Writing Contests and Events

DVC encourages a rich literary and creative writing community. From our literary journal to our semesterly literary events to our creative writing contests, we encourage and support our students, faculty, staff, and community members in their literary and creative writing inspirations. 

On this page:

DVC Literary Journal, It's Lit

Literature Week

Come to our hybrid Literature Week events April 25-27, 2023. You can join us in the Diablo Room on the Pleasant Hill campus or via Zoom.  Each day we’ll host different featured readers:

Past events

Fall 2022 Hybrid Literature Week - November 15-17

On behalf of the English and ESL department, we invite you to our Fall 2022 Hybrid Literature Week Events. We’re theming this semester’s events around DVC Talent as our featured reader is retired DVC professor Susan Browne who has her newest book—her fourth book of poems—slated to be published by Four Way Books in the very near future. On top of that,  Susan has won the James Dickey prize for poetry.  Then we’ll have faculty and staff who have recently published or will publish in the near future. Finally, we’ll celebrate our DVC student writers, those in creative writing courses. Here are the details:

November 15, 11:10-12:35 — Featured Reader: Poet Susan Browne

For more info on Susan, see her website.

Come enjoy the creative buzz from a published writer!

November 16, 11:10-12:35 — Featured Reader: DVC Faculty and Staff Readers

  • Ivan Hobson
  • Lynda Letona
  • Adam Bessie
  • Ía Carbonell
  • Michael Levitin
  • Rayshell Clapper

Come see the talent of our faculty!

November 17, 11:10-12:35 — Featured Readers: DVC Student Writers

  • Frances D.
  • Rakiyah S.
  • Ronni S.
  • Rinka H.
  • Tanja H.
  • Nicole P.

Come celebrate the amazing talent of our students!

All events are available in person in the Diablo Room and via Zoom. Please reach out to Rayshell Clapper for more information or see the information on the DVC Events Calendar.

Spring 2022 Virtual Literature Week - April 18-20

April 18, 12:45 - 2:10 — Featured Reader: Poet Paul Tran

Paul Tran is the author of the debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, from Penguin in the US and the UK. Their work appears in The New Yorker, The Nation, Harper's Bazaar, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Paul is a Visiting Faculty at Pacific University MFA in Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Read more about Paul Tran.

April 19, 12:45-2:10 — Featured Reader: DVC Faculty and Staff Readers
  • Adam Bessie
  • Anthony Gonzales
  • Katie Ziegler
  • James Wilson
  • Heather Lee
  • Ray Clapper
April 20, 11:10-12:35 — Featured Readers: DVC Literary Contest Student Winners

Poetry Winners

  • 1st Place: "[Red Bluff After 5:15am on August 5th]" by Keylee Anderson
  • 2nd Place: "Chest Full of Flowers" by Alyssa Gilbertson
  • 3rd Place: "do You think i'm pretty?" by Victoria Soleil
  • Honorable Mention: "Letter to my Congressman" by Andrew Pimentel

Creative Nonfiction Winners

  • 1st Place: “The Bus Ride” by Kristine Cox
  • 2nd Place: “The Castro” by Vincent Rozalski
  • 3rd Place: “Ramadan” by Laila Ali

Fiction Winners

  • 1st Place: Death of the Author by Andrew Pimentel
  • 2nd Place: Waiting by Jenn Keohane
  • 3rd Place: Birds by Emily Lam
  • Honorable Mention: Two Halves by Dylan Mueller

Come celebrate the amazing talent of our students!

Fall 2021 Virtual Literature Week, November 8 - 10

November 8, 11:10-12:35 — DVC Faculty Read
    1. James Wilson
    2. Michael Levitin
    3. Chris Muravez
    4. Amanda Montei
November 9, 11:10-12:35 — Featured Reader Tanna Tucker

Often employing an Afrofuturist framework, Tanna uses comics and drawing as a way to map her relationship to the Black Diaspora, and to interrogate the utility of Black presence (or absence) in historical and mythical spaces. She is a 2021-22 MacDowell Fellow and is currently illustrating the Afrofuturist graphic novel, Black Kube, co-created with Ytasha Womack (Abrams ComicArts, Megascope 2023). Her work has been featured in the Eisner nominated LAAB Magazine, Believer Magazine, and The Nib.

November 10, 12:45-2:10 — DVC Students Read
    1. Kat Vaino
    2. Anthony Bernasconi
    3. Andrea Madison
    4. Andrew Pimentel
    5. Kristine Cox
    6. Dylan Mueller

Spring 2021 Virtual Literature Week, April 26, 27, 28, and 29

April 26, 2021 at 2:30 - 4 pm Featured Readers from DVC Faculty and Staff
  1. Alan Haslam
  2. Ivan Hobson
  3. Ía Carbonell
  4. Anne Kingsley
April 27, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Featured Reader: Jade Cho

Jade Cho is a writer and educator from Oakland, CA. She is the author of In the Tongue of Ghosts (First Word Press, 2016) and her poems have appeared in Apogee, BOAAT, The Offing, and elsewhere. She is an alum of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley and a co-founder of The Root Slam, an award-winning Bay Area poetry venue. She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State University.

