150th + 1 Anniversary Writers Invitation

The Point Arena Light Station #496 was officially established on September 30, 1869.  Construction of the first Tower was completed in April 1870 and the light was first lit May 1, 1870.  This date will mark 151 years of the Lighthouse lighting the way on the Mendocino coast in 2021.  The COVID-19 pandemic caused the Light Station to cancel its planned 150th Anniversary celebratory events.  As we move out of the most serious stages of the pandemic we hope to be able to celebrate the 150th + 1 anniversary in 2021.  A very special part of that celebration will be a 150th + 1 Anniversary special section in the April 30, 2021 Independent Coast Observer (ICO) that will be devoted to the Light Station.  A key part of this special section will be the publication of the favorite entries in the Point Arena Light Station 150th + 1 Anniversary Writing Invitation as selected by the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc. (PALKI) Writing Invitation Review Board (PWIRB).

The Invitation

PALKI invites authors to submit their writings for consideration to be published in the ICO special section.  The submissions must have elements or features of the Light Station as their underlying theme.  There are four categories:

  • Poetry
  • “Dear Lighthouse….” essay
  • Short Story (fiction, memoir, non-fiction, etc.)
  • Flash Fiction

Poetry – Any form of poetry is welcome in this category and there is no word limit.

“Dear Lighthouse….” essay – Free form essay, 300 word maximum.  Essay must begin with the phrase “Dear Lighthouse” but there are no other limitations.

Short Story – These entries can be of any literary genre (fiction, memoir, non-fiction, etc.) and there is no word limit.

Flash Fiction – This relatively recent style of fiction is an entire story in 150 words or less.  The hallmarks of great Flash Fiction are:

  • Brevity – It compresses an entire story into the space of a few paragraphs
  • A complete plot – It is indeed a story, with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Surprise – Great stories often incorporate surprise, usually in the form of a twist ending or an unexpected last line. The aim is to prompt the reader to think deeply about the true meaning of the story

The Review & Selection Process

Submitted works will be given numbers only and will not contain the name of the author when they are sent to the PWIRB for review.  All submissions will be reviewed by the PWIRB, who will select their favorites in each category.

The Rewards

  • The favorite works selected by the PWIRB will be provided to the ICO for publication in the April 30, 2021 150th + 1 Anniversary special section. Depending on the length of the selected pieces and the available pages in the special section there may be one or more favorites from each category published.
  • The authors of the selected favorites will receive a PALKI Annual Family Membership ($75 value), $50 in “Mina Money” to spend in the Light Station Store and recognition plaques in the exhibit described below.
  • All entries will be printed and displayed as part of a special exhibit in the Whale Watch Room of the historic 1896 Fog Signal Building on the Light Station.
  • Selected entries will be published in the Summer/Fall edition of the Light Station Journal, the PALKI Members’ newsletter.
  • All authors that submit their writings will receive a Point Arena Lighthouse 150th Anniversary cloisonné pin.

The Rules for Submission

Writers can submit as many different works in as many categories as they wish.  Submissions can be made either by mail or email.

By Mail

  • Fill out a submission form for EACH work you are submitting
  • Be sure to indicate the category of the work
  • Do not put your name on the submitted work itself, only on the submission form
  • Please insure that the work is legible

By Email

  • Submit a SEPARATE email for each work you submit
  • Use the category of your work as the Subject line of the email (Poetry, Dear Lighthouse, Short Story or Flash Fiction)
  • Works can be in the following formats:
  •        The body of the email itself
  •        Word document, PDF document or TXT file as an attachment
  • Include your name as you wish it to appear on the work and include your mailing address at the bottom of your email

Send your submissions to PAL150Writers.PALight@gmail.com no later than April 2, 2021.

Submission Forms

The submission forms can be downloaded by clicking on the images below.  There are 2 versions available:

  • Submission Form Only
  • Submission Form with complete invitation information

All submissions must be received by April 2, 2021.

Submission Form Only

Submission Form with complete invitation information