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Call for Short Story Submissions


We at Time Inc. publish Proto, a quarterly biomedical magazine, on behalf of Massachusetts General Hospital. Though we’re sponsored by MGH, we cover the entire world of basic and clinical research, medical technology and policy. Our readers include physicians, researchers, industry executives and policymakers.

We at Proto would like to explore some new territory: short stories.

We’re not looking for ER thrillers or science fiction. Rather, we seek something thoughtful and beautifully composed, a piece that illuminates an aspect of medicine (whether it be clinical care, research or even policy) in ways we can’t elsewhere in the magazine.

We’ve achieved this occasionally by excerpting full-length pieces of fiction. Though an excerpt is naturally different from a short story, I’d like to point to several examples for the quality of writing and what they impart: about cheating in research (Allegra Goodman’s Intuition), about the meaning of “care” (Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone), and about doctors living up to high expectations (Samuel Shem’s The Spirit of the Place).

We’re looking for very short stories: 2,000 to 2,500 words, and we’re seeking submissions by Friday, November 15. We’ll pay upon publication ($2,000), but I’d be glad to discuss your idea before you begin.

Sarah Alger
sarah underscore alger at timeinc dot com

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