News | December 20, 2022

Meet our 2023 Phil Reed Environmental Writing Award finalists  

The Southern Environmental Law Center presents our finalists for the 2023 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award.  

The work of this year’s finalists explores a wide array of environmental topics; ranging from environmental injustices faced by Southern communities to the challenges our region faces as it deals with the realities of climate change to the importance of environmental conservation. 

Presented each year, the Reed Award celebrates writers who achieve both literary excellence and offer extraordinary insight into the South’s natural treasures and environmental challenges.   

The Award recognizes outstanding writing 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.  

Book category finalists:  

  • Corban Addison, Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial 
  • Dan Chapman, A Road Running Southward 
  • Brent Martin, George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina 
  • Annie Proulx, Fen, Bog & Swamp 
  • Bland Simpson, North Carolina: Land of Water, Land of Sky 

Journalism category finalists: 

  • Isabelle Chapman, CNN, “Gambling ‘America’s Amazon’” 
  • Cameron Oglesby, Southerly & Scalawag (collection), “This plan is a lie. How biogas could do more harm than good for the hog industry” and “N.C. releases general biogas permit despite environmental justice concerns”
  • Tom Perkins, The Guardian (collection), “Cancer Fears Plague Residents of U.S. Region Polluted by ‘Forever Chemicals” and “Fury over ‘forever chemicals’ as US states spread toxic sewage sludge” 
  • Annie Proulx, The New Yorker, “Swamps Can Protect Against Climate Change, If We Only Let Them” 
  • Krishna Sharma, The Bitter Southerner, “Catfish & the Quarry: A Grassroots Victory for Environmental Justice in Rural GA” 

Winners of the award will be announced in early February 2023. 

Learn more about the Reed Award.

SELC presents the award annually in memory of Phillip D. Reed, a founding trustee of SELC who helped guide our organization through the early years before his untimely death in 1993. A talented attorney committed environmental activist, and editor of the widely read Environmental Law Reporter, Phil was known for his ebullient spirit and inquiring intellect. 

By recognizing top writing about the environment, SELC hopes to raise public awareness of the South’s natural treasures and environmental challenges that foster better conservation and protection of our environment.