The Healing Muse is the annual journal of literary and visual art published by SUNY Upstate Medical University's Center for Bioethics & Humanities. We welcome fiction, poetry, narratives, essays, memoirs and visual art, particularly but not exclusively focusing on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for Healing Muse news and updates!

Submissions are collected and juried from September 1st through April 15th. Please submit only once during the submission period.  Simultaneous submissions accepted.  

For poetry submissions:  Limit up to five poems, with no more than 10 pages total. Word counts are not necessary for poetry submissions.  

For prose submissions: Limit of one essay.  Identify piece as fiction or nonfiction, type double-spaced, and put word count on the first page (2,500 word max).  Pieces that exceed the 2,500 word limit will not be reviewed.  

Visual artists should submit an electronic file at 300dpi. We accept both color and black and white artwork. Visual art is not reviewed or accepted until after July 1. We thank you for your patience.

Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have not appeared previously in print or electronic format, including the Internet.  Artworks are considered with the understanding that they have not appeared previously in print.  We ask authors whose work is accepted to sign a statement declaring that their work has not been previously published by them or under another name.  We screen submissions for plagiarism.

Confidentiality. The privacy of patients and clients of clinicians should be protected. Clinicians who write about their patients must alter identifying details and characteristics.

Contributors will receive two complimentary copies of the issue in which their work appears; additional copies are available at a reduced rate.

For fiction submissions, please type double-spaced, and put word count on the first page (2,500 word max).

For examples of previously published fiction pieces, browse our excerpts page.
For non-fiction submissions, please type double-spaced, and put word count on the first page (2,500 word max).

For examples of previously published non-fiction pieces, browse our excerpts page.

The F. Sean Hodge Prize for Poetry in Medicine

F. Sean Hodge, MD, a graduate of SUNY Upstate Medical University who went on to establish a thriving otolaryngology practice, died an untimely death in 2017. A physician who loved the humanities, he read and wrote poetry and played music as complements to a busy physician’s life. In his honor, his family and the Center for Bioethics and Humanities have established this poetry prize, to encourage physicians and physicians-in-training to write poetry as one way of reflecting on and communicating their experiences.

Eligibility Criteria:

You must be one of the following:  

· Current medical student, resident, or fellow

· Physician who has completed post-graduate training

How to enter:

· Submit through this category (not the general Poetry Vol 21 category)

· Confirm that you meet eligibility criteria (see above)

· Limit of 5 poems/submitter

· Submission deadline: April 15, 2023


Awards: A $250 prize will be given in each of the two categories:

· Current medical students, residents, and fellows

· Physicians who have completed post-graduate training

Submitters to the Hodge Prize will learn of their status May 1, 2023. Winning poems will be published in The Healing Muse, Volume 21 (November 2023).  All poems, whether or not they win a prize, will be considered for publication in The Healing Muse.

Please only submit in this category if you meet the requirements above.  If you are not a physician or physician-in-training, please submit your poem(s) under the general Poetry category.

Poems do not need to be double-spaced or have a word count.

For examples of previously published poetry, browse our excerpts page.

Are you a physician, medical student, resident, or fellow?  If you are and would like to be considered for the F. Sean Hodge Prize for Poetry in Medicine, please submit under the separate Poetry Category for this award.

Visual artists must submit an electronic file at 300 dpi. Most of the artwork published is printed in black and white, so please take this into account when submitting your work. Visual art is not reviewed and accepted until after July 1.

For examples of previously published visual art, browse our Artists' Gallery
The Healing Muse