More About
The Decameron Project

The Decameron Project aims to empower students to express themselves creatively and share their stories, even amidst school closures and other hardships posed by COVID-19. Our platform enables a community of young writers and readers to come together, no matter how hard the virus tries to keep us apart. At our core, we are a student organization –– by students, for students –– but we’re also partnered with prize-winning authors and distinguished institutions. They share our vision, and their invaluable insight helps us make that vision a reality. If you’re thinking about bringing the project to your school, submitting a story, or just looking to see what we’re about, read on to find all the information you need in one place.

I’m a student. Why should I submit?

Students make The Decameron Project possible. Whether you’re intrigued by our mission or inspired by the stories of your peers, we want to hear your voice. Take a look below for a few of the many reasons young writers choose to get involved:

  • By participating, you’ll be collaborating with your peers to create something of enduring meaning and worth –– in the midst of a global, historic crisis. It’s a chance to have your voice heard, and remembered, in this time of national angst. 
  • It’s always nice to be rewarded for your work. If you write a truly exceptional piece, not only will it be reviewed by a prize-winning author (this week, National Book award winner Judith Thurman, available here), but it’ll also be read aloud, recorded, and posted to a special section of our website (with your permission, that is).
  • While school still continues online, the experience does not –– extra-curricular activities, for example, are few and far between. If you’re an aspiring writer, or just looking for a worthy pass time beyond the virtual classroom, crafting a story for The Decameron Project can help keep your creative streak alive.
  • We’re looking to expand our team –– if your story catches our eye, and you’re interested in working with us, we’ll be in touch.

I’m a teacher. How should I get involved?

As we all continue distance learning, we believe that The Decameron Project is an exciting, innovative way of encouraging students to continue writing, and to keep their creative streaks alive. If you’re interested in our project, these are a few ways you can get involved: 

  • We recommend that interested teachers assign writing and submitting a piece to our website as homework— it’s an extra push that enables all students to have their voices heard, regardless of their confidence level. 
  • With that in mind, we have designed our site to make assigning submissions as homework as easy as possible. When submitting a story, students have the option to input their teacher’s email –– and if they do, you’ll be notified as soon as they share their work. 
  • We understand that, due to curricular constraints, assigning submitting as required work can sometimes be difficult for teachers. If that’s the case, we recommend designating submissions as work for extra credit, or simply informing students of the project so that those who may be interested in submitting can do so. 
  • If you’re an administrator, sharing our website with your student and faculty bodies helps any and all that see value in participating to get involved. We hope you’ll share us with everyone who might enjoy our project.

The Decameron Project partners with schools across the country because we believe the best way to inspire students is through their teachers. If you would like to talk more about bringing The Decameron Project to your school, click here or contact us at And we are always keen to speak on the phone — so email us to set up a call at your convenience.

How can I spread the Project to my school?

Expanding The Project into new schools is a key part of our mission. If you like our idea, have submitted work to The Project independently, or think that your fellow students would benefit from participating, we encourage you to spread our message to your peers and teachers.

To spread the project, we recommend speaking directly to your English teacher or to the head of your English department via email. Such an email need not be elaborate– but we recommend linking this page of our website ( so that they have an opportunity to see details of what The Project is all about. 

Alternatively, we encourage you to fill in the following form so that we can reach out to your school on your behalf:  Click Here

How do I submit?

Stories can be posted through our submissions portal. Please make sure you are aware of the official guidelines for submissions.

What are the criteria for submissions?

We are looking for original submissions of under 1500 words that fall under the broad umbrella of fiction. In the era of lockdown, we refrain from imposing yet more constraints on our participants –– besides the optional reference of our bi-weekly theme, participants are free to write on whatever they please. For more comprehensive information on submission criteria, please visit the official guidelines for submissions

Who reads the submissions? Who decides who wins?

Our team of curators –– ranging from students to recognized authors, weigh all submissions carefully before determining which to feature most prominently in our catalog and which are winners. Contenders for the winning submission, both for the themed and unthemed categories, are read over and critiqued by a member of our advisory board of authors. The same member will select the winner and read that story aloud.

What is The Decameron?

Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron in the aftermath of the Black Death, Europe’s deadliest pandemic to date. The Decameron alleges that during the height of this pandemic, ten young Florentines isolated themselves to avoid the plague; to pass the time, they told stories. Their tales –– of comedy and tragedy, wit and will, life and death, love and betrayal –– cut to the essence of what it means to be human. We take our inspiration from Boccaccio’s Decameron; our modern adaptation is true to his timeless idea –– that in times of crisis, we can be united through the power of telling stories.

What happens after the coronavirus?

It is important to remember that some day, the turbulence of the coronavirus will pass. While that day is not yet in sight, when it comes, we hope to continue to work with teachers and students to encourage and inspire creative writing inside and outside of the classroom. We believe in the value of telling stories, and as The Decameron has shown us, that value doesn’t fade when times of hardship pass.

How can I get in touch?

You can contact us via email at or by filling out this form