Call for Creative Work (Translating Chronic Pain)

The AHRC-funded research network Translating Chronic Pain: A Critical and Creative Research Network is an eighteen month interdisciplinary critical/creative project based at Lancaster University. Our goal is to bring together people living with persistent pain, representatives from pain charities, creative writers, academics, and medical practitioners. We aim to better represent chronic pain experience by disrupting existing expectations of illness memoir, and to challenge current tendencies in medical humanities scholarship of narrative and wellbeing. Unlike traditional long-form illness narratives, our network will produce and explore what we are calling flash’ illness writing:  fragmentary, episode-focused, short-format work, both word and image.

Emerging from the Creative Manifesto, we invite submissions of ‘flash’ illness writing, short-form creative work

– which expresses a moment or fragment of experience of persistent pain;
– which takes either the perspective of a person experiencing the pain or the perspective of a witness (carer or healthcare professional);
– which captures any dimension of experience – physical, emotional, social, economic, institutional, medical, spiritual, or creative;
– which communicates in any emotional register, positive or negative;
– and which can be shared and used by others to try and communicate the vivid, contradictory, and diverse realities of living with chronic pain.

The parameters:
– short-form creative writing, from 5 to 150 words,
– in any form (e.g. prose or poetry; autobiography, fiction, or a blend);
– optionally can be accompanied by a single image (photograph or artwork);
can also take the form of a single comic ‘panel’ or short sequence, to fit on a single screen;
– the fragments/moments/glimpses to be shared online with attribution, under Creative Commons Licensing (BY-NC) 4.0.
– authors can choose to be anonymous, pseudonymous or named.

Deadline:  Submissions will be added to the project throughout 2018,  but the earlier the submission the more likely it is to receive wider exposure, so early submission is encouraged.

Please see the Creative Manifesto and Information for Participants, and you are welcome to submit work here. Please note we are also holding a Flash Creative Writing Workshop on 28th February in Manchester – please see website for further details.

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