Waterson Desert Writing Prize Challenges High School Students to Get Creative

Cash Prize Awarded for Student Desert Writing Competition

Hey high schoolers! Are you wandering around the house, looking for ways to pass the time while sheltering in place to avoid the coronavirus? Here’s an idea: submit a piece to the Waterston Desert Writing Prize student writing contest! The winner receives $250, is honored at our annual awards celebration, and earns bragging rights on his or her college resume.  

Yes, the contest is about desert writing. But deserts can be more than sand and cactus. How about the desert of being alone without your friends right now? Or the watery desert of dying coral reefs? Maybe the emotional desert of missing or losing a friend or family member?

Get creative about the subject of deserts and put ink on paper! Click here for all the rules. Then email your submission to stories@bendbroadband.com by March 27. We can’t wait to read your entry. Winners will be announced by April 15.  The Waterston Desert Writing Prize awards events and ceremony are scheduled for 6pm, June 24 at the High Desert Museum. 

While staying home in the pandemic
Why not work on something academic?
A desert story, about drier lands
Written with keyboard and your own two hands.
Doesn’t have to be long, or funny or sad,
Just record a thought, observation or adventure you’ve had.
It can be a story about the desert of corona-v,
Or reefs without fish, or missing a friend you can’t see.
So avoid the boredom, the twitter and texting,
Just sit down and send us something lively and interesting.

About the Waterston Desert Writing Prize

Now in its sixth year, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize honors creative 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 over 30 years, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and the human narrative. The Prize is funded from an endowment managed by the Oregon Community Foundation, with the impetus for the creation of the endowment provided by actor Sam Waterston, after whom the prize is named. 


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