Help Us Roar into 2020

(Photo | Courtesy of Waterston Desert Writing Prize)

There was plenty to cheer about at the fifth annual Waterston Desert Writing Prize activities, reception and awards ceremonies on June 26.

  • Free writing workshops were led by Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford, fiction writer James Anderson, and nonfiction writer Ellen Waterston.
  • Kim Stafford was joined on the A Desert Conversation panel by desert author Bruce Berger and by Patty Limerick, chair of the Center for the American West in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Sales were brisk of the handsome commemorative anthology of writings by five-year’s-worth of finalists’ and winners’ writings. Order your own copy at It’s the perfect gift for desert dwellers and visitors alike.
  • And, in the stunning setting of the High Desert Museum, collaborating with the Prize for the fifth year, how amazing were finalist Summer Hess, and this year’s winner of the $2,500 cash prize, Nathaniel Brodie. Hess read from her proposal to write about the Atacama Desert and its people, and Brodie—the effect of borderland activities between the United States and Mexico on wildlife. As the 2019 winner, Brodie also received a residency at PLAYA, an artists’ and scientists’ residency program in Summer Lake, Oregon.

Cheering is one thing, but now it’s time to roar our way into the 2020 event! The Waterston Desert Writing Prize Board will begin contacting panelists right away, and will continue to identify ways to spread the word of the awards ceremony and to disseminate information about this amazing opportunity for writers writing about deserts anywhere in the world.

Help us roar!  Show your appreciation for this important literary arts opportunity by sending a donation today.  All gifts have a big impact on the growth and success of the Prize, an all-volunteer organization.  Contributions can be mailed to Waterston Desert Writing Prize, PO Box 640, Bend, Oregon 97709 or made online at Thank you in advance for your support.

In gratitude,
Ellen Waterston, President

The mission of the Waterston Desert Writing Prize is to strengthen and support the literary arts and humanities in the high desert region of the Northwest through recognition of literary excellence in nonfiction-writing about desert landscapes, through community interaction with the winning authors of the annual prize, and presentations and programs that take place in association with the prize. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are deductible to the full extent of the law.

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