CFS: “Narrative Matters” in Health Affairs

“Narrative Matters” is the peer-reviewed, personal-essay section of the policy journal Health Affairs. Begun in 1999, it publishes literary nonfiction—based on firsthand encounters—that carry a policy message. These “policy narratives” link a story or anecdote to the big picture. They relate a strong incident or anecdote that draws the reader in and puts the policy issue on the table.

How To Submit A Manuscript: “Narrative Matters” manuscripts are submitted online through the Health Affairs Web site at:

Manuscripts for “Narrative Matters” do not need an abstract. Submissions will be reviewed both within and outside of Health Affairs.

What We’re Looking For:

  • Well-written anecdotal stories, based on encounters with the health care system, that explore the personal, ethical, and moral issues of delivering or receiving health care today
  • Topics with broad implications for health care that touch on policy issues
  • Unique stories or perspectives with an insider’s view
  • Introspective stories that reveal the author’s evolution in thinking about a health policy issue based on personal experience
  • Stories with dialogue and with a distinct beginning, middle, and resolution
  • A minimum of academic or technical language
  • 2,500 words or less
  • No editorials, op-eds, or commentaries; no footnotes or academic citations

Contact: Ellen Ficklen, editor of “Narrative Matters,” at 301-656-7401 or . The “Narrative Matters” section is published with support from the W.K. Kellogg

Further information at:


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