Clubfoot Connections Submission Guidelines

The working title for this anthology is
Clubfoot Connections: Stories, essays, and poetry by members of the clubfoot community

Clubfoot Connections is open to submissions from the clubfoot community. It’s okay if you don’t have much experience writing. We’d love to hear from you! Maureen Hoff and Betsy Miller are the co-editors and both are happy to work with writers who want some extra help in developing their work. Thinking Ink Press is tentatively planning to publish Clubfoot Connections in 2023.

Note: If you want us to include only your first name or a pen name for your work, that’s completely fine.

Submissions are due by September 30, 2022.

What we’re looking for

Your personal experiences or thoughts about clubfoot either as a parent of a child with clubfoot or as a person with clubfoot. Your essay could be based on things you wish you’d known, things you learned along the way, or a lived experience you’d like to share. Keep the reader in mind—we will need relatable pieces that will appeal to others.

It’s okay to write about rough patches. If your piece mentions an individual by name and it’s accepted for publication, we’d revise the work to replace the name with an initial or a first name during the editing process, i.e., Dr. X or Abigail.

If you want to write something but you’re a little nervous, please go ahead and give it a try! We’d like to read your work and we love to encourage new writers!

Length: We expect most pieces will be 1,500 to 5,000 words. If your work is shorter, that’s fine. If you have a longer piece, we might be interested in an excerpt if it can stand alone.

We can’t guarantee that every submission will be accepted in this anthology. We want a variety of topics, so if we were to receive a dozen similar essays, we wouldn’t be able to include all of them.

Topic ideas during serial casting and bracing

We’ve already received several submissions that are focused on the experience of finding out about a clubfoot diagnosis. We’d love to have a mix of topics in this book, so here are some topic ideas. You don’t have to stick to this list. This is just to help you get started if you’re not sure what to write about.

  • The funniest thing that happened
  • We don’t actually NEED sleep, right?
  • My child’s finest moment (when I was so proud)
  • Dad saves the day
  • Mom saves the day
  • You did NOT just say that! (things other people say to you about your child, the brace, etc.)
  • Houdini could learn from my child (kids who remove the brace)
  • Most creative unintended use of the brace
  • Graduation–that amazing moment when the brace comes off for good
  • Relapse

Topic ideas for older kids and adults

If you’re a person with clubfoot and you’d like to write and submit something, we’d love to hear from you! We’re also open to stories from parents about older kids.

  • First memory of clubfoot
  • Handling clubfoot as an adult (practical)
  • Active adult with clubfoot
  • Successful sports in older kids
  • Feelings about clubfoot (emotional)
  • Finding strength in differences
  • How I talk to my child about their clubfoot
  • Building resilience
  • Adult Inspiration

What we don’t want:

We’re not looking for medical advice or clinical instructions for clubfoot treatment. We don’t want pieces that are personal attacks.

How to submit your work

If you want to, you can touch base about an idea before you start writing about it. That’s called a query. It’s also fine to write the whole piece.

If you’re sending us a document as an attachment, please include your name and the title of your work within the document, for example:
Clubfoot Parents Are Awesome
By Betsy Miller

Please spell check your work and proofread it before submitting. Reading your work out loud can be a good way to spot typos or other errors.

Send your submissions to queries-cf@ThinkingInkPress.com and please include the word clubfoot in the subject line.

How does acceptance work?

  1. Thinking Ink will respond to your submission to let you know we’d like to publish your work in the anthology. We might ask for editorial changes if we believe that will make your work stronger.
  2. Thinking Ink will create an author contract for each writer whose work will be included in the anthology. The contract specifies that Thinking Ink can publish the work and the author keeps the copyright. We will pay each author a token amount plus the choice of either: a free copy of the anthology mailed to a US address when the book is published, or an additional payment in lieu of the book.
  3. You (the author) and someone from Thinking Ink Press will sign the contract.
  4. Thinking Ink will keep you posted about the publication process as we go along.

What happens if my work isn’t accepted?

We will try to respond to every submission. If we can’t include your work in this anthology, we hope that you will go ahead and share it with others in the clubfoot community.