In its first year this award has gained considerable traction. The endowment has grown, the word of the award is spreading, and this first year’s winning author’s project promises to be an exciting one: Rebecca Lawton’s “The Oasis This Time” (see her photo above) will focus on California palm oases and their role as barometers of the effects of falling groundwater in communities throughout the American West (www.beccalawton.com). Lawton has won a WILLA Award and the Ellen Meloy Award for her work in nonfiction. The inaugural awards ceremony, open to the public, will be held at the High Desert Museum in Bend on Thursday, June 25, 6-7:30 p.m. With 29 applications from 14 different states, Europe and India, the task of selecting the winner from highly qualified entries proved challenging for the Board. Rebecca Lawton and Caroline Treadway, one of three finalists, will read at the awards ceremony. Rebecca will be presented with a check for $1,000 and a four week writing residency at Playa at Summer Lake. To reserve, please visit highdesertmuseum.org/rsvp.
In addition to its gratitude to the support of the High Desert Museum and Playa at Summer Lake, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize thanks the Oregon Community Foundation (oregoncf.org) Grace Bio-Labs (www.gracebio.com) , Sue and Michael Hollern, Rowan Hollitz, the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation (www.mrgfoundation.org), Julie Bryant and Bill Roach, Neilson Abeel and Tori Bryer for their support. A special thank you to Board members Julie Kennedy Cochran, Louise Hawker, Dick Linford of Bend, Oregon; Chuck McGrath of Post, Oregon; Gail Hill of Tumalo, Oregon; Jennifer Delahunty and Jeff Tryens of Sisters, Oregon; and Ted Haynes of Sunriver, Oregon. For information about next year’s submissions deadline please visit www.writingranch.com and click on Waterston Desert Writing Prize. Tax deductible donations can be made to Waterston Desert Writing Prize, PO Box 640, Bend, Oregon 97709.