SJ Story Map Contest 

Submitted by SJWrites on Mon, 05/17/2021 - 3:30 PM
SJ Story Map

Through Storytelling We Can Map Our Community

San José State University’s College of Humanities and the Arts is partnering with San José Public Library to host “San José Story Map Project,” an online storytelling contest encouraging residents who grew up or are currently living or working in San José to map their community through personal stories, testimonials, and images.

What is the San José Story Map

The San José Story Map uses the power of stories to map San José in a new and different light. The project will culminate in a geo-locational digital story map that explores San José through imaginative literature and art. The map will uncover untold stories, hidden histories, and unheard voices to showcase the diverse and vibrant cultures shaping the Silicon Valley city. For details:

Goals of the Project

  • To use digital cultural mapping as a tool for cultural critique.

  • To create a dynamic, inclusive, empowering, culturally sensitive map of San José as a living people’s (his)story.

  • To engage the public as participants and collaborators in cultural mapping.

  • To increase public awareness of humanities/arts in promoting artistic, ethical, and socially responsible use of digital technologies.

  • To forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones within and beyond San José State University and the library.

How to Enter

Entries must be received via the Submission Form by Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 11:59pm PST.

If you are unable to submit using the online form, please email

Timeline: Submissions will be accepted between May 17, 2021 – March 15, 2022.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Your submission must relate to the city of San José, California in some way, whether your work uses the city as setting, theme, image, or inspiration.

  1. Your submission must communicate a sense of place that is meaningful to you and relatable to others.

  1. You must provide locational information (such as street address, intersection, neighborhood) that pins your submission to a specific location on the San José Story Map. Your location must include San José, California).

  1. Your submission must be an original creation.

  1. Your submission may be in the following languages:

    • English
    • Spanish
    • Vietnamese
    • Chinese (simplified)
    • Chinese (traditional)
  1. Your submissions must advance the goals of the San Jose Story Map project.

Submission Requirements 

Submissions can be original artwork in any language, any genre, any media and must include the following:

  1. Submit original work in the following formats:

    • Text (750 words max)
    • Video (mov, mp4 - max 3min/1GB)
    • Image (img, png - max 10MB)
    • Audio
    • Project Website (no personal portfolios or professional websites will be accepted)
  2. Short “About Me” sentence and ... (max 325 characters)

  3. Location to pin story to story map (address, neighborhood, point of interest – please include city and state)


Individuals age 18+ who grew up or currently live and work in San José, California.

Judging Criteria

  1. Is the submission original and imaginative?

  1. Does it reveal or represent San José in a new and different light?

  1. Does the submission communicate a strong sense of place?

  1. Does it connect San José with the histories, memories, experiences, perspectives, ideas, imaginations, visions, thoughts and feelings of people/communities in San José?

  1. Does the submission align with or advance the goals of the project?


A panel of judges will select up to 25 submissions for inclusion in the map. All artists/writers whose submissions are chosen will be invited to the grand unveiling of the San José Story Map in April 2022. The top 5 winners of the contest will get a chance to present their work and also receive honors/awards; others will be awarded a certificate of recognition.

California Humanities - A State Of Open Mind

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

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