2nd Annual Siskiyou Prize for Animal & Environmental Literature

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on March 11, 2015


Attention all authors, aspiring writers, and book lovers! One of our favorite presses, Ashland Creek Press—independent publishers of animal-themed and environmental-themed books—is announcing the 2nd annual Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. Ashland Creek has brought us books featured in the Animal Book Club like The Tourist Trail by John Yunker, Among Animals, and our recently reviewed Love & Ordinary Creatures, a novel by Gwyn Hyman Rubio.

The 2nd annual Siskiyou Prize will be awarded for an unpublished, book-length work of prose with environmental themes. This includes novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections. Manuscripts are due September 1, 2015. The winner will receive $1,000, a four-week residency at PLAYA, and an offer of publication by Ashland Creek Press.

For this prize, “new environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife. As book club members and ALDF supporters know, ALDF’s work on the overlap between animal protection and conservation efforts is strong. The links between animal agriculture, overpopulation, climate change, and habitat destruction form the basis of much of ALDF’s recent work, as well as our lawsuits to stop environmentally destructive and cruel wildlife killing contests, and our legal work to protect endangered species of birds, wolves, and marine mammals.

The Siskiyou Prize is named for the Klamath-Siskiyou region of northern California and southern Oregon, one of the most diverse eco-regions in the world. Considered a global center of biodiversity, the Klamath-Siskiyou region is an inspiring example of the importance of preservation. The prize seeks work that redefines our notions of environmentalism and sustainability, particularly when it comes to animal protection. The award will not go to books that support hunting, fishing, or eating animals. Under these basic guidelines, the prize is open to a wide range of writing with environmental and animal themes.

Prize judge Ann Pancake’s first novel, Strange as This Weather Has Been (Counterpoint 2007), features a southern West Virginia family devastated by mountaintop removal mining. Based on interviews and real events, the novel was one of Kirkus Reviews’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award. You can read about last year’s winner, selected by bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler, here. Karen’s amazing book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will feature in an Animal Book Club giveaway and review next month!

This prize is a tremendous way to celebrate and encourage more great writing on animal protection and conservation issues. For more information, visit SiskiyouPrize.com or AshlandCreekPress.com.


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