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Students Earn San Diego Decameron Prize

By Emilyn Edquilang
Two LJCDS students’ stories were selected for San Diego’s version of The Decameron

Amy Cho ’21 and Allen Tu ’21 are recipients of the San Diego Decameron Prize for their essays about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around 1350, with Europe in the throes of the bubonic plague, a book of stories called The Decameron captured something of what it was like in Florence, Italy—the devastation, the fear, the resolve, the hope.

In 2021, with the world struggling through another pandemic, a new collection of stories aims to chronicle what it feels like in San Diego. The San Diego Decameron Project includes 101 stories written by county residents as part of a contest organized by the La Jolla Historical Society, San Diego Public Library, Write Out Loud and San Diego Writers, Ink. The collection went online on Feb. 16 with different groups of stories on the varied organizers’ websites. It will be published in book form later this year. The stories will also be added to the library’s digital archive.

“This is a huge honor, and I am so proud of the work that Allen Tu and Yubeen (Amy) Cho submitted,” shared Amy Parish, Upper School humanities educator. “Both essays were written for our eulogy unit after reading Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.”  

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune: 
About 170 people submitted stories. The organizers gathered the stories, redacted the authors’ names, and then sent them to 25 judges, all of them writers. Each story was read by multiple judges, who gave it a score based on a variety of factors: character, setting, plot development. The 100 stories with the top scores made it into the final collection. (Except that two stories wound up with the same score, so there are 101.)

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