Mission - 1888 serves as a regional catalyst for the preservation, presentation, and promotion of cultural heritage and literary arts.  We develop educational programs, produce collaborative projects, and publish relevant literature from around the world to enrich our diverse neighborhoods and engage the national community.

Dedicated to the creative traditions of our local history, we use the literary arts as a foundation for increasing education and literacy with meaningful opportunities—both online and offline—that will engage readers, support writers, and inspire a cultural legacy for future generations.

Vision - Establish a lasting cultural center in Old Towne Orange, CA, and transform the City into the Literary Arts Capital of Southern California.

Routineology - Accepted all year
Summer Writing Project - Accepted July 1 through August 31
The Cost of Paper - Accepted September 1 through October 31
The Plaza Literary Prize - Accepted March 1 through April 30
Why We Write - Accepted all year

Terms and Conditions

Ends on April 30, 2018$25.00

The Plaza Literary Prize is a national novella competition. We believe a great story is never defined by its length and welcome all genres and themes with compelling characters and evocative moments. We’re looking for our generation’s Hemingway, Oates, or Steinbeck.

The City of Orange, California was incorporated on April 6, 1888. The center of the town became known as the Plaza, which has become a symbol of the community and a catalyst for storytelling.

  1. Write a novella and submit via Submittable. Maximum word count is 40k.
  2. Submissions are accepted March 1 through April 30. Our team of readers will consider each submission for content, craft, and voice and select ten (10) finalists to be reviewed by our jury. One (1) novella will be selected for publication.

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 column highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation.

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

Please submit this form if you would like to collaborate with the 1888 Podcast Network.

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.

Select episodes are presented live around Orange County and at the 1888 Center in Old Towne Orange, California. When a guest is unable to travel, interviews are conducted online and released as special editions. All programs are recorded and archived as a free resource to download and stream on our website or with your favorite podcast app.

Please submit this form if you would like to host a workshop or a series of workshops at 1888 Center.

The innovative 1888 Center, located in the Historic District of Old Towne Orange, California, hosts a bookshop, gallery, multi-use performance space, and café serving Contra Coffee & Tea.


$75 per hour. Nonprofit* organizations receive a rate of $65 per hour. $150 deposit required. Our cancellation** fee is 50% of the total rental fee.

* To qualify as a nonprofit, the organization must adhere to Internal Revenue Code 501c3

** Cancellation fee applies to any reservation cancelled within 72 hours of meeting date


  • There is a 2.5 hour minimum use.
  • 1888 Center users are responsible for their own setup and takedown of the space; please add additional time to your reservation to allow for this.
  • Reservation times are firm. 1888 Center users will not be permitted to setup before their reservation time and users must be finished and cleaned up at the end of their reservation time. Extended meeting times are not permitted.
  • The 1888 Center must be put back to the standard setup before the end of your reserved time; if not, you may be charged an additional fee.
  • Equipment and “Optional Items” requests must be made at the time of your booking and cannot be added the day of your use. Equipment and “Optional Items” include: TV, media players, microphones, projection, projection screen, white board, easel, etc.
  • Please note when booking the 1888 Center that there may be other groups using adjacent areas where you may hear brainstorming, discussions, presentations, etc.
  • The City of Orange parking lots are for public parking, so parking is not guaranteed when using 1888 Center.
  • Failure to adhere to the above could result in withholding all or a portion of your deposit. Please share this agreement with all users/coordinators, so all parties are informed of the 1888 Center use agreement.


The group or organization listed above agrees that to the fullest extent permitted by the law, they will defend, indemnify and hold harmless Eighteen Eighty Eight (1888) against claims, damages, losses or injuries to persons or property, excluding any wrongful, intentional, malicious acts or negligence of Eighteen Eighty Eight (1888), its officers, employees, or agents. This would include, but not be limited to, attorneys and consultant fees, legal costs, expenses and fees arising out of or resulting from the use of 1888 Center by said group or organization or by its officers, employees, agents, guests or invitees. This indemnification includes, but is not limited to, any wrongful, intentional, or malicious acts or conduct of the group or organization using 1888 Center, or by its officers, employees, agents, guests or invitees.

The lender certifies that the objects are in good condition and will withstand ordinary strains of packing and transportation. Artwork transported by the lender will be at the expense of the lender. Artwork will be returned packed in the same or similar materials as received. Any artwork loaned to 1888 Center will be returned to the lender within 30 days or upon a reasonable notice after the close of the exhibition. Reasonable notice is considered seven to thirty days. If work cannot be delivered or is not picked up within 30 days through no fault of 1888 Center, the work shall be deemed an unrestricted gift to 1888 Center.

Artwork transported by the lender is insured from the time of arrival at 1888 Center until the time of pick-up by the lender. The lender agrees that, in the event of loss or damage, recovery shall be limited to such amount, if any, as may be paid by the insurer, hereby releasing the 1888 Center and its employees from liability for any and all claims arising out of such loss or damage. In the event of partial loss or damage, 1888 Center’s liability shall be limited to the cost of repair or restoration or any resulting loss in fair market value.

Artwork will be visually inspected upon receipt and any noticeable damage will be documented. Evidence of damage to objects while in 1888 Center’s custody will be reported immediately to the lender. 1888 Center staff will place, install, light and provide signage for the artwork.

1888 Center assumes the right to photograph and reproduce photographs of the artwork and/or artist for educational and publicity purposes and for use in any printed material produced related to the exhibition.

Artwork cannot be withdrawn from an exhibition by the lender at any time during its exhibition. In the event of a sale, 1888 Center will pay to the artist a 50% commission based on the sale price of the artwork. A W-9 form is required for payment.

The lender acknowledges that she/he has the full power to make this loan and has read the conditions above and agrees to abide by said conditions. Any arrangements other than the above must be agreed to in writing at the time of the contract performance.