Ends on October 15, 2019

Ok, fine. Miami is going to be underwater.

Let’s get to the good part: the nostalgia.

Waterproof is a book-length obituary for Miami, written by YOU, the people who lived here.

We’re not asking for your hopes and dreams. We're just going to go ahead and assume that it will all be lost, so, now that Miami's dead, what should we remember about it?

We’re asking for PROSE OBITUARIES: 100 - 750 word tributes to specific Miami places, moments, phenomena, and people. 

Possible subjects to write about (and yes, you can steal one of these):

  • La Vaquita
  • Club Space
  • Glorida Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
  • Hurricane Andrew
  • Un batido de trigo
  • ¿Qué Pasa USA?
  • Etc.

When people in your new city ask, “What was Miami like?,” this is the book you’ll show them.

What to Submit

We are accepting TWO different kinds of work: writing and art

(WRITING) – 100 to 750 word “micro-obituaries” for specific places, moments, people, etc. in Miami. We're looking for PROSE (think: newspaper obituaries), but if you submit a poem, and it's great, that's fine, too. You can write about something that has already disappeared (Fox’s); a specific moment in Miami’s history (The Shuckers deck collapse), someone who encapsulated this place for you (That guy who plays “Careless Whisper” on Bird & Douglas), etc. We’re open to all different kinds of interpretations of “What shouldn’t we forget about Miami?” We are looking for imagination, heartfelt emotion, humor, anything that shows us you really loved Miami. The only rule is: be as specific as possible.

(ART) – Visuals. Submit a photo, illustration, or other digital image that you personally have the rights to, either as a companion to your piece, or as a stand-alone elegy. We don’t want the sunset over downtown, or other generalized scenes of Miami. (Enough of those will survive on their own.) We want specifics. Can you draw Yambo’s? A Marino-to-Duper flea flicker? The jets skis at Santa’s? Now you’re on the right track.

Who can Submit 

  • Submissions will be accepted from anyone, but priority will be given to current and former residents of South Florida.
  • Writing and art are separate categories. You’re not expected to submit both, but you certainly can.
  • You do NOT have to be a professional, semi-professional, or even aspiring writer or artist. We’re interested in what everyone in Miami has to say/depict.
  • All languages are welcome.


  • All submitters, if their work is chosen, grant first publication rights to Jai-Alai Books for their work. 
  • Contributors receive one copy of the book; a discounted rate on the purchase of additional copies; and an opportunity to read their work at a public event.


  • Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis between now and October 15, 2019.
  • “Rolling basis” means that we may fill the book before the October 15 deadline, so we recommend submitting as early in the window as possible.
  • You may submit as many times as you like. 

Who is involved?

  • The book’s editor is Mario Alejandro Ariza. Ariza is a Dominican immigrant to the United States. He is the author of Disposable City: Miami’s future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe, forthcoming from Bold Type Books in summer 2020. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Miami and a Master’s degree in Hispanic Cultural Studies from Columbia University. His poetry, journalism, and non-fiction writing can be found in places like BOAAT,  The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and The Believer. 
  • The publisher is Jai-Alai Books, a subsidiary of O, Miami. 
  • The book’s designer is Topos Graphics.