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What is Vitamin ZZZ?

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

After a trial run of poetry and short prose in July, 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.

The Summer 2018 edition, MIDSUMMER NIGHTS, is now live.

You can also find the Spring 2018 edition, RESET BUTTON here and the Winter 2018 edition, CLINICAL, here.


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 vitamins.

Writer’s Guidelines

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


SleepyHead CENTRAL seeks submissions on the topic of “SLEEP” for publication in its new quarterly anthology, Vitamin ZZZ.

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

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

vitamin Zzz sleep deprivation snipOnly 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.

At this time, SHC cannot pay but hopes to seek grant money in 2018 to fund the project.

Reading period

Deadlines are as follows. Decisions about submissions will be made in the week following each quarterly deadline.

Winter 2018 edition

Deadline is December 31, 2017—published February 1, 2018

Spring 2018 edition

Deadline is March 31, 2018—published May 23, 2018

Summer 2018 edition

Deadline is June 31, 2018—publication takes place in Julypublished August 17, 2018

Autumn 2018 edition

Deadline is October 15, 2018—publication takes place in November, 2018

UPDATE AUGUST 17, 2018: This issue, themed NESTINGfocuses on bedrooms and comfort: mattresses, beds, pillows, sheets, bedrooms, comfortable (or uncomfortable) sleep, safety and sleep, pain management and painsomnia, the right to sleep (homeless sleep), sleep hygiene, sleep for rehabilitation/recovery/recuperation, family bed, “sleeping in,” etc.  SHC seeks more work in both prose and poetry which addresses these topics.

If accepted, your work will appear in our new Issuu platform digital literary quarterly. Issuu publications are shareable, searchable, downloadable, and readable from most digital access platforms (laptops, e-readers, tablets, smartphones). vitamin Zzz snip sleep disorders

How to submit

1. Please submit mss in body of email to 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.

4. THIS IS IMPORTANT: In lieu of an author’s bio, please send a reference to where you live (i.e. John Doe lives in Pennsylvania, or John Doe lives in Reading, PA), any prior publishers SHC will need to credit, the URL to your website (if you have one), and a 25- to 100-word personal statement about your relationship with sleep and/or dreams. Please see examples from the Spring 2018 edition if you’re unsure what to write.

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

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


SHC is not accepting pitches, manuscripts, or queries at this time for guest posts, infographics, or other unsolicited content. All guest posts are by invitation only.  Writers’ guidelines for the Vitamin Zzz literary series can be found here.

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