April 28, 2021 at 11:10 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.  Reader: DVC Literary Contest Winners
April 29, 2020 at 11:10 a.m. - 12:35 p. m., Featured Reader: Jenn Givhan

Jenn Givhan is a Mexican-American/Chicana from the Southwestern desert and the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently Rosa’s Einstein(Camino Del Sol Poetry Series), two chapbooks, and the novels Trinity Sight (which won a Southwest Book Award) and Jubilee, both from Blackstone Publishing. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, POETRY, TriQuarterly, The Boston Review, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She's received New Ohio Review’s Poetry Prize, Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize, the Pinch Journal Poetry Prize, and Cutthroat’s Joy Harjo Poetry Prize. Givhan raises her children in New Mexico.

Literature Week, October 27, 28, 29, 2020

Celebrate the written word by participating in Literature Week. Hear readings from published authors, faculty, and students. Literature Week happens twice a year, during the fall and spring semesters. Spring Literature Week also includes a creative writing contest.  All events are free and will take place via Zoom.  Links to be provided.  

Featured Readers:  Ajuan Mance and Dean Rader
  • Dean Rader - October 27
  • Ajuan Mance (@8_Rock on Instagram and Twitter) - October 28
  • DVC Faculty/Staff and Student joint reading - October 29

DVC literary contest

The DVC literary contest is held annually and consists of three categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Contact one of our faculty and staff members for more information on guidelines. To see submission details and requirements, go to the DVC Literary Contest Submittable page.

Spring 2023 Student Winners

Poetry Winners
  • First place: "The Farmers of Phantoms" by Julia Maeding
  • Second place: "Warm Blues" by Healyn Anicete
  • Third place: "When Ophelia Drowned" by Chloe Starczewski
  • Honorable mention: "I Reach for a Thought" by Parker Stewart
  • Honorable mention: "Exodus" by Ileia Thomas
Fiction Winners
  • 1st place: “A Través Fronteras” by Diana Segundo
  • 2nd place: “Observatory in the North” by B.W. Brown-Webster
  • 3rd place: “Scarred” by Jenn Keohane
  • Honorable mention: “Moth Dust” by Jackie Abells
Creative Nonfiction Winners
  • First Place: “The Sound of My City” by Anushree Bhattacharya
  • Second Place: “A Thousand Teddy Bears” by Anna Browett
  • Third Place: “Work in Early January” by Lauren Halbrook
  • Honorable Mention: “Robbers” by Julia Maeding

Spring 2021 Winners:

Creative Nonfiction Winners
  • First Place: Danny, Morris, “The Hike”
  • Second Place: Cianna Book, “Treatment Kid”
  • Third Place: - Hali Loyd, “The Pit”
Poetry Winners
  • First Place: Kelly Autumn, "Be Careful, I Pinch"
  • Second Place: Sarah Jimison, "My Catalogue of Fears"
  • Third Place: "I Don't Look for Butterflies Anymore," Tess Manto
Prose Winners
  • First Place: Joe Chung, “Four-Two-Nine”
  • Second Place: Stephanie Pick, “Wraith”
  • Third Place: Samantha Snider, “How to Date a Millennial Boy (Executive, Techie, or Burnout)”

Spring 2020 Winners:

Fiction/Short Play
  • 1st Place: "Looking for Sleep" by Sierra Lofgren
  • 2nd Place:  "A Brighter Tomorrow" by Louise Edwards 
  • 3rd Place: "4pm Over Two" by Katherine Anderson
Creative Non-Fiction
  • 1st Place: "My Queer Neanderthal Cousin Claude" by Monte Fisher
  • 2nd Place: "Letter to Myself" by Katie Nunn
  • 3rd Place: "Leaving China" by Robyn McDowell  
  • 1st Place:  "Revelations" by Kaiu Aguigui 
  • 2nd Place: “California Dreaming"  by Allison Jones 
  • 3rd Place: “The Thoughts That Sprout Up After Midnight" by Frances Bustillos

O'Keefe Prize

The O’Keefe Prize is a comic contest that is held annually. This is a unique contest as there are many opportunities to meet with faculty and students to learn comic techniques and printing.

Meetings are usually held at the end of the fall term for this contest, with submissions accepted the end of January. Contact one of our faculty and staff members for more information.

The O’Keefe Prize is offered in memory of our beloved English colleague James O’Keefe who dribbled soccer balls and raised hell among us for far too short a time. James created and taught English 176 -- The Graphic Novel as Literature.

See some great submissions from our past winners.

Related links

Contact English


ESL Coordinator: Laurie Sample

Telephone: 925-338-9809

Email: Laurie Sample 

Office location: FO-119 campus map

English Department Chair: Dorian Eidhin

Telephone: 925-969-2518

Email: deidhin@dvc.edu

Office location: FO 239

Contact: Charles Shackett

Telephone: 925-551-6217

Email: Charles Shackett  

Office location: W-117 campus map