What We're Looking For

What We're Looking For


  • Narrative Matters features personal stories about experiences with the health care system and the people in it using the power of literary nonfiction to highlight an important public policy issue. We’re interested in well-written policy narratives, told as first-person stories, that explore problems and concerns with health care delivery, roles of providers or patients, need for research, system redesign, and changes in public policy.  Successful submissions will provide a unique perspective and reveal how the author’s thinking evolved over time. 

    The best way to see the types of manuscripts we'd like to receive is to read published Narrative Matters essays, found on the essay archive.

    Manuscripts should:

    • • Exhibit the best qualities of literary nonfiction with attention to detail, dialogue, scene, and story arc with a distinct beginning, middle, and resolution told in compelling way.
    • • Be a unique story or perspective written in the first person with an insider’s view.
    • • Reveal the author’s evolution in thinking about a health policy issue on the basis of a personal health care experience.
    • • Be 2,500 words or less.
    • • Use a minimum of medical, technical, or academic language (and no jargon).
    • • Be previously unpublished.
    • • Not be a case study, illness narrative, editorial, op-ed, or commentary.
    • • Have no academic citations or endnotes (a separate list of references is required); no tables or figures


If you have any questions about the requirements for Narrative Matters or its editorial and peer-review processes, please contact Ellen Ficklen, editor of Narrative Matters, at 301-656-7401 or eficklen@projecthope.org.


The Narrative Matters section is published with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.