Writing Contests

Richard J. Margolis Award

The Richard J. Margolis Award is given annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose nonfiction work combines warmth, humor and wisdom and sheds light on issues of social justice.

The award honors the life of Richard J. Margolis (1929-1991), a renowned journalist, essayist and poet who gave eloquent voice to the rural poor, migrant farmworkers, Native Americans, aging adults and others whose voices are seldom heard. He also wrote several books for children.

The award combines a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center, an acclaimed writers’ and artists’ colony in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, with a $5,000 prize.

How to Apply for the Richard J. Margolis Award

The winner of the annual Richard J. Margolis Award is announced in November, with the Blue Mountain Lake residency taking place in the following summer or fall.

Applications are accepted year-round but must be received by July 1 for consideration for the current-year award. Applications received after this date will be considered for the award in the following year.

Application Guidelines

Submit the following materials either as separate documents or combined into one or more documents as specified below:

  • A cover letter stating your interest in and qualifications for the award;
  • A project description of your current and anticipated work and what you will work on during your Blue Mountain residency;
  • A brief biographical note; and
  • Two to three samples of your work, published or unpublished, meeting the following criteria: 1. Nonfiction samples only (no fiction or poetry) 2. 30 pages maximum; and 3. At least one sample being non-memoir material.

All materials may be emailed as PDF files (preferred!) to award@margolis.com. Please name all files starting with your last name (e.g., Smith-cover letter+description.pdf, Smith-writing sample.pdf, etc.).

If submitting paper materials, mail them to the address below. Please note that we cannot return samples.

Richard J. Margolis Award
c/o Margolis & Bloom
100 William Street
Suite 220
Wellesley, MA 02481

Guidelines for Award Recipients

Recipients of the Margolis Award are asked to:

  1. Note in their biography statement(s) both online and in print, as well as in any book acknowledgements, that they are a recipient of the Margolis Award;
  2. Include a link to their website (https://MargolisAward.org) in all online biographies; and
  3. Notify the Margolis Award Committee of any honors, publications and career milestones received/achieved after receiving the award so the bio statement on their website can be updated. This can be done by emailing hsm@margolis.com, by using the contact form or by sending postal mail to the address below.

Richard J. Margolis Award
c/o Margolis & Bloom
100 William Street
Suite 220
Wellesley, MA 02481
617-294-5951
hsm@margolis.com

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