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Stanford's Medicine & the Muse is pleased to solicit unpublished short stories, essays or poems addressing patients and providers facing chronic or life limiting illness. Paul Kalanithi passed too soon, but left a wonderful legacy in his bestselling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air. His creativity and commitment to finding meaning in the experience of illness inspired this award.

Judges: Stanford Faculty including Drs. Lucy Kalanithi, Matthew Stevenson, Steven Asch, Abraham Verghese, and Medicine & the Muse Executive Director Jacqueline Genovese.
Total of 3 Winners: Published in Pegasus Review (subject to editorial review)


Contest rules:

  • Short Stories / Essays: Less than 3000 words
  • Poems: Less than 50 lines

Guidelines: 

Stanford affiliates encouraged, but anybody can submit!


Due Date:
December 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM

If you have any inquiries, please email Christy Hartman at hartman7@stanford.edu with the subject line “Kalanithi Award Inquiry.” To submit, please use an existing Submittable account or create a new one.


Notes before uploading submission document:
- Must be font size 11 or greater
- Provide title page with the title of your submission. Do not include your name anywhere on your submission.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.