The Sidney Prize is an annual prize that is awarded to writers who write about the South. Named after 19th century Southern poet, Sidney Lanier, the award is intended to honor writers who have contributed to the literature of the region. Previously known as the Sidney Lanier Prize, the prize was established in 2012 to honor the memory of the author.
The award is given to writers who have produced powerful short fiction. It is open to writers of all backgrounds and career stages. This year’s shortlist includes eight nominees. Each has a story that is a minimum of three thousand words. In addition to a prize of four thousand dollars, the winners will also receive publication in Overland magazine.
Sidney Prize recipients are praised for their commitment to advancing social justice. The awards are presented by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, which has honored writers and journalists since 1950. For more information about the awards, see the Sidney Hillman Foundation’s website.
In addition to the Sidney Award, the foundation also awards a Hillman Prize for outstanding journalism in the U.S. The foundation sponsors $500 for each award, which includes a certificate, honorarium and bottle of union-made wine. Applicants are encouraged to read the complete program guidelines before submitting their work.
Two-time recipient Mary Bottari has worked on several media outlets. She helped launch the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALEC Exposed investigation and has contributed to numerous news sites. Her work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. During her tenure, she has spearheaded the center’s work on the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.
The winner of this year’s Sidney Prize was Jenah Shaw. Her story, “An Invisible Woman,” was selected from a shortlist of eight. After being chosen, Shaw’s story was published in Overland magazine, which is edited by Jayati Vora and Mark Rykoff.
Other past recipients include Greg Palast, who has been uncovering voter suppression tactics for fifteen years. His work has been featured in numerous books and anthologies. He has also written several New York Times bestsellers.
Another prize is the Thomas Robinson Prize, which was established in 2012. In this award, authors are recognized for their extended writing on the South. A committee selects the prize winner, which is then administered by the Center for Southern Studies.
The Milton and Anne Sidney Prize is awarded to an individual for their commitment to improving health care for all. This honor is given to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to clinical scholarship, as well as combating structural racism. To apply for this award, visit the Sidney Hillman Foundation’s web page. Applicants must be from an institution in the U.S. or have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. There are a number of other prizes sponsored by the foundation, including the Heather Dawn Reynolds Equity Award, which recognizes individuals who have shown a strong commitment to diversity.