The 2018 submission window is closed. Stay tuned for news about the winner in may!

About the Waterston Desert Writing Prize

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize will open for 2018 submissions January 1, 2018 and close April 1, 2018. A link for submissions will be available January 1.

The Prize chose Naseem Rakha as the 2017 winner, and finalists, Kendra Atleework, Charles Hood and Lawrence Lenhart. Read about them and their proposals here.  Thank you for your interest in the Waterston Desert Writing Prize.

Now starting its fourth year, the Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy - with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston's love of the high desert of Central Oregon, a region that has been her muse for more than 30 years, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and human narrative. Emerging, mid-career and established nonfiction writers are invited to apply. Previous submitters who have not won an award are eligible to apply with a new project.

The Award
In 2018, the Prize will recognize one writer with a $2,000 cash award, a reading and reception at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, and a four-week residency at PLAYA at Summer Lake, Oregon.

When and How to Apply
Proposals can be submitted beginning January 1, 2018 and ending April 1, 2018. All submitters are required to use the online application link at Click on the Submit menu.


Shown below, photos from the 2015 reading and reception, honoring winner Rebecca Lawton and finalist Caroline Treadway.