Guidelines for the San Joaquin Valley Writers 

California Writers Club 2023 Anthology


The benefits for an author’s work appearing in the San Joaquin Valley Writers (SJVW) anthology include:

  • Gaining credibility as a published author
  • Access to editing and production standards associated with independent publishing
  • Access to a worldwide audience of readers
  • Building a track record of published works to showcase when submitting elsewhere

Submission deadline and deadline for nonmembers to join SJVW: March 1, 2023

Eligibility: Members in good standing of the San Joaquin Valley Branch of the California Writers Club are eligible to submit their work for the 2023 branch anthology providing they follow the submission guidelines as outlined below.

If you aren’t already a member, before you submit, click on this link and choose the option that applies to you:

SJVW Membership Payment

Or you may send a check for $65 to:

California Writers Club,
San Joaquin Valley Branch
6507 Pacific Avenue, # 173
Stockton, CA 95207-3717

The Theme: Great Valley Stories. Each submission is to be set in the Great Valley of California or in some valley, whether literal or metaphorical.

  • Great Valley. The most obvious literal reference is writing that is set in California’s Central Valley, the lowland extending from the Cascade Mountains to the Tehachapis, and bounded by the Pacific Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada.
  • A writer’s imagination can take this theme in other, more subtle directions. Valley can refer to weakness, error, imperfection, failing, frailty, flaw, depression, sin, etc., in a metaphorical, emotional sense.

Acceptable Work: Short story, essay, memoir, excerpt from a longer work, and poetry are acceptable. All work must be original and not previously published (electronically or in print).

Font Style and Size: All work will be submitted using Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced.

Electronic Submission Only: All work will be submitted as an attachment in Word, double-spaced, should be submitted via email to (Please copy and paste the email address into your own email and attached your file to send). In the subject line, write “Submission to Great Valley Stories.” In the body of the email, include the author’s name, pen name if applicable, phone number, and word count. State whether it is a short story, essay, memoir, or excerpt from a longer work. If it is the latter, state the title and type of the longer work.

Length of Prose Submissions: We prefer short stories, essays, memoirs, and excerpts from a longer work to be 2800 words or fewer, but we may make allowances for longer pieces to achieve a proper story closure.

Length for Poetry: Poems shall not exceed two pages, where a page contains 32 lines—blank lines count. Single-space poems with a blank line between stanzas.

Number of Submissions: Each author may submit TWO prose pieces or TWO poems. Only one of the prose pieces may exceed 2500 words to achieve story closure. Alternatively, the author may submit ONE prose piece and ONE poem     

Illustrations:  Do not submit work with illustrations or photographs. Use a placeholder textbox instead.  They may be considered after the work is accepted.  Only black and white illustrations will be included in the interior of the anthology in light of publication expense for color.  All illustrations must be cleared for copyright.

Censorship: Submissions containing sexual or violent material that is not germane to the story will be heavily edited. Some “street” language and adult situations are acceptable as long as they match the characters and circumstances.

Payment: Each accepted author receives a free paperback copy of the complete anthology publication.

Simultaneous Submissions: Work may be submitted simultaneously as long as we are notified immediately if the work is accepted for publication elsewhere. Acceptance by another publisher revokes the submission to San Joaquin Valley Writers.

Copyright Policy: By submitting work to the anthology, the author is granting San Joaquin Valley Writers a one-year exclusive license to publish, reproduce, distribute, and display the work from the date of the publication of the anthology.  The author may not submit the work to any other publication.  At the end of the year, San Joaquin Valley Writers retains a non-exclusive license for the life of the copyright to continue to publish, reproduce, distribute, and display the anthology including the work but all copyright rights are retained by the author and may utilize the work as they see fit, including in other publications.

Editorial Oversight: All submitted work is subject to editing to bring it to a level sufficient for publication. This includes editing for clarity, spelling, punctuation, and/or formatting requirements. Editing will be done in consultation with each author. The submission may be rejected if an author does not wish to accept the editorial suggestions. If the submission cannot be brought up to publication standards even with editorial input, the piece will be rejected.

Editing Prior to Submission: Self-editing before submitting is encouraged. The cleaner the work, the more likely it is to be accepted. Some authors have their work professionally edited before submission. The editor of the anthology is not available to edit work submitted to the anthology, as this would constitute a conflict of interest.

