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Learn About our FirstGen Program

At UC Press, we aim to publish and support bold, diverse perspectives that are representative of an inclusive spectrum of voices. This mission informs not only the scholarship we publish, but how we support the community of scholars and authors. We know that book publishing can be difficult to navigate for many scholars, and we’re dedicated to making it a more equitable process for all.

Our FirstGen Program seeks to cultivate and support the work of first-generation scholars — those who are the first in their family to receive a college degree. As we know from research and the University of California’s own FirstGen program, first-gen students often confront a range of intersecting inequalities across race, class, immigration status, and more. First-gen scholars who have gone on to attain advanced degrees and become faculty must navigate additional barriers within the academy. In our role as a non-profit, progressive press within the public UC system, we aim to extend the UC’s efforts by more effectively cultivating, publishing, and promoting the work of first-gen scholars.

Our program includes:

  • Financial support to help eliminate costs associated with book publishing, support the writing process, and maximize the reach and impact of the author’s scholarship (e.g. developmental editing, indexing, permissions, etc)
  • Publishing workshops and webinars to help demystify the book publishing process for first-gen scholars, and provide opportunities for community-building and networking
  • Online resources about book publishing, to enable accessible information for the first-gen scholar community
  • Data and findings from the research phase of our program, to raise awareness about the first-gen publishing experience and provide information to the academic and publishing community about how to support these scholars
  • A FirstGen Program email list to establish regular communication with first-gen scholars about relevant publishing resources, events, program updates, and to gather feedback that will improve our program and our publishing

Program FAQs

How do I apply for the FirstGen Program?

We want to minimize extra work for first-gen scholars, so no applications are necessary. If you are a first-gen scholar with a book proposal that you’re interested in sending to UC Press, please review our book proposal guidelines and then reach out to the appropriate editor in your field. As part of the proposal submission process, please self-identify as first gen. If the press accepts your proposal for publication, your editor will also then connect you with additional resources and supports for our first-gen authors.

I’m a published first-gen UC Press author. What resources are available to me?

Any first-gen authors can access our FirstGen email list, our publishing resources for book authors, and upcoming publicly available events. Financial support for our new FirstGen initiative is aimed at helping first-gen scholars develop their book projects. We are unable to compensate our published first-gen authors in arrears, but we look forward to including your work in our future FirstGen promotions.

I am not associated with UC Press or the UC system. Can I still access your program?

Any first-gen scholar or student is welcome to join our FirstGen email list and access our publishing resources for book authors. Many of our events will also be publicly available (please see the Events section below).

How can I attend your FirstGen publishing events?

Please check the events section below for any upcoming public FirstGen Program events. We will also be posting recordings of past events under the Resources section.

Will the program provide resources for first-gen scholars publishing with academic journals?

At this time, our program is focused on book publishing. We’ve found that there tends to be less support and training when it comes to publishing manuscripts, and we are focusing our efforts on supporting first-gen scholars interested in book publishing.

How can I find out more about the FirstGen program?

Please join our FirstGen email list or send an email to If you are a current UC Press author, you can also reach out to your acquisitions editor.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Demystifying Book Publishing for FirstGen Scholars

Sponsored by UC Press and the UC Collaborative of Humanities Centers and Institutes

January 21, 2022
12-2pm PST

Join us for a panel with first-gen authors about their publishing experiences, followed by a presentation and Q&A with UC Press editors about common publishing topics, such as choosing the right publisher; preparing a book proposal; how the peer review and Editorial Committee process works; revising your manuscript; and working with publishers to promote your book. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions. A recording will be made available after the event.

Register here

Download flyer for more information>

Join the FirstGen Email List

New Resources for FirstGen Scholars

<Describing the First-Gen Scholar Book Publishing Experience

Describing the First-Gen Scholar Book Publishing Experience

Book publishing can be an unclear, mysterious process to many scholars, including those who are first in their family to attain a college degree. In our First-Generation Scholars Book Publishing Survey, we …

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<8 Insights From Our First-Generation Scholars Book Publishing Survey

8 Insights From Our First-Generation Scholars Book Publishing Survey

This past year, we began the initial research and discovery phase of developing our FirstGen Scholars Program, an initiative to support and improve the publishing experience for authors who are the first …

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<Editor Spotlight: Meet Kim Robinson, Editorial Director

Editor Spotlight: Meet Kim Robinson, Editorial Director

In this edition of our UC Press Editor Spotlight Series, we sat down with Editorial Director Kim Robinson to discuss the role of an editorial director, how UC Press is addressing DEI …

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