Sneak Peeks

One thing that makes this anthology special is the many voices that contribute to it. Having many perspectives by having multiple authors, each sharing their own personal stories adds richness and variety. So who are these 42 amazing authors who wrote the 50 stories included in the anthology? Check out each author, where they’re from, and their short bio, which will appear in the book with each of their stories. The authors are listed here in alphabetical order by first name and some are linked to their websites and social media profiles.

 

Dylan Gomez

Dylan Gomez

San Jose, California, United States

Dylan Gomez is a chronically ill nineteen year old who wrote this piece while in a hospital bed for many months. In their free time, they enjoy filmmaking; reading comic books; volunteering and fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America; and writing relatable (and sometimes humorous) content on their personal blog to help people who are also suffering from chronic illnesses feel understood and to give them a laugh. Dylan hopes to soon complete a film with Baykids Studios that will talk about what it’s like to live with inflammatory bowel disease.

 

Alix Penn

Alix Penn

London, United Kingdom

Alix is a stereotypical geek focused on history, musical theatre, and disability activism. She’s lived with chronic pain and disability for over twelve years, and resides in London with a dog, six fish, and a walking stick.

Amy Oestreicher

Amy Oestreicher

Westport, Connecticut, United States

Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, writer, and health advocate. She’s contributed to over seventy online and print publications, and her story has appeared on NBC’s TODAY and CBS. She is the creator behind the #LoveMyDetour campaign to help others cope in the face of unexpected events, which is the subject of her upcoming book My Beautiful Detour (2017). Amy is a yogi, foodie, and general lover of life. Learn more: amyoes.com.

Annie Wittenberg

Annie Wittenberg

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

Annie Wittenberg lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she is currently earning her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. As a future counselor, Annie hopes to support and empower people who are battling chronic mental health conditions. Annie finds daily joy in cuddling her sweet puppy, May, connecting with friends and family, and spending time outside.

Atara Schimmel

Atara Schimmel

Newton, Massachusetts, United States

Atara Schimmel can be found painting, singing, and writing poetry. She is a lover of nature, finding solace with the animals and by the ocean. She continues to heal herself through creative expression daily.

Bella

Bella

Youngstown, New York, United States

Bella is a graduate student studying social work, who is living with glycogen storage disease type XI, autonomic neuropathy, dysautonomia (POTS and vasovagal syncope), Raynaud’s, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. She has a blog where she writes about living with these conditions, and she also contributes to The Mighty. Her ultimate goal is to work as a social worker in a hospital setting. She would like to use her experience in dealing with chronic illness to help and support others suffering from acute and chronic disease.

Bret Stephenson

Bret Stephenson

Reno, Nevada, United States

Before back and neck problems forced Bret onto disability benefits, he specialized in high-risk teenagers for almost thirty years, particularly gang youth. Three back and neck fusions unfortunately pulled him out of that work, but he keeps a few projects going through the pain. Bret is the author of From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age and The Undercurrents of Adolescence: Tracking the Evolution of Modern Adolescence and Delinquency Through Classic Cinema. After twenty-six years in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Bret is back in his hometown of Reno, Nevada, to get out of the snow!

Charity Cole

Charity Cole

Royal Oak, Michigan, United States

Charity Cole is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom that shares her story of living with chronic illness in hopes of encouraging other parents that you can live and parent well while facing ongoing health challenges. She blogs about faith, family, homeschooling, and chronic illness at gigglesandgrimaces.com.

chaya hazel caninsky

chaya hazel caninsky

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

chaya hazel caninsky lives in Boston, MA. She works as a disability justice community organizer and hopes to get a herding dog soon. If this piece resonated or you have had similar experiences, feel free to share them with Chaya at chayacaninsky@gmail.com. She likes reading reflections even though she often can’t respond.

Danielle Lorenz

Danielle Lorenz

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Danielle Lorenz is a PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her academic work focuses primarily on how indigenous and settler relationships manifest within Alberta’s K-12 education system. Born with a congenital condition and developing others shortly after the onset of adulthood, Danielle’s experiences as a chronically ill cis woman have affected how she sees herself within her scholarship as a settler on indigenous lands.

Deepti Dilip Kumar

Deepti Dilip Kumar

IAS Colony, Bangalore, India

Deepti Dilip Kumar is a school teacher by day and writer, reader, and dreamer by night. While teaching children is her passion, she loves to study more about history, sociology, and the intersections between psychology and teaching. She enjoys fiction that deals with the new generation and their voice, and is particularly interested in journeys, both inward and personal, as well as outward and exploratory in nature.

