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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Pulse seeks high-quality, unpublished nonfiction, first-person stories, poetry, artwork, photographs and haiku by patients, caregivers, all health and mental health professionals, students and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 any work 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: As of January 1, 2017 we are no longer accepting poetry submissions for the coming year. Thank you to all who submitted poetry to us.

In the autumn, 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 wanting to share your poetry with us and for your interest in Pulse.

Feel free to query us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) about the status of your submission or work.

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 ask for images that arise from--or were impacted by--your own healthcare experiences or those of your patients or loved ones.

Please review the following, then use the Visual Submission Form to send us your image(s):

Attach your jpg format image to the form. We request a resolution of at least 96 dpi or a minimum of 1024 x 768 pixels.

In the form, you will be asked for a cell phone number (so we can reach you urgently should last-minute questions arise), a brief (3-4 sentence) description of your visual, a quotation from the photographed subject (if applicable) and a brief (3-4 sentence) biography of yourself, including a few words on why you create visual images.

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.

Pulse welcomes 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 a portrait submission.

If submitting a photographic portrait, we encourage you to include a quotation from the subject--a few sentences that help capture who the subject is.

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.

If you have questions, please send them to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Haiku: Alas, as of October 31, 2016 our haiku coffers are filled to the brim, so we are not currently accepting haiku submissions. During the autumn of 2017, however, we will send out a notice to Pulse subscribers 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!