Press Release | December 9, 2013

Annual Nature Writing Contest Launches 20th Year

The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for our annual Reed Environmental Writing Award, which for 20 years has enhanced public awareness of the value and vulnerability of our region’s natural heritage by giving special recognition to writers who most effectively tell the stories of the South’s environment.

SELC’s annual Reed 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 22, 2014.

• All submissions must have been published during calendar year 2013, and must be postmarked by January 2, 2014. 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 dheishman@selcva.org 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 Director, 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.

David Haskell Author of The Forest Unseen, 2013 winner of the Reed Award; biology professor at the University of the South.

Jay Leutze Author of Stand Up That Mountain, 2013 winner of the Reed Award; trustee for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy; leading voice for state and federal conservation funding for investment in public lands.

Bill McKibben Author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature and several other books, most recently Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet; contributor to The New Yorker, Orion, The Atlantic Monthly and other publications; co-founder “350.org,” 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: The Voyage that Changed the Course of the World; 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.