SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including readers, authors, and publishers.

In the long, proud tradition of southern literature, writers have often drawn on the region’s unique natural heritage for inspiration and insight—from the haunting cypress swamps of Georgia to the tall mountains of western North Carolina to the rolling fields of the Virginia piedmont. As the South grows and changes, writers are increasingly exploring our relationship with these natural riches and the challenges they face in this time of transition, and SELC’s Reed Environmental Writing Award honors the best of these storytellers.

Presented each year during the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Reed Awards honor the late Phillip D. Reed, a distinguished attorney, a committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC. The awards also recognize outstanding writing on the southern environment in two categories: the book category for works of nonfiction (not self-published) and the journalism category for newspaper, magazine, and online writing published by a recognized institution such as a news organization, university, or nonprofit group.

Here are a few details to consider before submitting:

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020.
  • Submissions must relate to the natural environment in at least one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.
  • Submissions are due by October 1, 2020, at SouthernEnvironment.org/submit.
  • Journalism entries must be at least 3,000 words
  • There are three options for submitting entries: electronic copy, hard copy, or a website link to where the submission is available for sale. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.

The Reed Awards celebrate writers who achieve both literary excellence and extraordinary insight into the South’s natural heritage and environmental challenges. This year, New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl received the book award for Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss, published by Milkweed Editions. Megan Mayhew Bergman, a faculty member at Middlebury College and director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, received the journalism award for “Climate Changed,” a series on southern attitudes toward climate change published by The Guardian.

Visit our website for information on other recent winners, including Clemson University wildlife ecologist J. Drew Lanham for his book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, and Earl Swift, author of Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island.

Reed Award winners are selected by a national panel of judges that includes leading environmental writers, journalists, and advocates.

Visit the Reed Award website for contest requirements and submission instructions.

We look forward to reading this year’s submissions!

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