Healing is not an endpoint; healing is a way of life. It requires one to embrace the constant cycles of growth and contraction.
ENDPAIN features true personal narratives of pain and healing, stories that dismantle the shame of living with mental, physical, or emotional trauma, and stories of individuals and organizations healing their communities through grassroots efforts. We share the grit, sweat, rage, or quiet surrender of mental, physical, or emotional pain as well as its aftermath—be that joy in accepting, fortitude in healing, or the gratitude in pain and trauma of every form. Ultimately, we want to know who you are and why you’re telling your story.
We want to clarify that to us “healing” is not a definitive result nor a conclusive state of being. It is an ongoing process that is taken on step-by-step and is never complete. We never suppose one individual’s pain to be greater than another’s, and we value, utmost, the process by which you interact with your pain experience. All this to say: there is no pain too trivial to explore, and you do not need to feel that you have healed or cured your pain in order to share your story.
We accept and encourage submissions in any and all mediums: writing, visual (photo essays, short films, video art), audio. Regardless of the medium, the stories we publish are too short to encapsulate a lifetime, but long enough to get to the heart of a single experience, so please be specific.
We also produce audio diaries, which document someone’s day-to-day experience navigating something challenging or painful through the medium of audio. If you believe your experience or story would be best suited by this format, you can pitch it in the synopsis text field. You can find examples of past audio diaries on our ‘Listen’ page.
If you need a little inspiration…each month we center our content around one theme, allowing space and time to address it from many perspectives. Below are some of our upcoming themes for 2018—if you feel your story is specifically connected to any of them, you can mention that in the ‘brief synopsis’ text field. These themes are meant to be interpreted as literally or metaphorically as you wish.
Forgiveness; Addiction; Aging; Vanity; Loss; Gut; Home; Isolation.
Lastly, don’t fret over whether or not you’ll be published. Write, first and foremost, for yourself. Shoot photo essays for yourself, explore your narrative for yourself. Our small team pours over every submission we receive, and while we believe the existence of each story is important, we can’t publish everything. We hope you will submit anyway.
Thank you for contributing to ENDPAIN. Understanding our personal narratives can be a critical step towards objectifying what happens to us and allowing self-observation without judgment to begin, alchemizing pain into meaningful growth.