The Withdrawal Project - Submissions Guidelines
We want to make our blogs more lively, engaging and helpful for our readers! If you have experience with psychiatric medication withdrawal––whether you have completed it, are still in the process of it, or have experience supporting someone going through it––we’d love to see a personal essay submission from you!
What We're Looking For
TWP is looking for personal essays of 1500 words or fewer focusing on any specific aspect of withdrawal. We are currently interested only in first-person stories with a strong individual point of view––not works of theory or criticism––so whatever topic you choose, please make sure you’re writing about it through the lens of your own journey. Be sure, as well, to focus on one key part or aspect of your journey rather than trying to say everything about your whole journey at once. Here are some more tips on what we’re looking for:
- Personal stories that reflect on a particular topic in our Companion Guide to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. For example, what was your withdrawal beacon (Step 3) and how did you first find it? Do you have a supportive prescriber or supportive family or not (Step 6 and Step 5), and how has that influenced your journey? What was it like to read your drug labels (Step 10) for the first time?
- Personal stories about actively using resources on our website, such as learnings you gathered through working on a particular step in our Companion Guide, or reading a particular essay in our Help Hub section, or meeting someone through TWP Connect.
- Personal experiences during withdrawal using a tool or technique that is listed in our Cope & Heal section – or using something to help manage withdrawal symptoms that we don’t have listed there yet!
- Descriptions of your own experiences, reflections and learnings as a family member or friend of someone in withdrawal. What have you learned about withdrawal? About supporting others? About taking care of yourself? Describe the event that ignited your learning.
- Specific tips for managing better. What’s your best suggestion for others in withdrawal, and how did you learn it?
Our cultural and scientific understanding of psychiatric medication withdrawal is constantly evolving. It is a tremendously exciting time to be working in this space, but one that comes with particular challenges and sensitivities. With that in mind, there are certain key withdrawal-related issues that we're particularly cognizant of in personal stories and that we strongly encourage writers to be mindful about:
- Rapid taper rates
- Use of supplements or psychoactive substances to deal with withdrawal symptoms
- Working with paid practitioners, or paying for withdrawal "treatments" or facilities
- Using methods that are generally considered in the lay withdrawal community to be risky or dangerous
If you're considering discussing any of these topics in your submission to us, we encourage you to do so in ways that reflect a thoughtful understanding of common concerns about these issues. You may find it helpful to read more about these topics on our website.
How to Submit
Please email your submission either with the text in the body of the email or as a Microsoft Word document attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. We urge you to proofread your piece before sending and make sure all grammar, spelling, and formatting is correct. Please also include a word count. If your work is accepted for posting on the website, the editor will work with you to further polish the essay. We greatly encourage accepted pieces to be published with your first and last name.
We will endeavor to respond promptly to all submissions, including those we decline to publish. If you still haven’t heard back from us six weeks after submission, feel free to follow up.