New California Writing

The search is on for the freshest voices in new California literature

“New California Writing” is an annual literary anthology that collects fresh and thought-provoking writing about California that has been published in the previous year, with a special emphasis on Californian writers, publications, and publishers. The New California Writing 2011 inaugural edition was published in April 2011.

We are currently collecting material for the 2013 edition (the submission period for 2012 is closed). The deadline is July 1, 2012.

Submission and Nomination Details

Though we welcome pieces that take a sweeping view of California identity, we are especially looking for well-written, literary articles, stories, and book excerpts that shed light on specific aspects of California life–changing social customs, natural history, government, business, the arts, etc. A portrait of an individual life, reflections on one’s garden, or even an account of a restaurant meal can sometimes teach us more than an ambitious social critique. All genres (fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, etc.) are welcome. We’re seeking amazing material from small literary magazines, trade journals, blogs, independent publishers, major corporate publishers, and mainstream media alike.

To help narrow our searches and insure a timely perspective, we are accepting pieces published after June 2011, and we unfortunately cannot at this time accept previously unpublished pieces. Anything California-related is welcome, but the following are especially appreciated: pieces published in or by small or obscure journals, literary magazines, and publishers; and pieces published in places we might not think to look because the publication or publisher doesn’t regularly publish California-specific material.

If something along these lines catches your eye or if you have material of your own you’d like to submit, let us know by emailing Please include information like the title of the piece, the magazine or book in which it was published, and the publication date. We would be grateful for a URL to an online version of the piece if one exists.

A Letter from Our Publisher

Dear Readers:

We are confronted daily with dramatic and very real evidence that California is in decline. Everything seems wrong. We can’t seem to educate our youth, provide families with homes or jobs, keep our parks and libraries open, or take care of our sick. We are not fulfilling the very basic responsibilities of a society–to provide transportation, security, water, clean air, safe and healthy food, or equitable access to opportunity. We don’t trust our institutions, our neighbors, or in moments of honesty, even ourselves. Faced with such complex problems, many revert to hurling simplistic slogans at each other with increasing intolerance, as if loudness could drown out uncertainty. Tragically, at a time when we need it most, California has lost the cultural optimism that has long fueled our dreams.

What wisdom or advice can a publisher offer in these discouraging times? We have a principle we use when we look over a manuscript: don’t start correcting the problems until you understand the strengths. And growing out of the current situation is something amazingly hopeful. What seems to be falling apart along with everything else are old clichés and stale certainties. One senses, at least among thoughtful people, a willingness to question, to probe, to invent new ways of seeing things, to create new dreams.

Stimulated by what has been coming our way, Heyday has begun to search out fresh and thought-provoking new material for what we envision as an annual anthology. We invite our friends and colleagues to help us out.

We’d love more suggestions, and we look forward to hearing from you. Help us bring to California what it needs most at this time—the best thinking and the deepest feeling. Let’s exert our best efforts toward that end.

Malcolm Margolin

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