Press Release | November 29, 2012

18th Annual Nature Writing Contest 
Now Underway

The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for its annual Reed Environmental Writing Award. The award seeks to enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the region’s natural heritage by giving special recognition to writers who most effectively tell the stories about the South’s environment.

SELC’s annual Reed Environmental Writing Award has two categories: Book, for non-fiction books (not self-published), and Journalism, for newspaper, magazine writing, and online writing that is published by a recognized institution (e.g., newspaper, university or non-profit organization) and is journalistic in nature. Prizes of $1,000 are awarded to the winner in each category; winners will be publicly announced at SELC’s special event during the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

  • All submissions must have been published during calendar year 2012, and must be postmarked by January 2, 2013. Nominations can be made by anyone, including the author or publisher.
  • Submissions must relate to the natural environment in at least one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.
  • Send 16 copies to Reed Award, SELC, 201 W. Main Street, Ste. 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Submissions cannot be returned. Include at least one copy in original format for proof of publication. Journalism entries must be at least 3,000 words; please provide a CD or email the text to [email protected] to verify word length.
  • For more information visit the Reed Award website

We wish to thank our esteemed panel of judges for this year’s contest:

Bruz Clark—President and treasurer of the Chattanooga-based Lyndhurst Foundation, Director of its Environmental Grantmaking Program; member of the Society for Conservation Biology, Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, Land Trust Alliance, Southeastern Council of Foundations, and Timber Frame Guild.

Jim Detjen— Chair Emeritus and founding president of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University; founding president of Society of Environmental Journalists; former award-winning reporter for Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nikki Giovanni—Grammy-nominated poet, activist and author of more than two dozen books including essay collections, illustrated children’s books, and poetry, most recently Bicycles: Love Poems; University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.

Silas House—Author of The Coal Tattoo and Eli the Good, co-author of Something’s Rising; contributor to numerous publications including Oxford American and New York Times; multiple award winner including Kentucky Novel of the Year and Chaffin Prize for Literature; Interim Director, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center; Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies, Berea College.

Janet Lembke— Author of Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories, and almost 20 other nature books; poems and essays have appeared in Audubon, Southern Review, and The New York Times Book Review.

Bill McKibben—Author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature and several other books, most recently Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet; contributor to The New Yorker, Orion, The Atlantic Monthly and other publications; co-founder “,” an international climate campaign; scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College.

Deaderick Montague—Civic leader, teacher, and writer; guiding inspiration behind creation of the Reed Environmental Writing Award; Vice President of SELC Board of Trustees.

Janisse Ray— Poet, activist, teacher, and award-winning author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and four other books of literary non-fiction, including the 2012 The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food and a book of poems, A House of Branches; founding board member of Altamaha Riverkeeper; Reed Award winner in 2000.

Charles Seabrook—Former veteran environmental reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; author of Cumberland Island and The World of the Salt Marsh, forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press in April 2010; Reed Award winner in 1998.

Paul Sloan—Former Deputy Commissioner Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; founder Partners in Conservation; co-founder Little Planet Publishing; founding board member Cumberland Region Tomorrow.

Donovan Webster— Author of several books, including most recently War Stories: True Life Fiction Inspired by the Global War on Terror; former senior editor of Outside magazine; a contributor to New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, National Geographic and Smithsonian.

The award is named in memory of SELC founding trustee Phillip D. Reed, a talented attorney and committed environmental activist who helped guide our organization through the early years before his untimely death in 1993.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.