Mend My Dress Press is currently working with the editors of When Language Runs Dry Zine on a book length anthology centered around chronic pain. The collection will include the first 4 issues of the zine, plus new material. The book includes essays, poetry and comics on identity, invisibility, capitalism, mental health, care-giving, support, self-care and hopefulness as they relate to the experience of chronic pain. 

We are currently looking for proposals for cover art for the book. Proposals should include the following: 

1) A short description of how your idea reflects chronic pain and how your proposed visual articulates the link between chronic pain and identity, invisibility, mental health, support, self-care or subjects not listed.

2) A rough sketch at 6x9 of a concept for the front cover (place holders for text as the title font has been previously selected). 

3) A link to your portfolio page/previous work or attachments of previous work if possible.

Chosen artist may receive a stipend for completed cover art.

Submissions must be received by May 31st. 

Submission will be chosen by June 30th, at which point we will notify the artist to start working out details. We strongly encourage those who live with chronic pain or care for people with chronic pain to submit proposals. Authors and artists who have been included in previous issues of When Language Runs Dry also encouraged to submit proposals.

Questions? email us at info@mendmydress.com


Cool project alert!

Sharing this Call For Submissions for a really amazing upcoming project we heard about:

I'm looking for anyone interested in taking part in a collaborative zine project about the experience of Vulva Pain due to Vulvodynia/Vulva Vestibulitis, Pudendal Neuralgia, Pelvic Floor dysfunction and any other related pain issues. I’m inviting people to contribute writing, poetry, photography, drawing or any other type of visual art that speaks to their experience of Vulva Pain. This could reflect on the impact the pain has had on your well being, relationships, sexuality, how you talk/don’t talk about it with others, frustrations/experiences with medical professionals, what recovery/healing looks like for you or how you take care of yourself. These are just a few ideas based on some common themes I have picked up when speaking to others. Any other ideas/themes are more than welcome. I recognize that this type of health issue has a different meaning and results in a different experience for everyone, so there is really no right or wrong way to contribute to this project.

I am hoping that this will be a supportive experience for individuals involved and in distributing the zine will hopefully open up some dialogue about a type of pain that can feel taboo to discuss openly with others and is not well understood by most medical professionals. The aim of this collaborative is to acknowledge the distress and debilitation of having a vagina that hurts, the impact it has on relationships and sex, and a celebration of recovery in whatever form recovery and healing may take place.

If you would like to be involved please email me at nicole.shaw3@gmail.com. I am hoping to have all the contributions by mid-May and to put the zine together by mid-June.


Gentle Reminders About Care Postcard

Gentle Reminders About Care Postcard
Now in our etsy shop: Gentle Reminders About Care Postcard by When Language Runs Dry contributor Karen Hixson These are 5 x 7 laminated cards created in the spirit of her 'Beyond the Bubble Bath' self care article from issue #4 of When Language Runs Dry. 

The front (color) includes care reminders and the back (black & white) contains an area for using a dry erase marker to make notes on your care plan intentions (wipe clean with dry tissue). An awesome gift or training tool for social workers, activists, mental health professionals, peer support folks, volunteers and anyone who is interested in harm reduction oriented self & community care.


Now Seeking Submissions for Issue #5

According to data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, at least 19% of people in the United States suffer from chronic pain.  Yet, despite this high incidence, this illness is frequently under-explored and misunderstood.  Because it is an invisible condition, pain often goes without treatment or validation.  Further, dominant white western patriarchal attitudes deny the complexity of chronic pain, including its connection to trauma and emotional health, identity, social institutions, attitudes towards disability, history and many other factors.  
Since 2008, When Language Runs Dry: a Zine for People with Chronic Pain and Their Allies has attempted to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of chronic pain.  Throughout our first four issues, contributors explored this highly personal and deeply political subject through poetry, comics, essay and art.  Now, in 2015, we are excited to be seeking submissions for a 5th issue of WLRD.  Our plan is that this issue will be new material for an anthology that will include the first four issues.
We want to hear your perspective on chronic pain. We are looking for anyone interested in submitting writing or easy-to-reproduce visual art/comics on the subject and experience of chronic pain.

We are not as interested in pain management (drugs, therapies, treatments) as in the social and emotional aspects of living with chronic pain. We want to hear about the way persistent pain impacts people’s lives, relationships, and the way that they inhabit their bodies and communities. How has the pain experience informed how you identify yourself, how you feel about your body, and how you ask for help?  This zine is about support, sharing, and respecting what we’ve been through with pain. Below are some ideas we’ve brainstormed for pieces… anyone want to run with any of these topics?
  • Access to resources, class and chronic pain
  • Queerness and chronic pain
  • Ancestry, history and chronic pain
  • Chronic pain and relationship to the body
  • Being young or old/age and chronic pain
  • Sex and chronic pain 
  • Chronic pain and introspection/change 
  • Parenting and chronic pain 
  • Art/creativity and chronic pain 
  • Mental health, depression, trauma and the pain experience 
  • The invisibility of pain 
  • Chronic pain and intersecting identities/experiences
  • Upbringing/how were you raised to approach pain
  • Book reviews/chronic pain reading guide 
  • Activism and educating and chronic pain
  • Chronic pain and disability justice
  • Your fabulous ideas!

Additionally, are you a caregiver or support person to someone with chronic pain?  Want to submit on:
  • Self-care as a caregiver
  • Communication around chronic pain
  • Being an ally to people with chronic pain
  • Being a healer and providing care to people with chronic pain
  • Growing up in a house/family with chronic pain
  • Etc etc etc!

We’d love to hear from interested participants.  Our current deadline is October 15th.  Please tell your friends, and pass this far and wide. You can contact us with comments, questions, or submissions: chronicpainzine<at>gmail.com 

Take care, 
Claire and Meredith


WLRD at the Los Angeles Zine Fest

We're so excited to announce that we will be among the exhibitors at the 2014  LA Zine Fest.  We can't wait to share When Language Runs Dry, meet some new people, and get the word out the we are looking for submissions for issue #5.  Los Angeles friends, we hope to see you at Helms Bakery on Feb. 16th!


2013 Portland Zine Symposium

Meredith at the 2013 Portland Zine Symposium
We had a blast, as always, at the 2013 Portland Zine Symposium!  Big thanks to the organizers for all of their hard work, and to everyone who came by our table and chatted or picked up When Language Runs Dry.  We sold and traded a bunch of zines, got the word out that we are still looking for submissions for issue #5, and - as a most pleasant surprise - got to spend the weekend sitting next to our good friend Eleanor who wrote the book Grow and the beautiful zine Indulgence.  



I just stumbled across this lovely review from the folks at Ravenswing DIY Fair in Ottawa Canada.  We sure appreciate people spreading the word by writing about our project!