Press Release | August 1, 2022

Reed Environmental Writing Award announces 2023 call for entries

The annual awards program by the Southern Environmental Law Center honors extraordinary environmental writers focused on the South

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Today the Southern Environmental Law Center announced a call for entries for the 2023 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award, celebrating writers who achieve both literary excellence and offer extraordinary insight into the South’s natural treasures and environmental challenges.  

Presented each year, the Reed Award recognizes 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 digital writing published by a recognized institution such as a news organization, university, or nonprofit group. 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 treasures 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 continues to grow and change, writers are increasingly exploring our relationship with the natural world and the environmental challenges we face as a region. SELC’s Reed Environmental Writing Award honors the best of these storytellers.

Recent winners include:

  • Catherine Coleman Flowers, author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret
  • Alexis Okeowo, staff writer at The New Yorker
  • Tony Bartelme, a special projects reporter for the Charleston Post and Courier
  • Margaret Renkl, opinion writer for the New York Times and author of Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss
  • Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature

There are three options for submitting entries: electronic copy (up to 64MB), hard copy, or a website link to where the submission is available for sale. Hard copy submissions will not be returned. Below are general contest requirements.

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2021 and
    September 30, 2022.
  • All 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, 2022, at
  • Journalism entries must be at least 1,000 words and may consist of a single article or a group of articles.

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, committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC.

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

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Phone: 434-977-4090
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