Dess

Dess

Savannah, Georgia, United States

Dess lives in Savannah, Georgia. She loves to read, try new recipes, and watch Netflix.

Devin Reynolds

Devin Reynolds

Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States

Devin Reynolds lives in northeast Iowa with two roommates and three ornery cats. He dabbles in video game design and is working on a full-length fantasy novel.

Elin Walther

Elin Walther

Skåne, Sweden

Elin Walther is a twenty year old living with fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s syndrome and joint hypermobility syndrome. She loves video games, her two dogs, and updating her friends with spontaneous observations about odd things that happen in her day. She chooses to believe they love it much more than they actually do. She is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in development studies at Lund University.

Glynis Scrivens

Glynis Scrivens

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Glynis Scrivens is an Australian writer of short stories and magazine articles. Her book Edit is a Four-Letter Word includes what she has learned about the writing process. Glynis lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, with her family, two dogs, a Himalayan Persian called Mr. Floof, nine chickens, three ducks, and goldfish. She can be found at glynisscrivens.com.

Hannah Rembrandt

Hannah Rembrandt

Uniondale, New York, United States

Hannah is a graduate student studying speech-language pathology. She has fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, and feels that these are an integral part of who she is and who she will become. Hannah looks forward to her future and is excited to be on the path she is currently on. Hannah is a generally happy person both because and in spite of her illnesses.

Heron Greenesmith

Heron Greenesmith

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

By day, Heron Greenesmith is a policy attorney for LGBTQ+ people. By night she writes fairy tales and does crosswords in between episodes of murder mysteries. She lives with her little family in Boston, Massachusetts.

Jamie Jasinski

Jamie Jasinski

Westville, New Jersey, United States

Jamie Jasinski is from New Jersey and loves every minute of being a dog mom to her rescue pup that supports her emotionally. She has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and fibromyalgia. She writes about her experiences with these autoimmune diseases and advocates for those living with chronic illness. You can follow her on her personal journey by visiting her blog at theautoimmuneblues.wordpress.com.

Jane Lesley

Jane Lesley

Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Jane Lesley is a retired social worker living in Newcastle, United Kingdom. She has been living with Crohn’s disease for over forty years but has moved her home between three continents nonetheless.

Jessica Ward

Jessica Ward

Newark, New York, United States

Jessica Ward is a twenty-something lover of coffee, art, and history. She is learning how to thrive while living with chronic illness.

Julie Morgenlender (editor)

Julie Morgenlender (editor)

Concord, Massachusetts, United States

Julie Morgenlender is a friend, daughter, aunt, crocheter, reader, creator of this anthology, and so much more, despite being unable to work full time. She enjoys walking in the sunshine, petting dogs, and spending time with awesome people. She volunteers for her chronic pain support group and is on the board of directors of the Bisexual Resource Center.

Kaitlyn M. Smith

Kaitlyn M. Smith

Gray, Tennessee, United States

Kaitlyn M. Smith is a recent psychology graduate currently working in mental health case management. She lives with two cats, a husband, and way too many plants. In her free time, she enjoys writing a little bit of everything—including fantasy, poetry, and narratives about life with chronic illness.

Katherine Ernst

Katherine Ernst

Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, United States

Katie Ernst is a writer and attorney who is passionate about the intersection of feminism and health care. Her website, Miss Treated, collects stories of women who have been dismissed or demeaned by doctors. Follow her on twitter @MissKatieErnst

Katie Hiener

Katie Hiener

New Milford, Connecticut, United States

Katie Hiener loves playing with written words. Penning for online sites and magazines, Katie is also a storyteller, an animal welfare proponent, a psychology buff, and a connoisseur of fine pizza.

Keidra Chaney

Keidra Chaney

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Keidra Chaney is a writer and musician based in Chicago.

Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States

Kit Stubbs, PhD, is a non-binary/queer/femme roboticist, maker, and entrepreneur who is more interested in people than in technology. Kit earned their PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and later founded the Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity (effing.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to reduce sexual shame by fostering sex-positive art and education. They blog about technological empowerment for sexuality and pleasure, including their experiences and creations, at toymakerproject.com. Kit also co-organizes teasecraft-boston, a meetup group for sex/kink-positive crafters (teasecraft.com)

Lindsey M. Clouser

Lindsey M. Clouser

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Lindsey M. Clouser lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her border collie Davie. She works in finance and in her spare time likes to draw and paint.

