Guidelines for Authors

The Polyphony publishes the most exciting work in the medical and health humanities: our aim is to capture, celebrate and extend the diversity of voices which together make up this interdisciplinary field of research, creative and clinical practice. The broader community of practitioners, researchers, and experts by experience who gravitate around the medical humanities are invited to help make this platform a site of discussion and dissent, enquiry and engagement, collaboration and critique. We welcome the political and passionate alongside the scholarly and contemplative; the review alongside the provocation; the podcast, fragment or graphic intervention alongside more traditional essays and posts.

We welcome articles written in clear English which make stimulating and rigorous perspectives available to a wide readership. Please bear in mind that writing for an online audience is very different to writing for print publication: try to keep sentences and paragraphs to a sensible length, and avoid overly-complicated terminology.

The following guidelines are for authors who have agreed their article with an Associate Editor. If you would like to write for The Polyphony please first discuss your idea with an Associate Editor whose interests you think are the best fit with your own, or contact us using our drop-down form.

  • Articles should be between 500 – 1500 words in length, unless agreed in advance with the Associate Editor.
  • Article titles should be roughly 6 or 7 words long.
  • Articles should be accompanied by at least one appropriately sized and accredited image, whether this is creative interpretation of the content or an ‘official’ image (for example, a book cover or exhibition poster) – see below for further advice on images.
  • Hyperlinks should be embedded.
  • Multimedia content should be freely accessible.
  • A 1-2 sentence bio, linking to a professional profile, should be included for each contributing author, as well as the author’s (or authors’) Twitter handle(s), if they have one.
  • Referencing should be done consistently and accurately in Chicago (author-date style).
  • Readers should be referred to further information or resources if appropriate.

We actively encourage alternative blog formats: in addition to single-authored essays and reviews, we also publish interviews and conversations, curated collections of themed-content (in the form of Polyphony‘takeovers’), and audio and multimedia posts. Our editors will be happy to discuss your ideas with you.


Each article should be accompanied by at least one image: this will be used to accompany your article on The Polyphony’s website and to promote your article on Twitter.

  • Please use JPEGs for photographs and PNGs for graphics, screenshots, and anything that needs a transparent background.
  • Images must be free to use (e.g. out of copyright, in the creative commons, own work)
    1. There are several websites where you can find high-quality free images, notably unsplash.comand Wellcome image library is also a good place to look.
    2. If the image isn’t royalty free, then you must gain permission to use it before posting, and you should always check with the creator regarding preferred credit captions.
  • Your Associate Editor will be able to provide further advice about images at the editing stage.