Wednesday, July 5, 2017

18 Literary Markets for Disabled Writers

Helen Keller
Updated 10/9/23

Though most literary journals are more than happy to accept submissions from disabled writers, there are only a few that specifically focus on disability.

The experience of disability, especially when it comes later in life, can be profoundly unsettling. It launches a person into a new world, a new reality, one that seeks expression. (I speak from experience, having written all of my books after I became disabled.)

If you are a writer with a disability of any kind, whether congenital or acquired, here are seventeen magazines that would love to publish your writing - whether it focuses on your own experience, or is simply something you would like to say.

These magazines accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, essays, novel and memoir excerpts, reviews, drama, and, in some cases, artwork.  Nine of these magazines are paying markets. I have included non-paying markets as well, as this is such a small niche. There are no submission fees.


Breath and Shadow

Breath and Shadow accepts writing on any topic for poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama; these pieces do not have to be "about" disability. However nonfiction, academic, and similar articles (profiles, interviews, opinion pieces) do have to relate to disability in some way.

Payment is upon publication. The pay scale is $20 for poetry, $30 for fiction, and $30 for nonfiction. In addition to publication and payment, Breath & Shadow will post links to contributors' work on other sites and to their Web site or e-mail address.


Kaleidoscope magazine creatively focuses on the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts. This publication expresses the experience of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, healthcare professionals, educators and others.

"The material chosen for Kaleidoscope challenges and overcomes stereotypical, patronizing, and sentimental attitudes about disability. We accept the work of writers with and without disabilities; however the work of a writer without a disability must focus on some aspect of disability. The criteria for good writing apply: effective technique, thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling. Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability."

Kaleidoscope accepts electronic (website and email) submissions. Electronic submissions should be sent as an attachment when submitted both on the website and within an email. Please include complete information-full name, postal and email address and telephone number(s)

Payment is made upon publication, and varies from $10 to $100.

Submission guidelines are HERE.


Wordgathering is an online quarterly journal of disability poetry, literature and art dedicated to providing a venue where the new work of writers with disabilities can be found and to building up a corpus of work for those interested in disability literature. While it gives preference to the work of writers with disability, it seeks the well-crafted work of any writer that makes a contribution to the field.

Though Wordgathering focuses primarily on poetry, they also accept literary essays, short fiction, drama, art and books for review. Their aim is to give voice to the emerging genre of disability literature. They seek work related to disability or by writers with disabilities. Wordgathering is also very interested in reviewing books of poetry, fiction, memoir and drama by writers with disabilities, as well as books in disability studies related to literature.

Accepts reprints


New Mobility

New Mobility covers active wheelchair lifestyle with articles on recreation, travel, people, health, relationships, media, culture, civil rights and resources. Eighty-five percent of our readers have disabilities, most caused by spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

"We tell stories directly and honestly, without sentimentality. We aren’t interested in “courageous” or “inspiring” tales of  “overcoming disability.”

We like the unusual, the quirky, the humorous angle, but we also need well-reported service articles (practical information). These include pieces on health (innovations in bladder or bowel management, pain or fatigue prevention, stem cell news); technology (new products for work or play) and travel."

Payment: 15 cents per word for new writers. Payment is based on the number of words published, not the number submitted, and is made within 60 days of publication.


Deaf Poets Society

The Deaf Poets Society is an online literary journal that publishes poetry, prose, cross-genre work, reviews of deaf or disability-focused books, interviews/miscellany, and art by deaf and/or disabled writers and artists. Their mission is to provide a venue for deaf and disability literature and art, as well as to connect readers with established and emerging talent in the field.

"We're looking for narratives about the D/deaf and/or disabled experience that complicate or altogether undo the dominant and typically marginalizing rhetoric about deafness or disability. We especially want to highlight work that investigates the complexity of the experience across identities. Whether you're drawing from experiences related to gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, or any other marginalized identity, we want your voice in our journal."

Payment: $15

Disabled Writers

"Disabled Writers is a resource to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists, and journalists connect with disabled sources. Our goal is specifically to promote paid opportunities for multiply marginalized members of the disability community, and to encourage editors and journalists to think of disabled people for stories that stretch beyond disability issues.

This resource is specifically designed to help editors connect with disabled people working in journalism, or trying to break into the field. It also includes disabled experts who are available to serve as sources, such as attorneys, physicians, social workers, artists, and others with professional experience or education that makes them expert sources in their fields."

The Healing Muse

The Healing Muse, the annual journal of literary and visual art published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, is looking for artists and writers. "We welcome fiction, poetry, narratives, essays, memoirs, drawings, photography, and graphic art, particularly but not exclusively focusing on themes of medicine and healing."


Rogue Agent Journal

"We want your skin, your liver, your islets of Langerhans. We want your joy and your frustration. We want to be surprised by your elegance and stunned by your forthrightness. We want to be impressed with your craft and your commitment. We are much less impressed with grand proclamations than we are by specific vulnerability." Publishes poetry. No payment.

