Here’s a Great Opportunity for Writers with Disabilities

someone with a journal in their lap, sitting outside on the grass.Great news! Brevity Magazine just announced they plan on publishing a special issue dedicated to disability, they’re looking for essays by and about disability, and they’ll be paying the writers!

Brevity describes itself as “A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction,” and Over the past year the magazine has drawn more than 13,000 unique visitors per month. The special issue, “Experiences of Disability,” will be published in September 2020, and the submission period begins next week: Tuesday, October 1, 2019. They are looking for brief nonfiction submissions (750 words or fewer) that consider all aspects of illness and disability, including pieces that explore :

    • What disability is
    • What disability means
    • How our understanding of disability is changing
    • How disability is learned during childhood
    • How disability is lived over the entire course of a life
    • How our changing understanding of disability shapes the way we experience ourselves and others
    • The lived experience of illness
    • The lived experience of disability, and/or
    • Encounters with ableism.
        The announcement says they are especially interested in essays that show readers a new way to understand the familiar, or essays that give voice to underrepresented experiences.

And here’s the very cool thing: all the people behind the scenes of this special issue are writers who identify as disabled. The anchor author for “Experiences of Disability” will be Esmé Weijun Wang, who sold her debut novel, the Border of Paradise, the same year she was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease. The special issue will be guest edited by Keah Brown, Sonya Huber, and Sarah Fawn Montgomery. Brown is a journalist who was born with cerebral palsy and is the author of The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture & Other Reasons To Fall In Love With Me, a collection of essays exploring “what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly non-disabled and white America.” Huber is the author of five books, including Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, a “collection of literary and experimental essays on living with chronic pain. Montgomery is the author of Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir which explores America’s history of mental illness treatment.

For more information, check out this post on the Brevity Non-Fiction Blog. I’m pretty sure I’m going to submit something to “Experiences of Disability” myself, and I hope you will, too. So many untold stories of disability need to be heard, and we are the only ones who can tell them.


 

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