Barefoot Review


The Barefoot Review's purpose is to help people who have faced serious health issues. It is published twice a year, on the winter solstice and summer solstice. I look forward to reading all submissions.

I am looking for submissions from two categories of people: 1) those who currently have or have survived a serious health issue and 2) those in their lives—caregivers, families, significant others, friends, doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, anyone who has experiences to share. The topic of the submission should relate to or concern aspects of dealing with illness: living, surviving or loss.

Please read and follow these guidelines closely.

  1. A biography must be included. It should be about yourself (and the person with the illness if that is not you) written in the third-person. Limit the biography to 4-5 sentences. The emphasis should be on the health issue, or your relationship to the person with the issue. You can include a link to your website. Please do not list accolades or previous publications in your bio. You can list publications, awards and such in the body of the email (not in the bio).
  2. Poetry is limited to no more than 5 poems, free-verse to rhyming, 150 lines per poem. Prose is limited to 1000 words. Any style is acceptable, from personal tragedy to humorous reflection.
  3. Please include the following in the e-mail submission: "I certify this work is my own. I have the right to publish it at this time. No version of this work has been published previously, The Barefoot Review has first-time electronic rights to my work. If the work is published later, appropriate acknowledgment to The Barefoot Review will be made."
  4. Email all submissions and biography in one attached document. The filename of the document should be your name, e.g. John_Smith.doc.
  5. Email with your submission to submissions&
  6. The subject line of the email should contain the word "submission," your name, the type of submission (and if poetry the number of poems). For example: "submission John Smith poetry 4" and the attached document "John Smith.doc".
  7. I also ask, though it is not required, that you include in the body of your email where you heard about The Barefoot Review. This will help me increase exposure of the review.

Send email with your submission to

The review accepts submissions year-round of previously unpublished work. Issues are published on summer and winter solstices.

Upon accepting a submission The Barefoot Review acquires the right publish it on its web site. Sixty days after the piece appears on the site the author may publish the work elsewhere. I ask that The Barefoot Review be credited as first publisher. The review retain archival rights after publication.

I cannot provide feedback or editorial suggestions on work I do not accept. There are many sites that give advice and suggestions about writing, some are listed on the Resources page.

What's in a biography?

Some examples...

Ariel Bugosh Boswell is a 2007 graduate of Davidson College and 2012 graduate of a nursing program. Her husband, a medical student, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011 and has undergone 4 rounds of chemotherapy. His cancer is currently in remission. Ariel regularly participates in narrative medicine workshops held through the humanities department at the Mayo Clinic. She draws on her personal and professional experiences in home healthcare, low-cost immigrant clinics, and long-term care in her writing.

Christopher Farrell is a twenty-seven-year-old poet from Connecticut. He was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare heart defect for which he has undergone two open-heart surgeries, one as an infant and one when he was twenty-five. He recently earned his M.F.A. degree from Western Connecticut State University and works as an English professor in Westchester, NY.

Catherine Harnett is a poet and short story writer from Fairfax, Virginia. She was diagnosed with MS in 2006. Catherine retired from the Federal Government, having worked for 31 years in a variety of positions. In hindsight, there were symptoms for years—tripping over rugs, no tolerance for heat, a dislike of the summer sun, vague aches, vertigo—which never were recognized as aspects of the disease. She is doing fine, disliking the daily shots she must take, but grateful for the way they halt the progress of MS.

Aaron Poller is a nurse psychotherapist and poet who lives in Winston-Salem, N.C. Last year diagnosed with prostate cancer, he had surgery in May and is now doing well. He is continuing to work and write and both he and his wife are currently looking forward to the birth of their first grandchild.

Colleen Wells writes from Bloomington, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, three children, and numerous pets. When asked whether or not she would rather have bipolar disorder she would say she's had it so long she doesn't know any other way. She writes about her disease to raise awareness and inspire. You can read more about her at


The Barefoot Review does not charge a reading fee nor pay for pieces published. I volunteer my time and energy. My payment is the satisfaction of helping people, your payment is acknowledgement of your writing.

The moment of change is the only poem.
                                – Adrienne Rich
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