shc VITAMIN ZZZ logoWhat is Vitamin ZZZ?

Vitamin ZZZ is SleepyHeadCENTRAL’s (SHC’s) literary effort to spread awareness about All Things Sleep: sleep health, sleep disorders, sleep medicine, sleep hygiene, and much more.


Summer 2019 edition, DREAM TICKET, is now live

You can also find the Spring 2019 edition, FAMILY BED, here; the Winter 2019 edition, 40 WINKS, here; the Autumn 2018 edition, NESTING, here; the Summer 2018 edition, MIDSUMMER NIGHTS, here; the Spring 2018 edition, RESET BUTTON here; and the Winter 2018 edition, CLINICAL, here.

Jump to the entire stack here!

sleepover sidebarAfter a trial run of poetry and short prose in July 2017, SHC has now dedicated time and  space for a digital literary quarterly that houses and celebrates creative literary expression about anything related to sleep and dreams.

Why Vitamin ZZZ?

While SHC is a news/curation site, I (the curator) think including art that conveys the value and importance of sleep can be just as inspiring and efficacious, so I want to make sure this effort works for all involved.

This is stepping a bit outside the box of traditional medical advocacy, but that’s precisely why I’m doing it.

On a larger scale, we all need better tools for talking about health problems, and literature is one of the best tools to break down barriers. I’ve learned this first hand as a creative writer/editor diagnosed with MS, seeking out illness narratives rather than bland facts and research studies.

As a sleep technologist, I also understand the importance of patient education and health literacy. Simply sharing facts and figures may not be enough to help some of us better understand why we should take our sleep health and habits more seriously.

Personal narratives, poems, and short stories can serve as compelling efforts toward that end when traditional information doesn’t work.

Why the title Vitamin ZZZ?

Because sleep (ZZZ) is considered the third pillar of health, along with healthy diet and exercise. It’s as vital to our well being as the vitamins we take or seek out in the foods we eat.

Writer’s Guidelines

Writer’s guidelines are cited below and should answer all your questions.

SHC is looking for flash fiction (under 1000 words), poetry (free verse, formal, prose poems), personal essays (under 2000 words), short or flash-length experimental/hybrid work, and creative nonfiction (under 2000 words) on sleep health, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, sleep habits, sleep medicine, dreams… anything directly correlated with the biological process of sleep.

HINT: We are always on the hunt for
prose poems, flash fiction, personal essay,
hybrid work, and creative nonfiction, so
if this is your jam, send it our way!

Only the highest quality literary writing should be submitted. This work is intended to be part of SHC’s provocative literary series devoted to a mainstream readership of people interested in sleep health, including people seeking sleep health information, people suffering from sleep problems, and caregivers concerned about the sleep problems of their charges.

SHC is especially interested in insights from either a healthcare worker’s or patient’s perspective, but all perspectives sought: humorous, clinical, personal, spiritual, political, fantastic, familial, experimental, even confessional.

NOTE: SHC and VitaminZZZ are free-access digital only efforts created by a single, unpaid individual. The sole purpose of VitaminZZZ is to educate mainstream readers about sleep through an artistic venue. No income is derived from either effort. Because there is no budget and all production costs are paid for through the publisher’s personal funds, contributors are not paid and “hard copies” are not available except through a special fee-based arrangement with the publisher. Contact the publisher at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com for details.

If accepted, your work will appear in our Issuu platform digital literary quarterly. Issuu publications are shareable, searchable, downloadable, and readable from most digital access platforms (laptops, e-readers, tablets, smartphones). Hard copies can be made available for a fee which includes print production, packaging, handling, and shipping. Contact the publisher at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com for details.

How to submit

  1. Please submit mss in body of email to sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com with “VITAMINZZZ Submission” in the Subject line. No snail mail submissions, no attachments (firm). Writers of accepted work will preview a digital “galley” before it goes live.
  2. Submit only 1 (1000-word+) prose submission at a time, or up to 5 poems or 2 flash prose pieces (totaling up to 2000 words) at a time.
  3. Previously published work okay as long as you retain rights; simultaneous submissions okay, but do notify SHC if your work is accepted elsewhere. Please let SHC know where the work appeared previously to simplify updates to the Acknowledgments page.
  4. THIS IS IMPORTANT: In lieu of an author’s bio, please send the following:
  • a reference to where you live (i.e. John Doe lives in Pennsylvania, or John Doe lives in Reading, PA)
  • any prior publishers of your submitted work that SHC will need to credit on the acknowledgments page
  • the URL to your website (if you have one) or other link to a preferred digital access point, such as a publisher’s sales page with your books, an Amazon page, an article featuring you, etc.
  • REQUIRED: a 25- to 100-word personal statement about your relationship with sleep and/or dreams. Please see examples from the Autumn 2018 edition if you’re unsure what to write. We don’t consider typical biographical citations and won’t publish them, as our mainstream readership benefits from knowing your personal connection to sleep. You will be able to promote yourself through a link to your website or other preferred digital access point

These are complete guidelines. If you have other questions, please send them to sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com with “VITAMINZZZ” in the Subject line.

Tamara Sellman, RPSGT CCSH and Curator/Editor
Your Sleep Health News & Information Clearinghouse


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