The University of Iowa

Call for Submissions: Anthology on Professional Grief

November 22, 2019



The Writing and Humanities Program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is looking for contributors to their anthology of poems, essays, and creative nonfiction that reflect the experience of professional grief—the hidden grief of healthcare providers, first responders, and those who work in high-loss environments. (For more information about professional grief, see this link:

Submissions must be true, and works must not violate patient privacy. They are especially interested in work that reflects moments of vulnerability as well as personal and professional challenge. They will not be able to accept pieces offering advice or platitudes, no matter how well-meaning these may be. They are looking for writers who are as interested in the questions as in the answers, and who speak with the “I” of vulnerability rather than the “you” of assumed wisdom.

For length, use as a rough guide the adjective “short” — no more than a few thousand words — keeping in mind that this is a collection in which no single voice may dominate. For poetry, please submit up to three poems for consideration.

The publication process for this book will proceed much the same as with a literary journal. That is, contributors will grant the publisher right of publication, but writers will retain all copyrights to their work.

How to Submit

Email your work to with the subject line “Submission” by January 31, 2020.


Melissa Fournier, LMSW, works as the Program Director for Michael’s Place, a non-profit bereavement support center in Traverse City, MI, where she designs and facilitates grief support programs including Writing Through Loss, an ongoing writing workshop that helps individuals shape their grief narrative. Melissa has worked in adult, pediatric, and perinatal hospice, and has been a featured speaker on end-of-life, perinatal loss, and loss by suicide. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wayne State University. She is currently a student of Narrative Medicine with Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. Her writing has appeared in Dunes Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, and Medical Literary Messenger. She is co-editor of AFTER: Stories about Loss and What Comes Next (Barnwood Books, 2019) and author of Abruptio (The Poetry Box, 2019).

Gina Pribaz Vozenilek, MFA, MA, is a writer who facilitates creative writing workshops for medical students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and is developing health humanities, arts, and ethics programming at OSF HealthCare in Peoria, IL, where she works as a grant writer. She has a masters in medieval literature from Iowa and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Northwestern University. Her essays have appeared in Ars Medica, Tampa Review, Brain,Child Magazine, and elsewhere.


Barnwood Books
Daniel Stewart, PhD, is a writer, historian, writing coach, book designer and storyteller through his practice History By Design. His articles, personal essays and short fiction have appeared in various literary and historical publications and he has edited Peaceable Kingdom: Michigan Writers Reply to Edward Hicks (Margin Release Books, 2018) and co-edited AFTER: Stories about Loss and What Comes Next (Barnwood Books, 2019). He holds interdisciplinary, documentary and history degrees and certificates, and is a past president of Michigan Writers, Inc. He is currently finishing both a memoir and a novel on an old farmstead in Leelanau County he shares with his wife and a number of animals, some of them invited.