Penn State University | College of Medicine | Research Departments | George T. Harrell Library | Medical Center |  Clinical & Translational Science Institute

Wild Onions


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The theme for the 2015 edition of Wild Onions is: Unexpected Echoes

Sometimes life can feel like shouting into the void. Sometimes we hear nothing and sometimes what we hear back is not what we anticipated. These echoes can come from our own hearts, from loved ones, or even from strangers. When we look back on where we are in life and how we reached that point, we face these reflections. Do they tell us stories of progress, change, creativity, and devotion, or resistance, loss, and surrender? Are we proud of the progress we have made, or are we now someone we don’t recognize? No matter what we hear, no matter what realizations we make, we have the opportunity to learn and grow from them. Thus, there is always hope, even in the most unexpected of echoes.

DEADLINE for submissions is JANUARY 15

We look forward to seeing your individual entries.

Wild Onions is an annual publication funded by The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. It is a journal of poetry, prose, and visual art, created by members of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Community.

Most entries will pertain to some dimension of medicine (for example, the experiences, observations, and reflections of patients, nurses, physicians, medical students, family members, hospital staff, volunteers, visitors, etc.), but we invite submissions on all topics. Wild Onions is seeking striking images from the bedside, clinic, or lab bench, whether or not these were originally intended as artwork.

Entries must be original work not published previously and may take any form: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, cartoons, graphic novella or short story, photography, drawings, paintings.

The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine funds the publication and distribution of Wild Onions. The aim of The Doctors Kienle Center is to advance the appreciation, knowledge, and practice of humane and humanistic medicine, defined as health care that is sympathetic, compassionate, and effective. Wild Onions serves this goal by encouraging literary work that seeks to describe and understand, with empathy, the experiences of giving and receiving health care.

Instructions for submitting work via email or CD:

  • Poetry and prose should be typed in Microsoft Word and emailed as an attachment.Please include all contact information (see below) and a list of your individual entries in the body of a single email.
  • DO NOT include your name on the actual piece you submit.
  • Original artwork should be dropped off at the Humanities Department, Room C1747, with the Wild Onions Entry Form attached to your entry. (click to complete entry form or download pdf )
  • Digital images of artwork or photography (saved in jpeg format) may be submitted on a CD or e-mailed to Please include  completed Wild Onions entry form with your submissions. (One entry form per entry) and/or include all information below in the body of your email.



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