The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

ARTIST CALL – Sacramento Valley Writing Contest

For Central Valley artists


In 2016, Heyday will be publishing a book about the Sacramento Valley—a well-crafted, lively, truthful, playful, emotional, knowledgeable, respectful, irreverent look at the Valley from Redding south to Davis and the Capay Valley. As you can see from the first sentence, we want a book that depicts the culture, history, and natural history of the Valley in all its fullness and contradiction. We’ll be commissioning fresh writing, doing some interviewing, and reprinting material from the past. The book will also be rich in photos, maps, paintings, and other graphics, and when it comes out we’ll be supporting it with panels, readings, receptions, and as many parties as we can get going.

We intend to create a book that will be widely accepted throughout the Valley as a truthful, capacious, and forceful summation of regional identity and values. It will give articulation and substantiation to thoughts and feelings that now run below the surface. It will serve as a mirror by which those in the Valley can see themselves, understand their strengths and their limitation, and appreciate their regional uniqueness. It will be a source of pride not because it will indulge in empty flattery, image-building, or any of the rah-rah-isn’t-life-wonderful aspects of commercial public relations, but because it will express the true attributes of the region. We envision a thought-provoking, nuanced, dynamic book, accessible, entertaining and informative—a joy to put together, a joy to read.


We are looking for new writing about the Valley—poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. All submissions will be considered for inclusion in the book, and if accepted we will contact the author and discuss an appropriate honorarium.

In addition, we are offering three $1,000 prizes for the best-of-category in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.


Authors must be residents of the Sacramento Valley
Submissions must not exceed 1,500 words
Submissions must be original and previously unpublished

How to Apply

Submissions are due by December 1, 2014. Please send your submission with a cover letter electronically to Include “Sacramento Valley Writing Contest” in the subject field. Contact Lillian Fleer at with questions or more information.

Deadline: 12-01-2014
Berkeley, CA

Contact: Lillian Fleer

Download contest announcement PDF (135KB)

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