How to Submit a Story to Invisible Illness

An FAQ for anyone who is confused

Confusion, begone.

I’ve had a couple of people write to tell me they’re confused about how to submit their work to Invisible Illness. I’m creating this FAQ to address the questions I’ve received the past few weeks and to help everyone with similar questions in the future.

What’s covered below (all come from real questions)

  • First time writer wants to submit essay
  • Approved Invisible Illness writer wants to write an essay
  • Sending draft vs. published piece
  • Appropriate themes/topics for Invisible Illness
  • Mobile Submissions
  • Signing up for Medium to write for Invisible Illness
  • Commenting on others’ posts
  • Submitting post after editor has requested post
  • Moving imagery after publishing
  • Anonymous submission

I wrote an essay, and I think it would be good for Invisible Illness. I’ve never written for Invisible Illness before. What should I do?

Answer

If you are a writer who has never written for Invisible Illness before, you should send me an email with the link to your piece.

I wrote an essay, and I think it would be good for Invisible Illness. I HAVE written for Invisible Illness before. What should I do?

Answer

If you’ve written for Invisible Illness before, you can:

  • Hit the three little buttons at the top of your screen.
  • Choose “add to publication” for your post.
  • When you do, you’ll see this screen:
  • Choose Invisible Illness from the list.
  • One you’ve chosen Invisible Illness, I get notified about your submission so I can take a look at it straightaway!

(Note that there is also a checkbox that says that you are OK with people emailing you about your post if you aren’t adding it to a publication. Just good to know in case you’re interested in that option as well.)

If I want to publish my piece in Invisible Illness, should I publish it first or send it to you as a draft? Is this like a regular magazine, or what?

Answer

This can go either way. It can be confusing.

If you send me your post as a draft, I sometimes make the assumption that you’re looking for some form of feedback about it. The kind of feedback I tend to give is very loose, e.g. reminding you that an image makes your post much more powerful, or your formatting may not be how you intended it, or something like that.

If you want to publish your post and then submit immediately to Invisible Illness, that works too.

What are you looking for in Invisible Illness?

Answer

This one’s easy: Writing from the gut that helps the writer and helps the reader. Invisible Illness posts should illuminate the unknown or underseen.

I’m also a sucker for science married with art, but I curate for all kinds of readers.


Updated Dec 16

I’m trying to add to my draft to the publication on mobile, but it’s not working. I can’t figure out how to do submissions this way. What’s wrong?

Answer

Take a look at this Medium iOS FAQ for the answer about how to submit on mobile.

Do I need to be an approved writer to submit a post?

Answer

I’ve been hearing from people who want to submit a story, but they haven’t yet joined Medium. That’s fine, but just know that before I can accept your story and publish it, you need to sign up for Medium and create your post on the platform.

A lot of the time, after I read somebody’s story, I’d love to get involved and I want to comment. So far I can’t figure out HOW. I click on “comments” but all I get is other people’s comments. I tried the three esoteric dots and they dotted me nowhere. I’m sure there’s something perfectly obvious I am missing and I am resigned to Asking For Help, a concept that used to make me cry. Help, please?

Answer

Every question that you have is a question someone else has too! There are so many new people joining that this is certainly something others have faced as well. It’s actually really simple:

The heart at the bottom means you liked the post, and the “talk” bubble to the right means you want to respond. It takes some getting used to — your response is treated as a top-level post as well. But don’t worry about that yet. Just hit the talk bubble and respond away.


Updated December 19, 2016

You have requested my post, but I don’t know what to do next to get my post into the publication. Help!

Answer

You go to the top of the page and hit Edit.

Once you’ve done that, you will see the publications that have requested you/approved you to be a writer.

Choose Invisible Illness, hit publish, and Bob’s your uncle.

I published my post without adding an image / I published my post with an image above the title / I published my post with an image below the title. Is it too late?

Answer

Not at all. Playing with how imagery works in the story will help you understand how to make it work.

You click where you want the image to be, and then choose the camera icon. If you want to delete an image, you just click it and then hit the delete button when it is outlined in green.


Added Jan 22, 2017

I would be happy to share my experience with mental illness on Invisible Illness, with the hope of helping others that may be in my same situation. But, I would like to do it anonymously; and that’s an important reason why I would not publish it on my own Medium account, even though I have one. I am really not comfortable enough to talk about this under my name for everyone to see. Do you accept and publish anonymous pieces?

Answer

You can absolutely publish anonymously. You do, though, need to set up an anonymous Medium account to do it. Is that OK?

Once you set up the account, just send me the link to the post and I’ll take a look at the piece. Sound good?


Please keep your questions coming! I will edit this post as you send them so that it is a good reference for everyone.

Have a great day, everyone.
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