CFS: Poems, Short Narratives

“Poetry” and “55-Word Stories” sections of Families, Systems, and Health.

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now accepting submissions for both of these sections.

While the journal’s call for poetry submissions is not unusual these days for a professional journal, the rationale behind soliciting 55-word stories may not be so obvious. In the words of Colleen Fogarty, one of the journal’s editors: “55-word stories are brief efforts of creative writing that utilize elements of poetry, prose, or both to capture key experiences of healthcare.” Fifty-five word stories challenge the writer to carefully weigh the meaning and emotional impact of every word and every way of speaking. At a time when so many of our words in healthcare are mass-produced—copied and pasted forward as they are in the electronic medical record—we find the concept of the 55-word story refreshing, and hope you will, too. You can learn more about 55-word stories here []. True to their name, 55-word stories must contain exactly 55 words, excluding the title, which should not exceed 7 words. Submissions to the “Poetry” section may represent any style of verse, including free verse, and should be no longer than 50 lines. Both 55-word stories and poems will be peer reviewed based on fit with the journal mission, use of well-crafted language, and impact of the narrative. For more information, please read the “Poetry and 55-word stories” section on the “Instructions to Authors” page. Also, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at and



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s