A novel is achieved with hard work, the short story with inspiration.

Isabel Allende   

San Diego Decameron Project

The San Diego Public Library, San Diego Writers Ink, Write Out Loud, and the La Jolla Historical Society invite San Diego County authors to submit stories for the San Diego Decameron Project. This project is inspired by a book written shortly after the Black Death overtook Florence in 1348, and is a collection of novellas structured as a frame story by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375).  The book contains 100 stories told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa. They fled Florence to quarantine themselves for two weeks from the pandemic that ravaged Europe between 1347-1351. To pass the evenings each member of the party tells a story each night, except for one day a week for chores and one for religious observance, resulting in ten nights of stories over the course of two weeks. 

During the COVID Pandemic of 2020, new Decameron projects have emerged all over the country. Most notably, the New York Times Magazine tapped 29 authors to write works of new fiction to "help us unpack and understand this moment".

The San Diego Decameron Project seeks 100 stories from within our local community, based loosely around the theme of the current pandemic. In 2021, selected authors will have their stories posted on one of the collaborating organizations websites. The 10 most compelling stories will be read by Write Out Loud actors and presented virtually and/or in person.

To submit a story, please observe these rules and guidelines:

  • Eligibility is limited to authors that reside in San Diego County only
  • No previously published work may be submitted 
  • We are accepting only (1) fiction or non-fiction work per author. No poetry submissions
  • Manuscript must be single spaced and not exceed 1000 words 
  • Pages must be numbered, and the manuscript title must appear on every page
  • Please use 12 pt. standard fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Georgia, etc.).  
  • Please use the Google form below to submit. Emails/attachments will not be accepted. No PDFs, JPGs, or other file types. 
  • Please do not include your name anywhere in the text of your submission. 
  • All submissions are due by November 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm. The first 500 entries will be judged. 

The San Diego Decameron Project uses a blind submission process and will be judged by representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations. Judges and organizations will only be notified of the author's name after their submission is chosen. Therefore, when the form asks you to submit your entry, please DO NOT include your name anywhere in the text. There is an additional area on the form for your name and bio. Please email Rachael@WriteOutLoudsd.com with any questions.