BEND — The High Desert Museum is now accepting submissions for the 2023 Waterston Desert Writing Prize. The prize honors outstanding literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy with the desert as both subject and setting, said a press release. Emerging, mid-career and established nonfiction writers are invited to apply.
The museum will award one writer with a $3,000 cash award as part of the Waterston Desert Writing Prize. The prize also includes a reading and reception at the museum in Bend on Sept. 14 and a residency at PLAYA at Summer Lake, an arts and sciences residency campus located in Summer Lake, Ore., that sits on the edge of the Great Basin in Southern Oregon.
To learn more about the Waterston Desert Writing Prize and how to submit an entry, visit highdesertmuseum.org/waterston-prize. Submissions will be accepted through May 1.
The guest judge for this year’s Waterston Desert Writing Prize is Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest (Lummi). Her literary debut, “Patriarchy Blues,” was published in 2017 and received the American Book Award. Priest’s most recent book, “Northwest Know-How: Beaches,” is a love letter to 29 of the most beloved beaches in Washington and Oregon. Priest is the first Indigenous poet laureate of the state of Washington.
“The many gifted writers who submit their work expand how we think about deserts,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “We look forward to how our perspectives will grow this year.”
“The Waterston Desert Writing Prize continues to grow in its fourth year as a High Desert Museum program,” said Ellen Waterston. “The museum support of the literary arts has helped us reach new audiences.”
The winner of the 2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize was Caroline Tracey. Her submission, “SALT LAKES,” is a collection of 18 essays providing a queer perspective on climate change in arid environments.