CFP-Writing the Jefferson: Creative Nonfiction Essays on Northern California and Southern Oregon

full name / name of organization: 
Steven Hall, Idaho State University
contact email: 

The border territory of the western half of northern California and southern Oregon is a region with a distinct landscape, people, and culture. The physical landscape of this region—site of the confluence of the Klamath, Siskiyou, Cascade, and Coastal mountain ranges and multiple watersheds (including the Rogue and Klamath Rivers)—defies artificial state boundaries and directly influences the region's culture, including its local industry (including ranching, farming, orchards, timber, outdoor recreation, and others), history, and politics (such as water use issues in the Klamath Basin). The physical realities of similar natural landscapes and of geographical distance from more metropolitan areas of each state can lead to a sense of isolation for residents of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon and of familiarity to each other. As a result, residents from each state often feel a stronger connection to those across the border than they do to residents from the more populated regions of their own state, a fact reflected in the region's history (such as when several border counties attempted to create a new state) and culture.

This is an invitation for proposals of creative nonfiction essays for an edited collection demonstrating your own engagement with some aspect of the region described above (although you do not need to be a resident of the region), whether it be the people, history, culture, natural landscape, geography, or (preferably) an exploration of the relationship between several. Your essay should resemble the style and forms of creative nonfiction (such as personal essay and memoir) and utilize abundant description, reflection, direct observation, personal experience, etc. Your essay should also reflect the peculiar sense of place that many residents of the region feel, possibly exploring the ways this is often determined by natural landscapes rather than artificial state borders or other boundaries. In addition, your essay could explore the larger themes of place, region, or locality and the ways these can have an influence on people and culture.

Proposals should range between 250 and 500 words. Please include a title page with the author's name and contact information. Electronic submissions are preferred, but hard copy manuscripts will be accepted (although they will not be returned). Send submissions and questions to the addresses below. Proposals are due March 1, 2010. Proposals will be considered in the order in which they are received.

Steven Hall
Doctoral Candidate
English Department
Idaho State University
732 W. Whitman Street
Pocatello, ID 83204