Writing competition invites people to explore theme of end-of-life care

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The University of Liverpool’s Palliative Care Unit is working with partners to launch a short story competition, asking people to explore the theme of palliative and end-of-life care.

The ‘Stories Full of Life’ competition forms part of the University’s Living Well, Dying Well (iLIVE) research project, a 13-country, four-year study that aims to relieve the symptoms and suffering experienced by patients and families, understand the experiences of dying and encourage discussion around this ordinarily taboo subject. 


The competition, which was originally launched in Spain in 2022, aims to shift the narrative around end-of-life care to celebrating life rather than mourning death and is being brought to English language writers for the first time. 
Works must be original and unpublished. Writers have until 31 August 2023 to submit an entry of 200 words of less. 


Professor John Ellershaw, Head of the University of Liverpool’s Palliative Care Unit said: “The Palliative Care Unit is pleased to be associated with the iLIVE Project’s “Stories Full of Life” competition, which prompts aspiring writers to consider the profound impact of palliative care on those facing the end of their lives.  


In laying down this challenge, we aim to bring death and dying into mainstream focus and promote conversations about these important topics, which are too often considered taboo.  If you can craft a compelling narrative that captures the essence of palliative care - compassion, resilience and human connection – in 200 words or less, we look forward to receiving your story.” 


The competition is organised in partnership with Cudeca Hospice, a Spanish non-profit foundation that offers specialised care to people with cancer and other advanced diseases, as well as support to their families, completely free of charge. Cudeca Hospice is part of the iLIVE research project. 


Those who wish to take part in the project can submit works in PDF format by sending them to the e-mail address ilive@cudeca.org, specifying "iLIVE Short Story Contest" in the subject line. A document outlining all the guidelines and rules regarding submissions can be found here.