Welcome to the submission page for…

KEEPING IT REAL WITH ARTHRITIS STORIES

A photoblog and book

Real Stories. Real People. Real Talk.

People living with any type of arthritis, in all parts of the world are eligible to submit. So are those who support someone with arthritis.

We are no longer accepting story submissions as of Sunday, August 7th. To follow along on the book release and other updates, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter below or check back here as this will be the book website once published. Thank you to all who submitted and those who have supported this project in any way so far.

 

Subscribe to the book newsletter

 

When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.

– Janine Shepherd

Before reading the submission instructions and themes below, I want to personally thank you for your interest in being part of this first-ever photoblog and book created solely for the arthritis community.


For more information, please visit the About the Book and Submission Information/FAQs pages.

Let’s create change together!

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: Choosing a Theme

(See the Submission Information Page for more tips before writing)

First, read the themes. Then please choose only one theme, and in the submission form on this page, select the theme that goes with your short story. Make sure to fill out all the required fields and attach your photo.

Note:

-If your story has more than one theme or topic, that’s ok. Just choose the overarching theme when submitting using the form below.

-Photos need to be of you or if you have permission to include someone else in the photo with you, that’s acceptable.

-If you were diagnosed with another health condition, in addition to arthritis, you can still submit a story. So far people that have submitted, talked about another diagnosis they had before arthritis came into the picture, or even after the fact. Comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two or more disease) can occur with arthritis.

To provide some context, below each theme there are lists of examples that a short story you submit can touch on. Feel free to use these examples as a guide and inspiration when writing your short story. You may choose one of the examples or write about anything not listed below.

THEME #1

Physical:

Stories of how arthritis has affected your physical health.

 

Examples:

Achieving remission
Arthritis flares
Joint damage
Medications- how they have helped you
Medication side effects
Exercising
Comorbidities
Surgery
Fatigue
Sleep
Chronic pain
Disability
Obstacles, setbacks, challenges
Perseverance
Alternative and holistic medicine
Mobility aids and accessibility
Healing
Visible disabilities
Body changes
Sleep

THEME #2

Mental and emotional well-being:

Stories of how arthritis has affected your
mental health.

 

Examples:

Anxiety
Depression
Therapy
Self-care
Self-love
Coping and acceptance
Brain fog
Support
New and renewed hobbies
Something that brings you joy
Staying present
Change in perspective
Stigmas and misrepresentation
Grief
Anger
How humor has helped you cope or a funny moment
Trauma before, during or after a diagnosis
Loss
Medical gaslighting impact

THEME #3

Social life and Relationships:

Stories of how arthritis has affected your
interactions with others.

 

Examples:

Missing out on events
Isolation
Loss of friendships
Community; in-person and online
Advocating for oneself
Funny stories
Being misunderstood
Finding your tribe
Connecting with others
Setting boundaries
Knowing your worth
Dating stories
Marriage
Pregnancy and children
Family
Love
Toxic positivity
Medication shaming
Invisible illness and invisible disability
Comments from people you know or strangers; helpful, uplifting, motivating, annoying,
ignorant ones
Unsolicited medical advice
Weird remedies offered or mentioned by others to you for your arthritis

THEME #4

Work/Career/Finances:

Stories of how arthritis has affected your goals, dreams, work ethic and financial health.

 

Examples:

Medication costs
Step therapy
Prior authorization
Out-of-pocket expenses
Finding new ways to make income
Disability benefits; being denied and accepted
Financial hardship
Worries about future
Finding a solution to an obstacle
Insurance companies denying arthritis medication coverage
Not being able to afford something you need to do or want
Changing career
Achieving your dreams
Having to stop work
Accommodations and support given
Disclosing your diagnosis to a boss or coworkers
Going to school
Navigating the workforce
Needing to put a pause to your goals
Stigmas at work
Speaking up about your needs
Limitations at work
Asking for help
People’s response to your diagnosis

THEME #5

Spirituality and Faith:

Stories of how arthritis has affected your outlook on life.

 

Examples:

Finding strength
Renewed faith and hope
Gratitude
Changing religions
Changing beliefs
Lack of faith
Empowerment
Motivation
Words of advice or wisdom given to you by someone

THEME #6

Arthritis Supporters:

Supporters: Stories of how arthritis has affected those in our lives indirectly. This section is only for anyone that supports someone who lives with arthritis. Arthritis supporters may choose one of the themes above if applicable to the short story you submit, along with a photo. Otherwise, you can write about a specific moment, experience, etcetera or create a reflection piece of what you wish others knew about arthritis– from a supporter’s perspective.

 

Some examples of arthritis supporters include, but are not limited to:

Parents of children with arthritis
Caretakers
Spouses
Family members
Providers
Friends

If you’re an arthritis supporter simply select “Arthritis Supporters” as the theme from the drop-down menu below.

Submit Here

 

We are no longer accepting story submissions as of Sunday, August 7th. To follow along on the book release and other updates, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter below or check back here as this will be the book website once published. Thank you to all who submitted and those who have supported this project in any way so far.

 

Subscribe to the book newsletter

More Information

For more information visit the About the Book, Submission Information, and FAQ sections. Though don’t hesitate to email if you need extra assistance or have any other questions.

Questions, concerns, or problems

uploading your story and photo?

Please don’t hesitate to email me at:

keepingitrealwitharthritisbook@gmail.com

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