Basque writing contest


  • First Prize: $500 Center for Basque Studies Press gift certificate for the winner and publication consideration
  • Second Prize: $150 Center for Basque Studies Press gift certificate and publication consideration
  • Third Prize: Basque literature and classics gift pack and publication consideration

Submit via mail to:

Center for Basque Studies
University of Nevada, Reno/MS 2322
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno NV 89557-2322

or email:

General rules

  1. Submissions must be original and unpublished manuscripts
  2. Submissions must be in Microsoft Word or printed on hard copy and more than 10,000 words and less than 100,000 words
  3. Submissions should be clearly identified and accompanied by a cover letter (or email) that includes the entrant’s name and contact information. No contact information should be included on the actual submission.
  4. Entries will not be returned. Please only submit copies.
  5. Submissions can be in any genre, including but not limited to: literary fiction, short story collections, creative nonfiction, memoir and children’s literature.

This contest is held in conjunction between the William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies and the  Boise State University Basque Studies Program.

The 2019 Basque writing contest winners – books available for purchase mow

The 2019 Basque writing contest winners

  1. Heading for Bilbao by Suzanne Ahn
  2. Marta and Marianna’s Culinary Adventure by Vicky Ayala Richardson
  3. Lenny’s Summertime Adventure by Linda Uruburu

The books that won prizes in the 2019 Basque writing contest are now available on the Center for Basque Studies’ online bookstore. We are very excited to share these books with you and to celebrate the winners. The annual Basque writing contest for 2021 will open on February 1st.

Heading for Bilbao by Suzanne Ahn

In early 1937, a young Canadian journalist is disenchanted with life in Paris and accepts an assignment to go to Madrid. Friends offer advice. A Basque medical student tells him of the determined anticlericalism prevalent in Madrid; a German exile suggests he take an extra pair of glasses. In Madrid, the journalist is moved by the misery of the working classes but disturbed by the power wielded by the Communist Party. After his first air raid, he finds himself shaking at the sound of airplanes. Wounded by shrapnel, the journalist returns to Paris. Recovering, he suffers as much from shame of his fear as from the physical pain of his wounds. When faced with an unexpected request from a friend, his sympathy for the Basques’ plight challenges him to take action.

Marta and Marianna’s Culinary Adventure

"Marta and Marianna’s Culinary Adventure" continues Vicky Ayala Richardson’s personal journey of searching for Basque connections. Marta and Marianna, a dynamic and persevering mother and daughter duo, provide a lively (and purely fictitious) tale of family love. They introduce the reader to a colorful cast of Basque characters and equally colorful Basque culture. The preparation for a family wedding—set in Chino, California and starring its Basque community and Basque Club—unfolds quickly as Marta and Marianna launch into swift action. Woven into the frantic and fanciful search for a special family recipe, the story offers a peek into the inner workings of txokos (Basque men’s cooking clubs) and useful connections in far-off San Sebastián, in the Basque Country. Included are recipes for a chocolate confection, Basque cake and a family lamb dish. "Marta and Marianna’s Culinary Adventure" will enlighten the reader while also providing a few chuckles at the twists and turns in the duo’s pursuit of “that very special family recipe.”

Lenny’s Summertime Adventures

Lenny lives at the foot of the mountains outside of New York City, where every year her Basque relatives gather at the “Big House.” Her summers are always filled with adventures, games and parties. But Lenny has something special in mind for her cousins this year — to help her find a ghost! Throughout the summer, we meet Lenny’s favorite cousin, Val; her brave cousin, Gregie; Uncle Gregorio, who might secretly be Superman; Mackie the delivery man, who is terrified of the snakes in the driveway; Pudgie, the dog with the snake bite scars on his face; Harvey, the albino guinea pig; and many more. We follow Lenny's hand-drawn map of her “neighborhood,” visiting places like Eagle Rock, Blueberry Hill and the Pipeline. We take a peek into her personal dictionary of Basque words and learn about Basque traditions. And finally, we discover the answer to the mystery of “The Ghost.”