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Waterston Desert Writing Prize 2024 | $3,000 cash Award|

Waterston Desert Writing Prize 2024 | $3,000 cash Award|

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Waterston Desert Writing Prize 2024 | $3,000 cash Award|

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize (the Prize) was established in 2014, inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of the High Desert, a region that has been her muse for more than 40 years. The Prize provides financial and other support to writers whose work reflects a similar connection to the desert, recognizing the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and the human narrative.

In celebration of the Prize’s tenth anniversary, the 2024 guest judge will be actor and producer Sam Waterston, who funded the original endowment that launched the Prize. The ceremony’s keynote speaker will be Tucker Malarkey, a nationally bestselling author. Malarkey’s most recent book, Stronghold: One Man’s Quest to Save the World’s Wild Salmon, chronicles one conservationist’s journey to save the world’s remaining wild salmon.


  • The Prize will recognize the winner with a $3,000 cash award and a reading and reception at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon on September 26, 2024.

Check: International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Diversity Grants 2024

Eligibility for Waterston Desert Writing Prize

  • Open to Nonfiction writers who illustrate artistic excellence, sensitivity to place and desert literacy with the desert as both subject and setting.
  •  The award supports literary nonfiction writers who are completing, proposing, or considering the creation of a book-length manuscript. It is recommended the writing sample submitted is part of the proposed project or closely represents it in content and style.

Also Check: Call for Applications: German Embassy Microprojects Grants 2024 { funding of up to 25.000 Euro }

Application of Waterston Desert Writing Prize

Step 1. Fill out the online application form (link active after January 2nd, 2024) on Submittable. This form is the only location identifying information (your name, address, email) should appear.

Step 2. Upload ONE Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF file. Combine the three parts of the application described below into one document and do not place your name or other identifying information on any page of the document.

  1. Biographical StatementOne double-spaced page in 12-point type and one-inch margins. Do not disclose your identity in this information. A resumé or curriculum vitae will not be accepted. Provide a brief narrative that summarizes:
  • Your educational, professional, publication, and writing experience
  • How the Waterston Desert Writing Prize award will benefit your work
  • Your commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the body of desert literature
  1. Proposal Title and Description: No more than one double-spaced page in 12-point type and one-inch margins. The description should include:
  • Proposal title
  • Brief description of the project
  • Desert locations included in the project’s research
  • Brief description of how the project will contribute to desert literature and expand knowledge of the deserts

NOTE: A budget is not required

  1. Writing Sample: No more than 10 double-spaced pages in 12-point type and one-inch margins. Please keep in mind:
  • Writing samples that are in other genres such as poetry, fiction or juvenile literature will be disqualified.
  • Writing samples can be published material or unpublished drafts.
  • You must be the sole author and have full ownership of the work.
  • Any extra materials included with the proposal, and not requested in these guidelines, will not be reviewed.

Step 3. Submit materials. All applications must be submitted via Submittable. Please note that incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed. The deadline is 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline01 May,2024
OrganizerWaterston Desert Museum



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