2016 Award Recipient
Sweetwater: Life and Change in the Rain Shadow of the Sierra Nevada.
Kendra Atleework is a native of the Owens Valley in California, site of the infamous Los Angeles water appropriation of 1913 when L.A. began to funnel nearly all of the Owens River 233 miles to the city. In her memoir manuscript, she creates a chronicle of the Owens Valley over time, taking into account both the history and prehistory of her home. Atleework brings history, natural history, politics and economics together as she explores the century-long aftermath of the Owens Valley’s loss of water and the natural and cultural beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the desert they shadow. We are pleased to be able to provide the Ellen Meloy Fund’s eleventh annual desert writers award to Kendra Atleework.
Read more About This Year's Recipient
The Ellen Meloy Fund for desert Writers provides support to writers whose work reflects the spirits and passions embodied in Ellen’s writing and her commitment to a deep map of place. This year marks our 11th annual award.
2016 Award Finalists
Tara FitzGerald, Brooklyn, NY
"No Water of Their Own," a book project on the plight of the Aral Sea and its communities
Maya Kapoor, Tucson, Arizona
“Desert Ecologies,” an exploration of nature in the urbanizing Southwest
Kathryn Wilder, Dolores, CO
"Mustang Deserts," a literary investigation of America's mustang horses
Julene Bair, Santa Rosa, CA
"Our Turn at This Earth," on the plight of the Ogallala Aquifer region
The Ellen Meloy Fund Special Recognition Grant for Writing on Water:
Ceal Klingler, Bishop, CA
"The Big Transition,” a look at small animals in the Great Basin-Mojave transition zone
2017 Awards Process
Submissions for the 2017 Desert Writer's Award will be accepted November 1, 2016 – January 17, 2017. Our application guidelines and awards process can be found here.
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What We Do
The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers sends the willing and talented out to the desert to write. The annual award of $3,000 provides recognition and a small base of financial support for exceptional writers of the desert who wish to spend creative time in a desert environment and carry on in the spirit of Ellen Meloy. Read more about Ellen, the EMF and our award recipients.
The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers is a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3).