The winners were selected by guest judge Justin Torres.
This post is co-published with American Short Fiction. For the last three years, the Austin-based magazine American Short Fiction has sponsored a contest for incarcerated writers in Texas. A group of writers at the Connally Unit, in Kenedy, Texas, came … Read More
This year's judge is Bryan Washington, author of Lot.
Bryan Washington’s 2016 story “Navigation” tells the story of a taqueria worker who gives Spanish lessons to his wealthy white lover. Throughout the story, the narrator navigates lines of race, class, and queerness in Houston. Washington’s story was a finalist … Read More
Everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic in Texas.
All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic. Find our full data tracker here. * Editorial: Texas Wasn’t Prepared for the Statewide Vaccine Rush My elderly parents’ experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine highlights problems … Read More
Give to your local food bank, donate blood, or support an emergency housing fund.
As Texans hunker down, learn to keep our 6 feet of “social distance,” and gradually get used to life in quarantine to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones are already struggling. Hundreds of … Read More
Gig workers reported more than $2 million in lost wages after the festival was called off.
Thousands of Austinites depend on South by Southwest for income, and many are still reeling after the event was officially canceled last week due to coronavirus fears. SXSW laid off a third of its full-time staff, with an anonymous employee … Read More
As the cost of housing skyrockets, Texans are getting pushed out and left behind. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
The Gentrification of Texas As the cost of housing skyrockets, Texans are getting pushed out and left behind. The stakes couldn’t be higher. In early 2020, half of Texas adults reported that they were spending too much on housing and … Read More
We rounded up some of our hardest hitting longreads from the past ten years.
The Best Texas Observer Longform Stories of the 2010s We rounded up some of our hardest hitting longreads from the past ten years. * With 2019 quickly fading, social media was plagued with personal then-and-now posts. On Twitter, side-by-side personal … Read More
To celebrate our 65th birthday, we asked our founding editor about where the Observer has been and what he thinks about its future.
On December, 13, 1954, Ronnie Dugger published the first issue of the Texas Observer. In it, he wrote the newspaper’s founding mission: We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it … Read More
At the Observer’s inaugural live storytelling event, formerly incarcerated advocates were among those sharing their experiences with Texas’ criminal justice system.
What is the real impact of the U.S. criminal justice system? Storytellers David Johnson, Mignon Zezqueaux, Maggie Luna, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker (whose essay excerpt was read by the Marshall Project’s Maurice Chammah) and poet Jorge Antonio Renaud explored the issue … Read More