Press Release | August 1, 2023

Reed Environmental Writing Award announces 2024 call for nominations

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 (SELC) announced a call for entries in the 2024 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Reed Award, which celebrates writers who achieve both literary excellence and offer extraordinary insight into the South’s natural treasures and environmental challenges.  

The Reed Award presents two awards each year to recognize outstanding writing in the following categories:

  • Book Category for works of nonfiction (not self-published)
  • 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:

  • Corban Addison, author of Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial
  • Isabelle Chapman, investigative reporter for CNN
  • Alexis Okeowo, staff writer at The New Yorker
  • 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, 2022, and
    September 30, 2023.
  • 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, 2023, 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.

An in-event award ceremony honoring the 2024 winners will be held on March 22 in Charlottesville, Virginia, in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book. The event will also be streamed online.  

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

Press Contacts

Alexis Bishop

Marketing Manager

Phone: 434-977-4090
Email: [email protected]