Wraith Infirmity Muses is a new online literary magazine that focuses on “the work of writers with invisible illness and the work of those that live with and love them.”
I wondered how and why this literary magazine came to be, so I asked Wraith Infirmity Muses founder and editor Pat Berryhill a few questions to find out. See my interview with Berryhill and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Wraith Infirmity Muses.
BERRYHILL: Wraith Infirmity Muses was an idea that came to me while enrolled in the creative writing program at Salem college. I was on the staff of the literary magazine at Salem, Incunabula, my junior year. I interned with PANK and John Gosslee now is a mentor. My professor at Salem, Metta Sáma, a talented and established poet herself, as well as John and other writers in the community, encouraged me to follow my passions in the literary world in addition to writing.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Wraith Infirmity Muses originally started?
BERRYHILL: I have Fibromyalgia and Type II Bipolar Disorder, Rapid Cycling, along with all the fun comorbidities that ensue on that journey of finding the right treatments, therapies, and medications. Day to day living with what is considered an “invisible illness” was also a thread that often found its way into my work. I would submit and it would be rejected again and again with comments that were along the lines of “this topic isn’t a fit for our magazine, but please submit again” or “this piece doesn’t work with our theme, but we would like to see some of your other work” and so on. Some even detailed criticisms of my work.
These were only on the pieces that dealt with invisible illness. My other submitted work got the generic rejection or was accepted. It seemed that people weren’t comfortable with the topic, that was the crux. Even if they felt the work wasn’t a good fit, why not just send the format rejection? There was more going on than what was written. Therefore, I decided if I couldn’t find a place for my work, somewhere that was comfortable with a platform for these types of writings, I would create one. Wraith Infirmity Muses was born.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BERRYHILL: Obviously, I am openly setting a stage to submit work about their lives with invisible illness and to strip away the stigmas. However, I think if I restrict the submissions to that subject matter, it doesn’t depict us as a whole person. So, work can be on any topic of your choosing. I am going to accept poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art to begin. Later, I will expand into columns and reviews, etc.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
BERRYHILL: Oh wow. I read a lot. I enjoy PANK, of course. I read The Greensboro Review from UNCG, PMS from UAB, Prime Number Magazine by Press 53, One by Jacar Press, Rattle, Cease Cows, The Rumpus, Cultural Weekly out of LA, Fjord Review, Creative Non-Fiction magazine, 32 Poems, Wicked Banshee Press, and Rat’s Ass Review.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
BERRYHILL: At this time, I take submissions via email at
DEADLINE: January 20, 2016
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art
Categories: Call for Submissions