Paul Kalanithi Writing Award

Paul Kalanithi was a physician writer and neurosurgery resident at Stanford University. In the final years of his training, he was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. His memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, beautifully chronicles his reflections on living with illness and the meaning of legacy. The Paul Kalanithi Writing Award was created in his memory. 

This short documentary by Stanford videographer Mark Hanlon captures Paul Kalanithi’s shifting perception of time while living with terminal cancer.

Lucy Kalanithi often visits the gravesite of her husband, Paul Kalanithi, with the couple’s daughter, Cady, to picnic and leave flowers. (Photo by Timothy Archibald)

Prize Winners

2019 Prize Winners

2016 Prize Winners

Submissions to Open: September 1, 2021

Medicine & the Muse is pleased to announce a solicitation for unpublished short stories, essays or poetry addressing patients and providers facing chronic or life limiting illness. Fiction and non-fiction submissions are welcome. For submission guidelines and to submit, click here

Contest Guidelines
Short Stories/Essays: Less than 3000 words
Poems: Less than 50 lines
Open to all. Stanford affiliates encouraged to apply.

Submission Deadline: Decemeber 1, 2021

Judges
Stanford faculty including Drs. Lucy Kalanithi, Matthew Stevenson, Steven Asch, and Medicine & the Muse Executive Director, Jacqueline Genovese. 

Award
Honorarium made possible by the generosity of a Stanford Palliative Care benefactor.