.  Thank you to all who submitted poetry to us this past autumn.

This coming fall we will begin accepting poetry submissions once again. At that time, all Pulse subscribers will be notified by e-mail 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.

More Voices: Every month we invite readers to contribute short nonfiction prose of 40 to 400 words on a theme related to health care. Please use the More Voices Submission form.

Visuals: We 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 and Visuals Slide Show.

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 submitting a photographic portrait: We would welcome the opportunity to publish something the subject has said--any comment that helps capture who the subject is--and we would encourage you to include a quotation from them.

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, a quotation from the photographed subject (if applicable) and 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 three images every six months, i.e., three images between January and June, and three images between July and December.

Haiku:  We publish a new haiku on the Pulse home page every other week. Each haiku remains there for one week before taking up residence in our Back Pages haiku collection and in our Haiku Slide Show.

Alas, as of October 31, 2015 our haiku coffers are filled to the brim, so we are not currently accepting haiku submissions. During the autumn of 2016, however, we will send out a notice to Pulse subscribers letting you know as soon as we begin accepting haiku submissions again. We'll also post an announcement on this page.

Thanks for your past submissions and for your creative contributions to Pulse.

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