Win a $2,500 Prize in the Philipp D. Reed Environmental Writing Award 2022

Submit an application for the Philipp D. Reed Environmental Writing Award 2022, for a chance to win a cash prize of $2500.

Application Deadline: October 31 2021


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  • Prizes of #2500 are awarded to the winner in each category.
  • Winners will be invited to read from their winning entry at a special SELC event during the Virginia Festival of the book, held every March in Charlottesville, Va. 


  • We welcome nominations from anyone, including authors and publishers.
  • Entries must relate to the natural treasures or environmental challenges in at least one of SELC’s states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.
  • Journalism entries may be a single article, a series on one topic, or a collection on unrelated topics, as long as each article pertains to the environment in one of the six states listed above. The entry as a whole must meet the minimum word length. Entries must be accompanied by a digital version (URL, email, or CD) to verify word length.
  • For the journalism category, the minimum length is 3,000 words per entry. Awards are given to an individual writer or are shared among co-writers.

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Application Instructions

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  • We ask that you attach an electronic copy of your submission (64MB limit on uploads) or provide a link so that we may purchase it online. 
  • If this is not available, please send us one hard copy to the address below. Please note that hard copies will not be returned.

About the Philipp D. Reed Environmental Writing Award

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 grows and changes, writers are increasingly exploring our relationship with these natural riches and the challenges they face in this time of transition, and SELC’s Reed Environmental Writing Award honors the best of these storytellers.

SELC’s annual Reed Environmental Writing Award seeks to enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the South’s natural treasures by giving special recognition to writers who most effectively tell the stories about the region’s environment.

There are two categories for entries: Book, for works of nonfiction (not self-published), and Journalism, for newspaper, magazine, and online writing that is published by a recognized institution such as a newspaper, university, or nonprofit organization.

The primary judging criterion is the quality of writing. Cash prizes are awarded to the winner in each category. Winners will be invited to read from their winning entry at a special SELC event during the Virginia Festival of the Book, held every March in Charlottesville, Va.

Discover more opportunities from Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).


Key Dates and Order of Program

  • Entries are due October 31, 2021, and must have been published between September 30, 2020, and October 1, 2021.

Past Winners

  • 2021

Paul Bolster received the Reed Award for Saving the Georgia Coast: A Political History of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act in the book category.

Tony Bartelme of The Post and Courier in Charleston received the Reed Award in the journalism category for his in-depth reporting on South Carolina’s coastal environment, including communities where the damaging impacts of climate change are happening now.

  • 2020

Margaret Renkl received the award in the Book category for Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss.

Megan Mayhew Bergman received the award in the Journalism category for “Climate Changed,” a series on southern attitudes toward climate change published by The Guardian.

  • 2019

Earl Swift won in the Book category for Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island.

John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire of the Alabama Media Group won in the Journalism category for coverage of a public corruption scandal aimed at shielding companies from the expense of cleaning up pollution in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the North Birmingham area.

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