SELC Calls for Submissions for 2020 Phil Reed Environmental Writing Awards

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for the 2020 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including readers, authors and publishers.

Presented each year during the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Reed Awards 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.

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019.
  • 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, 2019, 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 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. This year, author Earl Swift received the book award for his widely acclaimed Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island. John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire of the Alabama Media Group received the journalism award for their coverage of a public corruption scandal aimed at shielding companies from the expense of cleaning up pollution in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the North Birmingham area.

Other past winners include:

  • Clemson University wildlife ecologist Drew Lanham for his book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature;
  • Harvard University biologist (emeritus) and Alabama native Edward O. Wilson, considered the father of biodiversity;
  • Veteran environmental journalists Charles Seabrook, a longtime contributor to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ben Raines, an accomplished filmmaker as well as an award-winning reporter on the Gulf Coast;
  • Writer and poet Janisse Ray, author of the celebrated Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award;
  • David George Haskell, a forest biologist at Sewanee: The University of the South and winner of the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished natural history writing; and
  • Deborah Cramer, a visiting scholar at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative whose books have won awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering.

Reed Award winners are selected by a national panel of judges that includes leading environmental writers, journalists and advocates. The awards honor the late Phillip D. Reed, a distinguished attorney, a committed environmental activist and a founding trustee of the Southern Environmental Law Center.

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For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With more than 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org

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