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.


1888 publishes contemporary novellas through The Plaza Literary Prize, an annual anthology of international short stories titled The Cost of Paper, and community essays supporting our Why We Write project. Click here to view our collection.

Allison Spector

I don’t have a profound reason for writing, any more than I have a profound reason for dreaming. It’s simply something my brain must do in order to maintain my health and sanity.READ MORE

Ashley Heaton

Why do I write? In short, I write because I must. I write because I know no better way to process the clutter of the world and explore the mysteries of life. Why does anyone write, if not for this reason?READ MORE