How to Submit a Story to Invisible Illness

An FAQ for writers new and old

Meredith Arthur
Dec 13, 2016 · 6 min read
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
  • 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, please use this Google Form to submit your idea, and one of us will get back to you. Notice that this form is only to be added as a writer. You’ll still have to submit your essay once you’re accepted (see how to on the question below).

I wrote an essay I think it would be good for Invisible Illness. I have been accepted as a writer. What should I do?

Answer

If you’ve been accepted as a writer 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 and hit “Add draft”
  • Once you’ve chosen Invisible Illness, one of us will get notified about your submission and we can take a look at it straightaway!

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:

If you liked the post, you can clap it by clicking the left button at the end of the story. Notice that you can clap up to 50 times (hold down the button to clap as many times as you’d like). 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

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 to upload an image from your computer. You can also click on the search icon to find fantastic images from Unsplash. 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.

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

Meredith Arthur

Written by

Author of Get Out of My Head, releasing Spring ’20 from Hachette. Founder of Beautiful Voyager.

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

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