Litsa Dremousis

Litsa Dremousis

Seattle area, Washington, United States

Litsa Dremousis is the author of Altitude Sickness (Future Tense Books), which Seattle Metropolitan Magazine named one of the all-time “20 Books Every Seattleite Must Read.” Her essay After the Fire was selected as one of the “Most Notable Essays 2011” by Best American Essays, she’s a contributing editor at The Weeklings, and The Seattle Weekly named her one of “50 Women Who Rock Seattle.” She’s an essayist with The Washington Post and her work appears in a myriad of publications.

Marcia Allar

Marcia Allar

Newton, Massachusetts, United States

Marcia Allar lives with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, chemical sensitivities, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and osteoporosis. She was an oncology head nurse and then a trial attorney for severely injured people in Boston, Massachusetts. She now provides environmental counseling regarding healthy homes, nontoxic products, clean water, and safe foods. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her beloved dog, Sophie, and is the mother of two adult children, Sarah and Ben.

Mark Ludas

Mark Ludas

West Orange, New Jersey, United States

Mark Ludas is a published author, accomplished actor and musician, and a blogger on a wide range of subject matter. He is also a private personal trainer in northern New Jersey and a lifelong copy editor, currently working in that capacity for Jerrick Media Holdings, Inc., in Englewood, New Jersey.

Mary Lee Evelyn Keeney

Mary Lee Evelyn Keeney

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Mary Lee is a twenty-something Baltimore native and a passionate patient advocate. A chronic pain patient with a degree in fine arts, she uses her experiences to create. Her hobbies include anything from photography and design to spending time with her dogs.

Michaela Shelley

Michaela Shelley

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Michaela Shelley is a college student living with mitochondrial disease. She writes about her and her brother’s experiences with the disease on her blog: ChronicallyAwesome23.blogspot.com.

Nikki Albert

Nikki Albert

Leduc, Alberta, Canada

Nikki Albert is forty years old, living in Alberta, Canada, and lives with a few invisible illnesses. She attained her master of arts in philosophy from the University of Alberta. She enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction as well as blogging. She runs her own blog, the Brainless Blogger, and Facebook page, Making Invisible Disabilities Visible.

R.S. Nash

R.S. Nash

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R.S. Nash is a twenty year old from Australia living with multiple chronic conditions. She likes to advocate and raise awareness through art and writing, and is passionate about helping reduce stigmas surrounding chronic illnesses.

Raven Kaldera

Raven Kaldera

Hubbardston, Massachusetts, United States

Raven Kaldera is a Superior Mutant living on a little homestead farm in Massachusetts with his polyamorous family, most of whom are also Superior Mutants in various ways. He is a shaman, a spiritual teacher, the author of thirty-nine books, and struggles every day to be a better person.

Rebecca Bartlett

Rebecca Bartlett

Crete, Nebraska, United States

Rebecca Bartlett has a degree in English and has worked in journalism and freelance writing. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys writing poetry, playing video games, and volunteering. She lives in Nebraska with her fiancé and husky mix.

Sarah Myers

Sarah Myers

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Sarah Myers is a graduate student studying thanatology. They hope to work with the LGBTQIA+ community as a grief counselor. In their spare time, they write, read, and watch more horror movies than strictly necessary.

Shelia Bolt Rudesill

Shelia Bolt Rudesill

Pittsboro, North Carolina, United States

Shelia Bolt Rudesill is an accidental writer. For forty-five years of pediatric nursing, she dedicated her personal life to the well-being of children. Her writing began at age fifty when she was encouraged to write about her experiences and about those burdened with unreasonable hardships. Since then she has authored five novels and several short stories.

Sónia Lopes

Sónia Lopes

Lisbon, Portugal

Sónia Lopes lives in Lisbon, Portugal, and has been working in publishing for over a decade. Among some of her passions are contemporary dance, writing, and traveling, but mostly she’s just happy to spend time with close friends and family and enjoy a glass of red wine.

Tara A.

Tara A.

Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Tara A. is navigating life with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and lives in Virginia with her husband and dog, Ellie. She loves to spend time with her friends and family, relax with Ellie, make jewelry, and enjoy as much time at the beach as possible.

Wendy Kennar

Wendy Kennar

Los Angeles, California, United States

Wendy Kennar is a mother, freelance writer, and former teacher. Her writing is largely inspired by her nine-year-old son and from the experiences of her twelve-year teaching career. Wendy’s personal essays have appeared in a number of publications, both in print and online. You can read more from Wendy at www.wendykennar.com.

Zoe A. Bateman

Zoe A. Bateman

Emmer Green, Reading, United Kingdom

Zoe A. Bateman is a British author. She is usually found trying to hug her cats or finding creative ways to do physio exercises.