Author Releases: Each author whose work is accepted must sign and return a Terms of Publication form by email within seven days after notification of acceptance. See Appendix B.

Author Biography: Each author whose work is accepted must provide a brief biography by email, not to exceed 150 words, within seven days after notification of acceptance of their work.

Author Photograph: We may ask you to submit a headshot for use in the anthology. See Appendix C, Photography Release Form

Have a story idea and want to know what to do next? Finished a book and are curious about publishing it? Already have several books out and are looking to up your career game? We’ve got your answers. It’s never too early or late to join. This is the club for you. This chapter of the CWC is so fortunate to have many accomplished authors amongst our membership list. As well as, a robust board that work constantly to bring this club the best speakers, presentations, and networking opportunities. We have a critic group, an anthology in progress, and just finished up our very first radio play, written and produced by this club’s membership. What are you waiting for? Your future awaits!

Appendix A


1. What is an excerpt from a longer work? An excerpt is a short piece extracted from a longer work. An excerpt should be presented to the reader as a “stand-alone” story. It should adequately portray the protagonist, setting, genre, and theme of the larger work. 

2. What if I want to use variations in font or formatting for my poetry? Before submitting a poem using a font or formatting different from Times New Roman 12-point, email to explain your rationale for varying from the submission guidelines. The Editor-in-Chief will reply with assent or denial of your plan.

3. How do I clear a copyright for the use of an illustration or photograph? (a) If the illustration or photograph is licensed and a payment is required, you must present proof to San Joaquin Valley Writers that you have paid for the use of the illustration or photograph. San Joaquin Valley Writers will not pay for illustration or photograph licensing.

(b) If you took the photograph in a public setting and you can show the date and location in your phone data indicating you are the owner of the photograph, it is cleared for copyright. If you created the illustration, you are the rightful owner and own the copyright.

(c) If a person’s face is recognizable, it is highly recommended that you provide a signed, dated, Photo Consent Form (an example is provided on the San Joaquin Valley Writers website) giving you permission to use the photograph.

 (d) If someone else took the photograph, their written permission is required authorizing you to use it.

Appendix B


I am the creator of “Title” and own all rights in “Title” for publication in the San Joaquin Valley Writers (SJVW) 2023 Anthology. I warrant that “Title” is original and solely my work.  I am granting a one-year exclusive license to the SJVW to publish, reproduce, distribute, and display “Title.”  At the end of the year, SJVW retains a non-exclusive license for the life of the copyright to continue to publish, reproduce, distribute, and display the anthology including the “Title,” but I otherwise retain all copyright rights and may utilize the work as I see fit, including in other publications.

For any copyrighted or quoted material that I have used, I have obtained the necessary consent, notified the SJVW of such use, and provided SJVW written copies of the consent.

To the best of my knowledge and due diligence, “Title” as submitted contains nothing that is libelous, injurious, or otherwise actionable or contrary to law, or that will infringe any copyright, proprietary right, or right of privacy.

I understand that the final version of “Title” is subject to edits for clarity, grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and I agree to any such edits.

I also understand that SJVW will retain all monies earned by the SJVW anthology.

 My submittal of this REGISTRATION FORM serves as acknowledgment that I have read and agree to the publication terms as outlined above.

Appendix C


By filling out and submitting this form you hereby acknowledge that this Photography Release
Form (hereinafter referred to as “Form”) became effective on the date of submission.
I hereby authorize San Joaquin Valley Writers to edit, change, copy, and make any use of all
photographs of me to be used for promotional materials related to the Great Valley Stories Anthology and its promotion as long as the Anthology is in publication.
I hereby acknowledge that I will not be entitled to payment or any sort of charge for such
I authorize the use of my photograph for, but not limited to, publication on the internet,
magazines, journals, books, articles, etc., provided that it is done for lawful purposes.
I hereby release all rights to any, but not limited to, claims, rights, demands, and/or any causes
of action by me or my representatives, heirs, or anyone else.

If this is a professional photograph a form will need to be submitted by the Photographer and the Client

Furthermore, I hereby waive my right to any royalty or any other compensation with regard to
the usage of the photos referred to in this Form.