Blanket Sea

"This publication is focused on work by writers and artists who live with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability. The work doesn’t necessarily need to be about those experiences, but submissions along those lines are welcomed and encouraged."

Has reading periods.


"We seek previously unpublished, creative, and high-quality work in the form of poetry, creative nonfiction/essays, fiction/short stories/flash fiction, scripts and digital media (photography, drawings, podcasts, and short films). Patients, students, family members, caregivers, nurses, physicians, healthcare consumers, artists, mental health providers, physical therapists, writers, clergy—all of us will be patients one day and all are welcome to submit work. We are especially looking for content from vulnerable populations and those who care for them; content that connects us with every community, makes us feel something, helps us see illness, wellness, health, or the healthcare environment differently, and inspires equality in healthcare and the world." See reading periods.


The Rooted in Rights Blog is a platform dedicated to amplifying the authentic perspectives of disabled writers. "We’re seeking reported and investigative articles, op-eds, creative nonfiction, personal essays, interviews, and short fiction on disability, with an emphasis on disability rights and justice, written by people who identify as disabled."

Payment: Sliding scale, with minimum payment being $150. See reading periods.


The Bellevue Literary Review accepts work related to their themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. "We welcome submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We are looking for essays that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate anecdotes that feel alive, and dazzle us with thoughtful and creative analysis that allows these anecdotes to serve a larger purpose." Length: Maximum 5,000 words. Payment: Honorarium.


"In an effort to remove barriers for BIPOC, Deaf, and Disabled authors, Palimpsest Press is officially opening submissions year-round for authors who identify as BIPOC, Deaf, or Disabled. These guidelines take effect immediately. Please include “Year-round Submission” in the email subject line. Poetry collections should be between 70 and 100 pages. Nonfiction and fiction have no page requirement. Although you do not need to be published in book form, you must have been published substantially in literary journals. If you are sending poetry or non-fiction, please query jim(at) with a sample first. If you are sending fiction, please query aimee(at) with a brief description of the work and short sample (No more than 4 pages). Include a cover letter and a list of publications for all genres." Payment: Royalties.


National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities 

In addition to literary magazines, which are usually geared to fiction, the  National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities is seeking personal essays from parents with disabilities. "We believe in placing parents with disabilities at the forefront, and one way to do that is invite them to share their own experiences. We are interested in bringing together a racially, culturally, and experientially diverse group of people to contribute." Payment: $100.


General editorial subjects included in ABILITY Magazine are Humor Therapy, Headlines, Legislation, Health/ Medical Updates and Advancements, Sports, Assistive Technology, Human Interest, Diversity Employment, Housing/Universal Design for People with Disabilities, International Issues, Travel and Book Excerpts. Cartoons are also accepted. Queries/ articles not falling into one of the above categories are still accepted. Word count may range from 500 to 4,000 words. No payment.


Writers with disabilities may submit up to three selections per issue. Deadlines are February 15 for the Spring/Summer issue, and August 15 for the Fall/winter issue. Writers must disclose their disability in their biography or in their work. Biographies may be up to 100 words in length, and should be written in third-person. Poetry maximum length is 50 lines. Memoir, fiction, and nonfiction maximum length is 2500 words. 


"We publish, exclusively, stories on disability and illness. We take all kinds of offbeat pitches from musicals and songs to visi poems and museum pieces. We believed in the power of narrative to create empathy, awareness, insight, and understanding." See submission guidelines here.


SICK publishes work from folks who are sick/chronically ill/mentally ill/disabled. They are looking for writing & artwork that thinks through the experience of illness and disability in new ways, or explores a topic that is framed by this experience. We do not have themes for our issues. 

  • Personal essays, creative and experimental nonfiction, lyric essays (800 - 2,300 words)
  • Poetry (submit a minimum of two and a maximum of five poems)
  • Reported features (1,500 - 2,000 words)
  • Op-eds (900 - 1,500 words)
  • Book & film reviews (800 - 1,300 words)
  • Interviews with writers, artists, creatives, activists (we can help you contact the interviewee if needed)
  • Visual art (submit a minimum of three and a maximum of eight images. We publish three - seven images per artist, please do not submit single images)
  • 800 - 1,000 words: $150 / £115
  • 1,100 - 1,500 words: $225 / £175
  • 1,600 - 2,000 words: $300 / £235
  • 2,100 - 2,500 words: $345 / £270
  • Flat rate of $100 / £80 for poetry & artwork

Additional resources

The Handy, Uncapped Pen has a list of magazines specifically geared to disabled writers. 


  1. There are a couple on here I've never heard of. Thank you!

    If you count neurodivergence in the disability category, there are more markets. I can give you some that cover, say, mental health/illness.

    Also, two more just for the disability side:

    Monstering Magazine (for women, nonbinary disabled folks)
     Tiny Tim Literary Review 

    1. Thank you! I completely forgot about Tiny Tim and Monstering!

  2. Nice! Excellent helpful post. Thank you!


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