Four partner organizations in San Diego County compiled 100 stories of the pandemic into a book, which will be launched on March 21 at the Neil Morgan Auditorium at the San Diego Central Library.
The celebratory launch will be held at 6 p.m, with the authors in attendance, and the books are available for sale.
The La Jolla Historical Society San Diego Public Library, San Diego Writers, Ink and Write Out Loud presented the San Diego Decameron Project in February 2021, which invited members of our San Diego community to submit previously-unpublished fiction or nonfiction narratives of 1,000 words or less based loosely around the theme of the current pandemic.
"The Decameron Project is an important archive to capture our city's stories during the pandemic. As a history major myself, I deeply appreciate that these pieces feature events both big and small as a permanent record of San Diegans' tragic and uplifting moments during this unprecedented time," said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
A panel of 25 judges read all submissions and chose the best 100, whose stories were posted on partner websites, and the top 10 will be read by Write Out Loud actors and presented in a Virtual Presentation.
During the launch, a sample of authors will do short readings from their pieces and refreshments will be served.
The San Diego Decameron Project was inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, written shortly after the Black Death hit Florence, Italy in 1348. In the book, ten young Florentines, seven women, and three men retreat into quarantine for two weeks in a hillside villa and pass the time by telling stories, one each per day, except for one day a week for chores and one for religious observance, resulting in 100 stories.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, new Decameron projects emerged. The New York Times Magazine tapped 29 authors to write works of new fiction to "help us unpack and understand this moment."
All the stories submitted to the San Diego Decameron Project, including those that did not make it into the top 100, have also been archived in the digital collections of both the San Diego Public Library and the La Jolla Historical Society for posterity.
Before the March 21 book launch, a talk on The Decameron itself will be presented on Monday, March 14 by University of San Diego professor Brittany Asaro who wrote the introduction to the book.
Those interested in the event are asked to register, and for a list of authors included in the San Diego Decameron Project Anthology, visit https://writeoutloudeducation.weebly.com/san-diego-decameron-project.html.