Creative works by author Dan Foley.

The Disability Literature Consortium – Promoting the writing of people with disabilities.


Last summer several literary journals with a focus on disability came together to form the Disability Literature Consortium, or DLC. Their common goal is to promote the writing of people with disabilities, and right now they are hard at work at this year’s AWP conference working to get the word out.

Toward this end, below is a brief description of the primary journals involved with the DLC—although there are other journals where you can read and submit work that sheds light, and shadows, on life as we know it. Enjoy.


Now an online journal, Kaleidoscope was the first magazine to creatively explore the experience of disability through the lens of literature and fine arts. When Kaleidoscope began publishing in 1979,
disability was generally viewed and written about from a clinical, rehabilitative, or sociological perspective. Kaleidoscope publishes personal essays, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and book reviews written by people who live with the experience of disability and chronic illness as well as those who are closely involved with and affected by these particular kinds of journeys ( i.e. parents, siblings, spouses, friends, educators, healthcare professionals). We accept work from writers with and without disabilities, but writers
without disabilities must focus on some aspect of disability experience. Our visual artists are all  ndividuals with disabilities. The aims of Kaleidoscope include presenting effective, powerful
writing and art to our readers that challenges and overcomes stereotypical, patronizing, and sentimental attitudes while educating and increasing awareness and demonstrating that any disability or
chronic illness is just one part of a person’s identity. Kaleidoscope publishes twice a year, in January and July at

Breath and Shadow
In 2003, Sharon Wachsler was writing for abilitymaine, a socially progressive activist organization in Maine. Each time she wrote about various aspects of her/others disability, readers asked for more. So
in 2004, Breath and Shadow was born. The idea was to start a journal of literature and culture written and edited exclusively by people with disabilities. And not just physical disabilities, but to feature
writing by children and adults; people with physical, mental, emotional, and sensory disabilities; and new/emergent and established writers. We publish work by people without extensive formal education
and those whose cognitive or emotional disabilities might spark nontraditional forms of expression. In short, we embrace a “disability aesthetic” — work that may or may not be about disability, but that is
informed by the author’s experience of disability. Breath and Shadow is a quarterly publication, with issues coming out on Jan 15, April 15, July 15 and Oct 15. The website,
and the email is


Through art, photography, essays, stories, and poetry, Pentimento asks its readers to see beyond disabilities and physical challenges. To see the ways in which we are all connected, and find in our pages a sense of the what the poet Emily Dickinson wrote: “I felt it shelter to speak to you.” The magazine cover features artwork by a child or young adult with a disability. Each issue includes a section devoted
to writing by readers on a particular topic, fiction, nonfiction, photography, poetry, and art. Submissions may be by a individual with a disability or an individual who is part of the community such as a family member, therapist, educator, etc. For more information, visit


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 core 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. It avoids “inspirational” work, tales of overcoming and work that evokes pity or perpetuates stereotypes. Wordgathering also reviews new books by writers with disabilities and offers interviews with those working in the field of disability literature and art. The journal began in 2007 as an outgrowth of the work of the Inglis House Poetry Workshop for writers with disabilities. Wordgathering can be found  at Email submissions to

Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine is a literary journal dedicated to promoting the theory and practice of Narrative Medicine, an interdisciplinary field that enhances healthcare through the effective communication and understanding between caregivers and patients. The word intima itself has an anatomical reality: It is the infinitesimally thin layer lining a blood vessel, where the vehicle and its cargo meet, speeding blood to the heart and brain, an apt analogy for narrative as we define it. The name Intima has a specific resonance in the field: Narrative Medicine defines itself as the intimate interface between two people, one as healer, one as being healed, who both yield and gain from the experience of the clinical encounter. Intima was created in 2010 by a group of graduate students in the Master of Science program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University; currently, the editorial board is made up of doctors, nurses, writers, editors and philosophers, half of them affiliated with the Columbia program. The first issue of Intima was Fall 2011; two issues a year are produced, along with a weekly blog, called Crossroads, essay contests, book reviews and events with Bowery Poetry Center in New York City. See Intima at

All of the above journals participate in the Disabilities Literature
Consortium whose website is and email