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Our issue 4 submission window is now closed. We aim to publish one issue per year, with our submission window typically falling in the spring.

SICK only accepts work from those who consider themselves chronically ill/disabled.

What we publish:
  • Personal essays and narrative nonfiction (850 to 3,000 words)
  • Reported features (1,500 – 2,000 words)
  • Op-eds offering a unique perspective  (850 to 1,500 words)
  • Interviews with writers, musicians, artists, activists, entrepreneurs
  • Flash fiction, creative and experimental nonfiction (600 to 3,000 words)
  • Poetry (submit a minimum of two and a maximum of four poems)
  • Visual art of any medium (submit a minimum of three and a maximum of eight image)

Full draft submissions are preferred, but pitches from writers who have relevant examples of their work are equally considered. While contributions are only accepted from chronically ill and disabled people, your work does not have to explicitly be about illness or disability, but informed by it in some way.

If possible, please read a copy of SICK before submitting to familiarise yourself with the kind of work we publish. Some things we’re not interested in include cartoons, personal or nature photography, rhyming poems, horror stories, fantasy, YA fiction, ‘letters to self’, screenplays, and academic writing. SICK does not publish work that includes medical advice, reviews of treatments or diets, ‘wellness’ tips, or stories of ‘overcoming’ disability.

RATES: Writers will be paid 11 pence per word, and poets and artists will receive £50 for selected work. SICK aims to increase these rates as the magazine continues to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you accept previously published work?
I am happy to consider previously published work on a case-by-case basis for both writing and art, with permission from the original publisher. Please clearly state if your submission has been previously published and if so, where, when, and the link if applicable.

When can I expect to receive a response?
I will aim to respond to all submissions by April 10th. Please do not send a follow up email before this date. If you do not receive a response by this time, unfortunately your work was not selected.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes, as long as you clearly state this in your submission and notify us if it is accepted elsewhere.

Can I send multiple pitches/submissions?
You are welcome to pitch up to three ideas or submit three pieces of written work per submission period. You can also pitch or submit across three different categories. For example: a visual art submission, poetry submission, and an essay submission would be ok. Please include multiple pitches/submissions in the same email.

Can I submit if I am not based in the UK?
Anyone located anywhere in the world is welcome to submit. Please note that all contributors will be paid in GBP and via PayPal.

How long should written submissions be?
SICK generally publishes work that falls in the 1,000-2,500 word range, but will consider work slightly shorter and longer. Please do not submit anything longer than 3,000 words.

Can I submit if I have been published in a previous issue?
In an effort to share as many voices and new work as possible, please do not submit if you have already been published in one of the most recent two issues. You are welcome to submit if you were published in issue 01.

What happens if my work is accepted?
You will be notified via email and asked to provide a bio for publication and an invoice once work is completed (if not already); artists will be asked for a finalised artist statement. If you are submitting an essay, feature, or other written work, we will typically work on edits together before publication. Once the issue is published, your work will be shared on our social media platforms and may be used on merch or other materials with your permission. (In the past, these have been posters, bookmarks, and stickers.)

Why has my work not been accepted?
As a chronically ill person working through hundreds of submissions, I am not able to provide individual feedback. We receive far more submissions than we are able to print and have to be very selective.

Should I include a content note in my submission?
No. If your work is accepted, content notes will be considered during editing.

Does mental illness/autism/other count as a chronic illness/disability? Can I still submit if I’ve recovered/am in remission?
Yes! Under the 2010 Equality Act, you are considered disabled ‘if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal activities.’ You do not have to have a diagnosis or explain your disability to me. This also applies if you’ve recovered from an illness – for example, if you no longer have cancer but your work is informed by this experience, you are welcome to submit. If you’re still unsure, please feel free to submit anyway.

Please feel free to email hello@sickmagazine.co.uk with any questions not answered above.