Submissions open for San Fernando Valley Award for Fiction


Mao, 23, a linguistics major taking 14 units, sometimes studies at the Oviatt library between classes. Photo by John Saringo-Rodriguez

Christine Martinez

The Friends of the Oviatt Library are sponsoring and holding open submissions for their annual San Fernando Valley Award to any author, student or non-student to submit an original piece of writing about the San Fernando Valley.

The award alternates between nonfiction and fiction every other year, with this year being fiction.

“The valley is such a diverse place,” Joyclyn Dunham, projects and programs director at the Oviatt, said. “Why wouldn’t they want to write about it?”

The winner of the contest will win $1,000 and a reception for their work over the summer where they will talk about their submission and get a chance to share it. An honorable mention may be given, if applicable, with an award of $250.

The requirements are relatively vague, giving contestants creative freedom to interpret the subject matter in an unlimited and uninterrupted way.

“They all have to have a different element of the San Fernando Valley,” Dunham said.

Last year’s winners were twins, Erin and Jamie Schonauer, for their nonfiction book, filled with pictures and tidbits about the history of Burbank.

This year’s work must be a fiction original, directly related to the San Fernando Valley and have a publication date no earlier than 2012. Any works that are written in a language other than English must be translated.

Submissions must include a completed entry form, five copies of the work and a 500 words or less biographical statement about the author.

The submission deadline is Dec. 1, 2018 and winners will be announced in the spring or summer of 2019. For more information and the entry form, visit