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Submitting to Synapses

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The submission deadline for the 2022-2023 year is Sunday, January 8, 2023, in order to be included in the 2023 volume.

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Submission Guidelines — 2022-2023

Synapses seeks top quality unpublished original works of poetry, artwork, photography, fiction and non-fiction. We are open to a wide range of forms and styles. We do not accept simultaneous submissions. We will not consider any work that has been previously published or accepted for publication. Work that has appeared online is considered to have been previously published and should not be submitted.

Fiction & Non-Fiction:

  • Must be 2,500 words or fewer, including excerpts and quotes of fewer than 50 words
  • Submit as Word document


  • All types will be considered
  • Submit as Word document

Artwork & Photography:

  • All types will be considered
  • Resolution must be 300 dpi or higher
  • Submit as a digital file (.jpg or .tif)
  • For non-digital artwork: please scan your artwork if possible (e.g., drawings, paintings, collages) to create a digital file. If it is not possible to scan it (e.g., sculptures), please submit at least one photo of the artwork.
  • Please include a brief artist's statement about the artwork or photograph
  • For artwork, please indicate the medium used

Synapses Cover Image

  • Submissions in this category will be considered for display on the front cover of the 2023 issue of Synapses
  • Submissions should show an artistic rendition of the synapses
  • Resolution must be 300 dpi or higher
  • Submit as a digital file (.jpg or .tif)
  • Submissions in this category which are not chosen for the cover will still be considered for publication in the journal

An Additional Note for Alumni:

Alumni non-fiction submissions may be considered for inclusion in the “Alumni Retrospectives” section.  Please consider the following three questions in your non-fiction submission if you would like your work to be considered for this section:

  • How would you evaluate your experiences in life as a physician?
  • What lessons about humanity and the human condition emerge from your experiences in life as physician?
  • What could medical students today learn from these lessons?

How to Submit

Synapses uses the university's secure Brightspace by D2L to facilitate submission and review of creative works. Anonymous submissions will not be considered for review. You must have an RFU HelixNet account to use D2L. For alumni who are interested in submitting to Synapses but do not have a HelixNet account, please send us your works directly by emailing them to

For students, faculty, staff, residents and fellows, follow the steps below to submit using D2L:

  1. Log on to Brightspace by D2L using your HelixNet account.
  2. Self-enroll in the course SYN300 - Synapses 2022-2023.
    • On the D2L home page, click "Self Registration" (upper, left, under the RFU logo).
    • Select the course SYN300 - Synapses 2022-2023.
    • Click "Register."
    • Fill out the required information and click "Submit."
    • Synapses has now been added to your courses.
  3. In the Synapses course on D2L, go to the Dropbox section and click on the category (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Artwork/Photography, or Synapses Cover Image) for your submission.
  4. Use the "Add a File" button to submit your file. If you are submitting artwork or photography, include a brief artist's statement in the Comments section. For artwork, please also include the medium used (e.g., "ink on paper," "mixed media on canvas").

Editorial Review

Our editors will read all submissions. Administrators will remove names and other indications of identity before submissions are reviewed by editors. We will circulate submissions among the editorial board members and make selections of the strongest submissions during editorial board meetings. We will inform authors whether or not their submissions are accepted for publication.


Authors are responsible for the accuracy of reference information in their submissions to Synapses. They are also required to follow the American Medical Association citation style. Citations should be numbered consecutively in the submission, with references at the end.


The journal is copyrighted, with rights reverting to the author on publication. 

Standard of Acceptance

Creative works that are not consistent with the values of Rosalind Franklin University will not be accepted. The core values of the Rosalind Franklin University are Civility, Diversity, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Scholarship, and Teamwork.