Why We Write

When the task of writing grows inevitably arduous—and seemingly thankless—we must remember why we started. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write,” this introspective project highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation. Live events are produced throughout the diverse cities of Orange County and feature author readings from curated essay submissions.


  1. Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
  2. Submit via Submittable.


The 1888 Podcast Network is a curated collection of educational and entertaining podcasts. Each program is designed to provide a unique platform for industry innovators to share stories about art, literature, music, history, science, or technology.

Amanda Fletcher

I am born in the middle of a story.

My mother dodges the loaded gun in my father’s hand, his voice rising along the length of his arm.READ MORE

Nancy Klann-Moren

I began writing, primarily because I was certain that an adventure I had taken would make a blockbuster movie. Since I had zero experience, I suggested to a few friends “in the business” that they write a screen play about my great journey. READ MORE

Carla Huezo

The new kid in school was put into the underachieving classroom. She sat bored but obedient for a few weeks until she was transferred to a more challenging atmosphere. But the sweet and smart light-skinned Latina did not fit in. READ MORE

Natalie Green

We write stories about strong, ass-kicking women. Chapters of novels that never come. We read with flashlights under our covers, and set our alarms an hour early to read more before school. We’re eight years old. In the following ten years somehow that writer girl gets lost. We dream of singing and acting, but tell adults we’ll be teachers. We write about being thin and attractive and popular, and then tear out the pages one by one.READ MORE

Ashli Lomeli

I write because I struggle with an addiction that people do not like to talk about or see. I come from an abusive home in the middle of the desert, where the only tangible path to escape was guarded by wild coyotes and rattlesnakes that hid behind joshua trees and dry brush. I didn’t have a drunk father, a drug addicted mother, or even an sadistic, evil sibling. But my mother was abusive.READ MORE

Joanna Nelius

In high school, I wanted to be a crime scene investigator. But after nearly failing Chemistry my junior year, I was told by a counselor that I better find something else to do with my life. Having an adult figure, someone whose job it was to put students on a path for success, disparage my hopes at the only career I could see myself doing well into adulthood, only added to the already fragile self-esteem of my 16-year-old self. Combined with a tumultuous home life, I closed off to family and friends.READ MORE

Timothy Smith

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been one of the most vivid and eager storytellers … in my own mind. During summers when I was a child, my adopted brother and sister, both my own age, left to attend summer camp every year, while I stayed home alone. READ MORE

Ashley Brimmage

The first time I felt completely understood was when my crush of three years looked me in the eyes and said “Ashley, I think you write to feel heard.”READ MORE

Chad Crossley

To write is to connect. Such is the vital lifeblood of this craft: the bridging of the then to the now, the noble art of reaching out to otherness, the fledgling and uncertain grasp toward authenticity. This is an axiom I have always held deeply personal, perhaps best encapsulated by the utterly real line penned by Oscar Wilde—”the truth is rarely pure and never simple.”READ MORE