The Lumen is an annual new writing and arts journal on the mutual dialogue between medicine, the arts and the humanities based at the University of Edinburgh. The Lumen is accepting submissions for the 2016 summer issue themed around Trauma. The deadline is 4 December 2015.

The magazine explores critical and creative work that emerges from the interstices of medicine and the arts. Of interest is the narratives of patients and clinicians and how these relate to medical practice and the therapeutic role of artistic expression. The Lumen hopes to give voice to unvoiced experiences of illness and foster empathetic dialogue between patients,  clinicians and the caring communities more generally.

The Lumen welcomes submissions of new prose, poetry, essays, articles, reviews and artwork from healthcare professionals and patients, as well as from writers, students, scholars and artists from all backgrounds who have an interest in narratives of illness and the role the arts play in giving voice to the personal experiences of patients and medical practitioners.

2016 summer issue

Contributors are welcome to interpret the theme of trauma in any way they wish along the lines of any discipline. The editorial panel also welcome reviews of books or other artistic work that deals with a discussion of trauma or narratives that emerge thereof. Some possible interpretations of this theme could be:

  • The impact of a traumatic event or process on identity and temporality
  • Narrating and coping with traumatic events
  • Talking about trauma in public discourse
  • The form and essence of traumatic change
  • Trauma as a permanent state of being rather than a singular, momentary breach
  • The trauma of internal processes rather than external intrusions
  • Historical, political or socio-symbolic forms of trauma

The above list is not exhaustive, and is merely indicative of some of the possible interpretations of the theme for the forthcoming issue.

Submissions are welcomed in the following categories:

1) Fiction: Short fiction which is no more than 3,000 words in length and can be written in any style or genre. Stories should be stand-alone and complete works.

2) Non-fiction: Narrative/memoir or essays (either critical or academic) that are no longer than 3,000 words in length.

3) Poetry: Poems that are no longer than 70 lines in length in any style, genre or form.

4) Reviews: Short reviews of one work (between 500 and 750 words) or comparative reviews of two or more works (between 750 and 1,000 words). If you would like to review a relevant literary or artistic work or performance, please contact us with a proposal via email and we shall consider it. Alternatively, we will also post a list of works we would like reviewed on our website.

5) Visual Art: All forms of visual art (illustrations, photographs etc.), submitted as digital images (preferably high-resolution jpeg) of up to 10 MB in file size. Please include the title, date, medium and size as applicable. If you should encounter any difficulty in sending us images via email due to file size, please contact us to arrange an alternative mode of submission.

Deadline: 4 December 2015 

For submission guidelines and queries please see:

For more information on The Lumen visit


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